What is Functional Medicine?

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 through integrative medicine.

This is a “Systems-Based” Approach vs. a “Symptoms-Based” Approach

You don’t feel well, but medical professionals are telling you that there is nothing wrong with you. How can this be? In this video, Dr. Tait walks you through his approach to a patient just like this. He shares a story about a patient that lost their vitality, continually felt tired, couldn’t sleep well, and was spontaneously gaining weight… Then explains how he found a simple solution. This is the first video to a four-part series titled, “The PRO-MEND Process™.”

The PRO-MEND Process

Core Principles of 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.

(From the Institute for Functional Medicine)

Functional Health vs. Artificial Health

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 Dr. Tait’s functional medicine 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.

Exercise Programming

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 of Tucson, our functional medicine doctor and staff are uniquely qualified to help each client or patient restore lost function, strength, and mobility through our integrated Medical Fitness programs.

Stress Reduction

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 at our functional medicine clinic in Tucson 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 doctors are able to guide the patient through a process of positive lifestyle changes and integrative medicine that decrease dependence on the traditional health care system.


In 2012 Dr. Tait authored and published The Pain Free Diet.

In many cultures in the world, the oldest (and still most current form of medicine), is the food that is consumed daily.

Dr. Tait explains the powerful impact food can have to heal and regenerate your body, reduce or eliminate pain –  or alternatively how daily food choices can drive pain, sickness, and disease.

(New patients recieve a free copy of this book)


    review rating 5  Dr. Tait and his staff are great to work with. The staff are friendly and quick to respond. Dr. Tait takes time to listen and has given me great information to be my best. I am looking forward to 2021 with Rejuv!

    thumb J Z

    review rating 5  I highly recommend Dr. Tait and his team. I've been struggling with chronic fatigue for the last 30 years and had pretty much given up any hope of help when a friend recommended Dr. Tait. I wanted to be hopeful, but I was afraid to be disappointed AGAIN. In any case, I made an appointment and was very impressed with Dr. Tait's professionalism and his understanding of how the body works, not from a big pharma perspective, but from a body systems perspective. I learned so much that I've not heard anywhere else. And I love that it's SCIENCE based medicine, which is very important to me. Dr. Tait is the first physician I've seen (and I've seen A LOT) who didn't say "huh, I have no idea." Seeing the nutritionist helped me make a food plan that works for me and specifically my body. I've been undergoing treatment for the last four months and I feel like I'm finally starting to turn the corner. My energy is returning and I'm able to do normal things like clean my house, cook meals, and exercise, which have been beyond my capabilities for so many years. I feel like I'm getting my life back! Very excited!! Thank you Dr. Tait and team!

    thumb Dawn C

    review rating 5  Dr Tait is a master educator which I believe is a critical trait for health professionals. He matched my concerns with data from the tests that I took, explaining how I can address my health issues without using drugs (Which create their own health issues). His approach has given me hope that I can solve my health concerns by addressing the source on a permanent basis rather than going for a “quick fix”. I’m looking forward to getting his summary notes as a source for validating what I learned from him today. I also appreciated his openness to hearing from me regarding any questions, etc. In addition, I want to say that a large part of my positive experience is with his assistant. . Denisha Brown. She is so supportive and knowledgeable.

    thumb Anne Walcott Sween
  • review rating 5  Dr. Tait and his staff are great to work with. The staff are friendly and quick to respond. Dr. Tait takes time to listen and has given me great information to be my best. I am looking forward to 2021 with Rejuv!

    thumb J Z

    review rating 5  Dr Tait is a gifted doctor with a strong desire to get better everyday. I am super excited going forward with Dr Tait as my doctor for my overall health not just for pain. I spent my time and money for over a year seeing traditional doctors without any success. Thank you Dr Tait - You are Da Man!

    thumb marco lizardi
  • review rating 5  I am thrilled with my experience with Rejuv Medical Southwest. All of my interactions with Dr. Tait and staff have been excellent. They are professional, organized and run a positive, patient-oriented clinic. I left my first visit with all the information I needed to make an informed decision about treatment for my knee problems. My stem cell treatment was six months ago. My results have been amazing - truly life changing.

    thumb Mary Jondrow

    review rating 5  I had a wonderful experience being treated by Dr. Tate and his staff! Kind, caring, and professional.

    thumb Lauren Franklin
  • review rating 5  I went in to Rejuv Medical Southwest, anxious and fearful, having had a rough experience at on other stem cell clinic a few years back. Dr. Tait and his team made me feel comfortable and confident. They are all professional and caring, with tons of experience and skill. The procedure went so well. Both knees and hips done and I look forward to regaining my mobility and enjoying my activities once again. Thank you, Rejuv Medical Southwest.

    thumb Lisa Standeven

    review rating 5  Great doctor, attention to detail, genuine compassion and care for his patients. Dr. Tait is a wonderful choice if considering stem cell treatment, prp or alternatives to surgery . My family highly recommends him as he took the best care of our son who had been diagnosed with CRPS (Complex regional pain syndrome). Staff is also wonderful!

    thumb Isabel Del Rio
Contact Information
P. 520.777.9385
F. 520.306.4843
Location Information
7790 N. Oracle Road, Suite 150
Oro Valley, AZ 85704

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