Our society is experience a dramatic increase in the number of people who suffer from complex, chronic diseases. Traditional medicine has not been able to address this crisis in the health care of our human family. Functional medicine is the answer to this crisis. As a functional medicine physician, I fully embrace this systems-oriented approach that engages both patient and doctor in a healing, therapeutic relationship.
Functional medicine’s approach is to find the underlying causes of these chronic illness by focusing on modifiable lifestyle factors such as:
- Sleep: During sleep our body has the opportunity to heal
- Nutrition/diet: Our traditional diet is a major cause of many diseases
- Relaxation/stress: Excessive stress is harmful to our biological systems
- Exercise/movement: Without adequate movement, the body loses function
- Relationships: Having a network of loving, caring people supports wellness
Functional medicine not only addresses dysfunction in the major biological systems of our bodies, but also emphasizes the importance of core issues such as:
- Mental: Cognitive function, attitudes and behaviors
- Emotional: Sadness/depression, anxiety, anger and grief
- Spiritual: Meaning and purpose, relationship with something greater than ourselves
As a functional medicine physician, “hearing” the patient’s story is of vital important. Quality time spent with a person who is suffering from disease is the beginning of the healing journey.