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™.”
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.
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.
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.
CLAIM YOUR COPY: THE PAIN FREE DIET
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)
Dr. Taut was so knowledgeable, caring, and thorough. I completely appreciate his expertise and approach.
I had a wonderful experience being treated by Dr. Tate and his staff! Kind, caring, and professional.
Fantastic office- Dr. Tait is knowledgeable and listens to his patients. Office is lovely and clean, staff is very friendly and helpful.
I suffered a torn meniscus knee injury at 59 years old in a slip and fall accident. After several months of healing and physical therapy I still had a lot of pain and was unable to walk comfortably, much less hike, ski and play tennis, which I enjoyed prior to the accident. My experience with Dr. Tait was very positive. I saw three stem cell doctors before choosing Dr. Tait. He was very knowledgeable and explained the process thoroughly. His office is immaculate, his staff friendly and professional, and most importantly the treatment delivered results. I am walking comfortably, able to hike and hope to return to return to all activity with a brace at some point in the near future. I highly recommend Dr. Tait.
If you are looking for a doctor & team that is knowledgeable, will take their time with you so you don't feel as though they are rushed and be kind to you in the process - then Rejuv is for you! I've dealt with plenty of doctors and staff that act as though you are bothering them and Dr Tait and Denisha have been great! On my initial call to the office, Denisha was so helpful in answering all my questions and again when I went for my consultation! Thank you Dr Tait for taking the time to explain what is going on with my injury. The recommendations you made all make sense and I'm looking forward to continuing on this road to recovery!
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.
I was referred to Dr. Tait by my physical therapist who I was seeing for a diagnosis of piraformis syndrome that just did not want to heal. I was having pain in the lower back and upper rear of my left leg. I was impressed with the personal attention I was given by Dr. Tait -- his willingness to listen and explain without seeming to be rushed. Moreover, I was impressed with his methodical, research approach. That is, rather than rush to conclusion and start with the more "glitzy" intervention, he started with the least intrusive and took things step by step. The office is warm and inviting and the office staff is superb, always friendly and helpful. I would highly recommend Dr. Tait.
I've been to many MDs and to only accomplish some healing. Some friend told me about Dr. Tait and I decided to go if I was going to live my retirement years in a recliner in pain or camping and hiking. This has been the best investment ever! The drive is long, 1.5 hrs one way, but well worth the results. The office is fantastic, the wait is excellent and the staff is superb!
Dr. Tait actually reads your "chart" before your appointment instead of walking into the exam room cold. Believe me, this isn't common. He listens; he explains; he doesn't get offended by questions, and he's thorough. I'm was very pleased as was my husband who went with me to my initial appointment. I plan to try an alternative treatment plan that Dr. Tait suggested for my tendinosis, which isn't available through the other orthopedic channels.