Functional Medicine is healthcare for the 21st Century; it's an emerging holistic medical approach, aimed at addressing the increasingly complex needs of the population, working towards finding solutions that target the underpinning cause of the conditions or symptoms experienced, rather than managing the symptoms alone. It's patient-centred, not disease-centred. Instead of looking at symptoms in isolation, Functional Medicine looks at the complete picture, spending time with patients to understand the complex interactions that influence long-term health and chronic disease. Functional Medicine recognises that each person's health is influenced by a unique combination of their genetics, environment and lifestyle, and for this reason, each treatment plan is completely tailored to the individual.
It's a rigorously evidence-based discipline; a scientific approach using the most up to date medical research, combined with the artistry of holistic, patient-centred integrative healthcare. Based on extensive history, lab testing and other diagnostic techniques, treatment plans can be any, or a combination of: drugs, botanical medicines, supplements, therapeutic diets, detoxification programmes, and exercise and stress-reduction prescriptions. By focusing on the root cause, the Functional Medicine approach seeks to heal 'upstream', and in so doing, can eliminate a number of symptoms simultaneously.
WHAT IS FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE?
Functional medicine emphasises a definable and teachable process of integrating multiple knowledge bases within a pragmatic intellectual matrix that focuses on functionality at many levels, rather than a single treatment for a single diagnosis. Functional medicine uses the patient’s story as a key tool for integrating diagnosis, signs and symptoms, and evidence of clinical imbalances into a comprehensive approach to improve both the patient’s environmental inputs and his or her physiological function.
The Institute for Functional Medicine teaches health care professionals how to apply these principles in practice through an intensive 5 day training course called Applying Functional Medicine in Clinical Practice™.
I attended and completed the AFMCP™-UK training in London in 2018.