A good reason why you would want to pursue Functional Medicine (FM) as an option when considering health care choices is because- FM doesn’t treat the BRANCHES, it treats the ROOT. Ideally so does Chinese Medicine (which treats the root and/or branches); and- Chiropractic Medicine (which is subluxation based as the cause of disease). You have choices- I hope this look at FM will help you make an educated decision about what health care is best for you.FM is patient specific and allows the treatment of the cause of disease and not just treats the symptoms of the disease. One of my teachers years ago use to say “What you got, isn’t always- what you got”!

Jeff Bland PHD was the first person I heard use the phrase- Functional Medicine (FM) and is credited with conceiving the term. FM base is scientific, per the individual and uses many known avenues that are familiar with western medicine and alternative medicines. The goal is on wellness of the individual person… mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually, which is a quite a difference from western medicines and even some alternative approaches. Most illnesses don’t manifest in a single day and likewise there is not a specific solitary application of treatment for either the root, or branch symptoms. The goal is to achieve and find the underlying cause of disease that lead to various signs and symptoms, and then address each one as these symptoms which can ultimately end up as chronic disease and thus creating non-harmonious states within the body. The brain controls and coordinates all functions of the body. This is why medicine that looks to the cause of disease and treatment of the whole body and not a specific organ or symptom, along with taking in account the individuals blueprint also called “biochemical individuality”, needs also to factor in and account for direct influences of and by- lifestyle and/or genetics.

The goal of the FM treatment is to improve the whole body’s ability to handle stresses and the expression of individual genetic blueprints. The result is increase in general health, wellness in total and not just merely the absence of disease. This is stated well by the World Health Organization (WHO). In 1948, WHO defined health as “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”. And, Thomas Edison was quoted as saying… “The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will instruct his patient in the care of the human frame, in diet and in the cause and prevention of disease” (Wikipedia.org). FM treatment objectively addresses the whole with improved outcome in function and restoration of whole body imbalances.

In health care today…. the opposite end of the spectrum is still quite present and unfortunately remains disease center based in most cases (sick model of medicine). What is certain, is that it is a health care provider’s choice of how they are going to approach practicing medicine of any sort. Any health care professional can adopt a FM philosophy. This can be done by addressing and incorporating in their practices Therapeutic LifeStyle Changes (TLC) that include but are not limited to proper biomechanical structure, proper nutrition, proper exercise, properly functioning nervous system, and enhancing positive mental attitude of each individual in their practices. The result would be a reaching of the desired outcome by improving, monitoring and even reversing illnesses – chronic and otherwise, and is now considered ‘the’ standard of care and a possible path to reducing the costly nature of these illnesses. Remember that with FM, if the goal is obtained- then function is improved significantly if not restored to a more optimum level.

Knowledge is power- prevention is the key as is seen within chronic disease which is preceded by a long history of dysfunction. Therefore, by addressing the dysfunction at its root the outcome created is better heath-wellness. Education is the also a key component which when used together with the physician and using ‘ALL’ medicines with knowledge based within enhances an individual’s outcome. That is a big win/win… for the individual especially, and physician who worked as a team with achievable goals and positive long lasting outcomes given applications are maintained.

To your real expression of health,

Dr Pat B