I attended a meeting yesterday and one of the attendees asked me what ‘functional medicine’ was. I am a functional medicine advocate and state so on my business card. First disclaimer – I am not a doctor, nor have I studied in any medical program. I have five college degrees, the first in chemistry.
I am a researcher, writing and speaker. I research what happens in the human body at the cellular level biochemically speaking – looking for cause and effect relationships. If you treat symptoms, you will always treat symptoms. You must treat the cause of a problem to fix it.
Conventional medicine treats symptoms for the most part. Obviously if you have a broken bone, it will be treated accordingly. However, if you have cancer, the doctor will not treat the cause(s) of cancer.
Functional medicine follows along the lines that I research – cause and effect. Our bodies can heal themselves in many cases. Find what is wrong and correct it at the cellular level. Health is not the absence of disease but the result of a powerful immune system that allows us to enjoy life to the fullest.
I was asked if functional medicine is the same as holistic. It is similar. Holistic medicine strives to assess the whole body and treat it from that perspective – mind, body and spirit.
There are other types of medicinal treatments. Integrated medicine incorporates other specialties into the health solution – therapists, specialists, counselors, etc. They also emphasize nutrition, diet, supplementation and wellness. They may use prescription drugs to counter the symptoms during treatment. Complementary medicine usually refers to non-invasive and non-pharmaceutical procedures to complement conventional treatments. Natural healing also uses non-invasive and non-pharmaceutical treatments for healing, but not the conventional pharmaceutical treatments. Alternative medicine denotes practices and techniques not currently accepted by conventional medicine.
Treat the cause and you might have a solution. Sometimes our health has deteriorated too far to correct. Treat the symptoms and you will always be treating symptoms.