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)
77 year old female athlete recovering from injuries. When I started with Dr. Tait in the summer of 2019, I was in so much pain I could barely walk. I am a former runner and current hiker and exerciser. Years of misuse and one double back surgery had left me almost non-functional even though I had been pursuing physical and massage therapy, chiropractic care and nutritional support for years. The physical therapy I had prior to coming to Rejuv Medical Southwest had left me in pain after 16 sessions. The pain was located in my left sciatic joint with pain radiating down the back of my left leg. Dr. Tait and I decided on a treatment protocol that included one platelet rich plasma treatment and three exosome treatments in conjunction with physical therapy at a new location that Dr. Tait recommended. I began the PT two weeks after my first treatment. At home I began walking. At first, I could barely go for five minutes. Each day I added a bit more and after three months I am able to walk for three miles and I am back hiking with my friends of twenty years. We are usually on the trail for two to three hours. Now at three and ½ months post first-PRP treatment and 80% improvement I have just received another round of PRP injections to build on the initial improvement. I continue to pursue at-home physical therapy, massage therapy, chiropractic care and a healthy diet. Very importantly, I am religious about my daily, morning stretching routine. It is not complicated, and I know that it will be a life-long practice if I want to remain functional. My dad lived to 101 ½ years. His encouragement was to always keep moving, which he did. Knowing that I may (God willing) have twenty to twenty-five more years in this body, I plan to keep it out of a wheel chair! My children will thank me! And I thank Dr. Tait for his expertise and caring. He is the real deal!
Went from a level 8 down to a level 1 in pain. Back to swimming, hiking poles, yoga-all the things I love. Caring, thoughtful, articulate staff!
I torn my miniscus and MCL. The surgical options were not ideal so I sceptically gave Dr. Tait and his team a shot at PNP. The results were amazing. I now run and jump and do almost everything I used to do before my tear. The team itself is truly caring and professional. It was a pleasure being at the office. Dr Tait was extremely intelligent and wise in his approach to my issues. It was not a money driven approach. He used improved known methods of non-surgical care to heal my knee. To me it seemed like magic. I feel very lucky to have explored and found this option in care. A big thanks to Dr Tait and his team.
I don’t mind sharing that don’t like doctors and have not been able to find one I like.. until Dr. Tait. I feel very comfortable with him. He takes the time to explain treatment options and lets me be in control. I wish he could be my Primary Care Doctor !
Great experience, Dr. Tait is very compassionate and understands my situation. This is how healthcare should be delivered. Bravo! Wonderful outcomes and great results.
I had excruciating hip pain for several years. Just when my other options had run out I found Dr. Tait. I was impressed with his knowledge. I had PRP and some stem cells injected into my hip. I am now pain free 99% of the time. My husband has been getting treatment as well. We are so grateful for Dr. Tait and his team!!
I am delighted to be asked to provide a testimonial for Dr. Jonathan Tait at Rejuv Medical Southwest. For the past few years I was struggling with deteriorating cartilage in both knees and because of that, my back. I went back to my orthopedic surgeon who after listening to my concerns about anesthetics and having observed that many friends had continuing problems with knee surgery he gave me Dr. Tait's name. I telephoned the next day and within a week went in for a consultation and two weeks after that had stem cell therapy followed by physical therapy. Eight months later I am even better that my old self and continuing to improve every day. Thank you Dr. Tait !
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 is amazing! Truly professional, thorough, and caring. He gave me so much more information about my condition then my regular physician and the “expert” he sent me to for MRI and surgery evaluation for my knee. I had a torn meniscus and a cost on my knee and after many consultations and MRI with my “regular” physicians, I was told to live with the pain as long as I can , and then if it’s too much to handle they will do surgery, which will be risky , with not much of a proven good results.... i have lived with the pain, and inability to exercise and walk much for 3 years . I am so happy to have heard about Dr Tait. He did a PRP procedure among other things on my knee, and like a miracle my pain was gone in about 2 weeks just as he said it would . I have been pain free and exercising, hiking ever since, about a year now. I have always been a believer in the healing power of holistic medicine and natural remedies and living, Dr Tait is a living example of all those.