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. Tait is a great provider & and his office staff are very helpful and professional. I appreciate being able to work with the entire office as partners in achieving my own health goals.
For my first consultation appointment with Dr. Tait and staff was a very positive experience. They are professional, and informative. Dr. Tait took his time with me to completely understand my injuries, and also provided me a very nice explanation of the treatment options and how they work in the body. I left my first visit with all the information I needed to make an informed decision about treatment for achilles tendon and plantar fasciitis injuries. I am looking forward to the outcome of my future treatment.
Prior to hearing about the amazing work Dr. Tait is doing utilizing stem cell therapy I'd seen an orthopedic doc about the problems I was having with my knees. After spending less than 30 seconds looking at the x-rays the ortho doc informed me I must replace both knees, "would you like to schedule it now?" He asked. I declined. Why did I decline. Fortunately just prior to going to see the ortho doc a friend of mine had shared the incredible results from working with Dr. Tait. Replace the knees or explore the possibility of stem cell therapy? That was an easy decision... I met with Dr. Tait and the rest is history. Dr. Tait and his team have been a pleasure to work with. Professional, helpful and personable. The results I've gotten as a result of working with Dr. Tait are beyond my expectations.
I made my first appointment with Dr. Tait in early 2019 after learning that he provides individualized medical guidance as to what supplements and foods help his patients achieve optimal health. I've spent my adult life following a healthy, physically active lifestyle, including taking supplements, based on longevity research. Frustratingly, over the past 40+ years alternative medicine doctors, nutritionists and exercise gurus frequently changed their advice, while my primary care doctor/s gave none and were annoyed that I refused to take prescription medicine. Learning that Dr. Tait relies on blood and other tests to determine patients' individual health needs, i.e. what supplements/life style changes they would benefit from, was an answer to my prayers. The first series of tests showed what nutrients my body lacked, as well as revealing I suffered from a leaky gut. One year later, after using Rejuv's supplements and making minor food changes, a second round of tests showed many areas of improved body functioning. I am thankful for the scientific, personalized approach offered by Dr. Tait, it is a game changer and I have never felt better.
Fantastic experience with a very knowledgeable Doctor who takes a holistic view of the body. Dr. Tait spent time explaining the mechanics of the body and doing a comprehensive review of my body’s mechanics. He mapped his care to the fitness goals I want to achieve and recommended natural supplements for ani-inflammation. I will be referring him to my husband as well.
Dr. Tait is a true gift to the health and well-being of our Tucson community. I just completed his 21 day Detox Program and he was such an incredible guide throughout this entire program. Not only did he give us a tremendous amount of information and all of the fundamentals to live a healthy life, he was supportive, encouraging, and 100% accessible every step of the way. He cares about his patients in a way that is so unique in the healthcare industry. He welcomed questions and always responded in a timely manner any time you would email him; even if just to ask him a question about purchasing the best quality of product at a grocery store. His level of care is beyond exceptional. I came away from this program having lost weight, eliminated pain in 2 chronic areas, empowered with a tremendous amount of knowledge, and renewed excitement about the next chapter of my health and wellness journey. Even though the 21 day program ended, Dr. Tait has left the door open for group and individual connections with him to ensure we continue to be inspired to live lives in which we can be our best selves. A true testament to his innate passion for helping his patients live pain free, healthy lives. Thank you Dr. Tait!
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!
Here I am, several years later, and I am still doing great! Dr. Tait also helped my husband who was having severe hip pain. We feel so fortunate to be patients of Dr. Tait. He and his staff are accessible, caring and efficient. We love that he stays on the cutting edge of medicine and eagerly shares what he learns with all of us. We highly recommend him and his staff and appreciate what they have done for us. My primary care doctor referred me to Dr. Tait because I was experiencing sciatica. He thoroughly assessed my problem and prioritized my needs. First....get rid of the pain via an epidural (which I was hesitant about) and then physical therapy and exercise to gain strength. That was over six months ago. I got immediate relief and still feel great even after golfing day in and day out. I realize that I may have to get another injection some day, but I would do it all again at the drop of a hat. Dr. Tait takes a personal interest in his patients, explains things thoroughly and I don't think you can find a finer doctor. I highly recommend him.
Dr. Tait and his entire staff are very professional, answered all of my questions in a freindly manner and made me feel at home. Anyone thinking about knee replacement should first consider stem cell therapy. I had my left knee treated 3 months ago and am very happy with the results.