What is Functional Medicine?
'Functional medicine aims to address the underlying causes of disease, using a systems-oriented approach and engaging both client and practitioner in a therapeutic partnership. It is an evolution in the practice of medicine that better addresses the healthcare needs of the 21st century. By shifting the traditional disease-centred focus of medical practice to a more patient-centred approach, functional medicine addresses the whole person, not just an isolated set of symptoms. Functional medicine practitioners spend time with their clients, listening to their histories and looking at the interactions among genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors that can influence long-term health and complex, chronic disease. In this way, functional medicine supports the unique expression of health and vitality for each individual' *
* quotation from The Institute of Functional Medicine
How is Functional Medicine different
The focus of functional medicine is on client-centred care, promoting health as a positive vitality, beyond just the absence of disease, by listening to the client and learning their story, the therapist brings the client into the discovery process and tailors protocols that address the individual's unique needs.
An integrative, science-based approach. Functional medicine therapists look "upstream" to consider the complex web of interactions in the client's history, physiology, and lifestyle that can lead to illness. The unique genetic makeup of each client is considered, along with both internal (mind, body, and spirit) and external (physical and social environment) factors that affect total functioning.
Integrating best practice. Functional medicine integrates traditional Western practices with what is sometimes considered "alternative" or "integrative" therapies, creating a focus on prevention through nutrition, diet, and exercise; use of the latest laboratory testing and other screening techniques; along with botanical preparations, nutritional supplements, therapeutic diets, detoxification programs, or stress-management techniques.
'It is my personal belief that Functional Medicine is the most important advance in chronic health care in the 21st century. Its client-centred approach, evidence-based protocols, integration of nutrition, exercise and stress management offer real hope to anyone living with chronic illness' **
** Simon Bradley IFMCP ND, NT Dip (CNM), is a Certified Member of the Institute of Functional Medicine (IFMCP), graduated from the College of Naturopathic Medicine in London as a Nutritional Therapist and Naturopath and is a member of BANT and CNHC
To find out more about Functional Medicine go to their website