Functional Medicine is a broad category of medicine that engages both the patient and practitioner in a therapeutic partnership that seeks to determine and address underlying causes of disease using a systems-oriented approach. Through this partnership and patient-centered care, the patient is empowered to take ownership for their own healing.
Core Principles of Functional Medicine
(From the Institute for Functional Medicine)
- Understand the biochemical individuality of each human being, based on the concepts of genetic and environmental uniqueness.
- Awareness of the evidence that supports a patient-centered rather than disease-centered approach for treatment.
- Search for a dynamic balance among the internal and external factors in a patient’s mind, body, and spirit
- Familiarity with the web-like interconnections of internal physiological factors
- Identification of health as a positive vitality, not merely the absence of disease, emphasizing those factors that encourage the enhancement of a vigorous physiology.
- Promotion of an “organ reserve” as the means to enhance health span, not just the life span, of each patient.
It is a progressive approach to the practice of medicine that aims to deliver true health care, rather than masking symptoms and creating “artificial health” with a disease-centered focus of practice reliant upon “a pill for every ill”.
The focus of treatment is shifted away from the disease that brings a patient into the health care system, and instead focuses on the patient as a whole person rather than a list of isolated symptoms. The genetic, environmental, lifestyle and psychosocial factors that can predispose one to disease can be identified, and in time more effectively and completely treated.
Treatments are rooted in sustainable lifestyle interventions:
- Nutrition counseling
- Exercise programming
- Stress reduction
- Sleep quality improvement
- Strengthening of positive, supportive social networks.
Epidemiological studies have shown time and time again that when these five factors are optimized longevity is dramatically increased while the incidence of chronic, debilitating medical conditions are dramatically decreased.
“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food” – Hippocrates
Nutrition is the foundation for restoration of health as the highly interwoven orchestration of all cellular function and chemical reactions within the body is dictated by the building blocks acquired in our diet.
The foundation of our treatment plans focus on optimization of food choices for each individual, and strategic supplementation that can shift the body back into a state of ease, or optimal function, rather than a state of disease.
For a society “always on the go” we tend to spend a lot of time in positions or postures that can be a contributing factor to painful muscle, joint or spine problems. Inactivity, usually coupled with associated weight gain and obesity, can shift the body into a state of imbalance, promoting inflammation, poor physiologic function, and in turn promotion of various pain or disease states.
At Rejuv Medical Southwest, we are uniquely qualified to help each client or patient restore lost function, strength, and mobility through our integrated Medical Fitness programs.
Again, as an “always on, and on the go” society, our bodies are subjected to an incredible amount of stress that can have a negative impact on health. The source of the stress can be internal, based on poor food choices, or external based on your daily environment and exposures.
At Rejuv Medical Southwest, patients and clients are counseled on positive, constructive outlets for stress rather than negative coping strategies such as eating, smoking, or drinking.
Sleep Quality Improvement
If the body is unable to regularly achieve a deep, restorative sleep cycle it becomes compromised in the ability to recover from injury, fight off illnesses, and heal from disease states.
Specific instruction in sleep hygiene allows patients and clients to naturally shift their body into a state of restful sleep, without the use of sleeping pills.
If significant sleep problems are identified, they are further explored with laboratory sleep studies to determine the root cause of poor sleep.
Strong Social Network
Feeling that you have a purpose in life through your occupation, home life, volunteer work, or recreational pursuits, and having strong, positive social connections with friends, family, and within your community has a major impact on how you feel and function.
At Rejuv Medical Southwest, we walk the walk and talk the talk. Each employee is uniquely qualified to support each patient or client at each step of the way through their transformation – whether that is to a better state of health, better function, or a life with less pain.
By systematically addressing these five categories, Functional Medicine practitioners are able to guide the patient through a process of positive lifestyle changes that decrease dependence on the traditional health care system.