What is Functional Medicine?

What is Functional Medicine, and what makes Functional Medicine different from conventional medicine?

Here’s a description found on the Institute for Functional Medicine website:

“The Functional Medicine model is an individualized, patient-centered, science-based approach that empowers patients and practitioners to work together to address the underlying causes of disease and promote optimal wellness. It requires a detailed understanding of each patient’s genetic, biochemical, and lifestyle factors and leverages that data to direct personalized treatment plans that lead to improved patient outcomes.

By addressing root cause, rather than symptoms, practitioners become oriented to identifying the complexity of disease. They may find one condition has many different causes and, likewise, one cause may result in many different conditions. As a result, Functional Medicine treatment targets the specific manifestations of disease in each Individual.”

Functional Medicine

One of Clear Choices Healing Center’s board members was lead to and shared this article with us. The article appeared as a “suggested read” since he is in the process of studying biochemistry. Within this article on Functional Medicine, the writer has done a fabulous job of detailing her first experience with a functional medical doctor. She notes the rather distinct difference she observed between this experience and that of her experiences with the way things are done in a conventional medical doctor’s office. What the writer describes in this article sounds to me like a blend of a functional/conventional practice. Now, unless you are a business-junkie a greater portion of the article might bore you once you get past her experience in the practitioners office. Just take what you like from the article and leave the rest. If you cannot get yourself to read the entire article, I’ll share with you my favorite quote out of the entire article:

“Functional medicine is not Eastern medicine, it’s not integrative medicine,” stresses Berzin. “It’s just taking the best practices for conventional medicine but focusing on the root causes of disease.” For example, she adds, “You’re not an insomniac lying awake at night because of an Ambien deficiency.”


Next let’s take a look at the website of Dr. Maggie, another practitioner I’ve discovered in my online research, located in the Central Florida area. Dr. Maggie seems to appeal more to the person who is ready to take the leap out of conventional medicine all together. If you break a bone, of course you need that conventional doctor or emergency room. However, there are so many ailments that can be prevented and/or resolved naturally and in a manner that benefits the body without side effects often experienced from the use of prescription pharmaceuticals. Bringing the body to a state of balance that supports its ability to heal itself appears to be the goal a Functional Medicine practitioner is focused on achieving for their patients. When you read through Dr. Maggie’s website, there are many articles to support this theory.

Functional Medicine

As it is within any profession, each practitioner has the ability and tendency to bring their own individuality to their practice. Functional medicine practices are no different in that respect. There are a wide variety of holistic treatment options that doctors may choose to study, and each doctor will incorporate what they’ve studied into their functional medicine practice.

What intrigued me about Dr. Maggie was her broad range of knowledge. As I explored the pages of her website I found answers and understanding about health issues that matter to me, such as the role digestion plays in the health of a person as a whole. What Dr. Maggie shared on alternative gut cleansing options was far beyond anything I’ve heard from my conventional doctors. Dr. Maggie offers detailed suggestions on how to improve digestive health, the health of the gut, and how that would help a person’s overall health. You can find that article here:

GAPS: Gut and Psychology Syndrome

Dr. Maggie educates readers that visit her website about Digital Infrared Thermal Imaging (DITI). Dr. Maggie offers DITI to her patients in her office, but you won’t find DITI at your conventional doctor’s office. DITI is capable of detecting cancerous cells a full ten years earlier than a mammogram. By the time a traditional mammogram detects cancer it has grown to at least one centimeter, already causing a negative impact on the wellbeing of the body. DITI is a true early detection system and it is available at a lower cost than a mammogram. However, conventional insurance companies do not offer to pay for this type of an exam. Hence, it is not well known to the general public.

Functional Medicine is one of the holistic health options that Clear Choices Healing Center encourages people to explore among alternative healing options. If you find any piece of information in this description, or in any of the related articles interesting for yourself, I think it’s time for you to do some more research into Functional Medicine and take a chance that Functional Medicine may be able to benefit your health and well being.

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