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Functional Medicine addresses the underlying causes of disease, using a systems-oriented approach and engaging both patient 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.
- Functional Medicine is a personalized, systems-oriented model that empowers patients and practitioners to achieve the highest expression of health by working in collaboration to address the underlying causes of disease.
- Functional Medicine offers a powerful new operating system and clinical model for assessment, treatment, and prevention of chronic disease to replace the outdated and ineffective acute-care models carried forward from the 20th century.
- Functional Medicine incorporates the latest in genetic science, systems biology, and understanding of how environmental and lifestyle factors influence the emergence and progression of disease.
- Functional Medicine enables physicians and other health professionals to practice proactive, predictive, personalized medicine and empowers patients to take an active role in their own health.
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Enhance the Health Span
Promotion of organ reserve as the means to enhance the health span, not just the life span, of each and every patient that visits our Sandy Hook Clinic in Newtown Connecticut.
Patient Centered Approach
Awareness of the evidence that supports a patient-centered rather than a disease-centered approach to treatment
Search for a dynamic balance among the internal and external body, mind, and spirit
Identification of health as a positive vitality, not merely the absence of disease, and emphasizing those factors that encourage the enhancement of a vigorous physiology
An understanding of the biochemical individuality of each human being, based on the concepts of genetic and environmental uniqueness
Interconnections of internal physiological factors
The 6 Core Principals of Functional Medicine
A patient-centered approach refers to health care that is respectful of and responsive to individual patient preferences, needs, and values, and that ensures that patient values guide all clinical decisions.The power of the therapeutic partnership comes from the idea that patients who are active participants in the development of their therapeutic plan feel more in control of their own well-being and are more likely to make sustained lifestyle changes to improve their health.
The illustration above uses a tree to visually represent the core aspects of the Functional Medicine paradigm and highlight the difference between conventional medical care and Functional Medicine.
How is Functional Medicine Different?
The illustration to the left uses a tree to visually represent the core aspects of the Functional Medicine paradigm and highlight the difference between conventional medical care and Functional Medicine. The graphic itself has undergone some changes through the years, but its essence remains the same. In order to keep a tree healthy and allow it to flourish, you need to support the most basic and essential elements first; the foundation: the roots and soil. Similarly, if a tree is not healthy, the first place you should look for answers is those same foundational elements.
In Functional Medicine, the same approach applies to patients. The most important factors, and the ones we examine first when gathering information about the patient, are the foundational lifestyle factors; sleep, exercise, nutrition, stress levels, relationships, and genetics. These are the roots and soil, which are in turn influenced by specific predisposing factors (antecedents), discrete events (triggers), and ongoing physiological processes (mediators), and may then result in fundamental imbalances at the trunk. These can eventually result in the signs and symptoms that are grouped into a diagnosable constellation that we call disease, represented by the branches and leaves.
Conventional medicine tends to look at the constellation of symptoms first (the branches and leaves), which usually results in a disease diagnosis. Often, this diagnosis is associated with a drug or drugs that can be prescribed to treat this constellation of symptoms, and that is the end of the story. But this approach neglects the more fundamental aspects of health that reside in the roots and the trunk of the tree. It treats all patients that present with similar symptoms the same and completely neglects both the inherent differences among patients as well as the myriad possible causes that a “disease” can have.
If you are tired of spending your time in the leaves and watching as your patients with chronic disease go through the cycle of diagnosis and drugs without getting any better, IFM invites you to climb down from the canopy and join us at ground level. We will provide you with the tools to make your patients better, without ever needing to leave the ground.