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  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  Great experience, Dr. Tait is very compassionate and understands my situation. This is how healthcare should be delivered. Bravo! Wonderful outcomes and great results.

    thumb Timothy Schmidt

    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  At 79 years of age I took the plunge and had stem cell injections in both knees. My knees had bothered me for way too long and I dreaded the thought of knee replacements. When I heard about the stem cell injections I knew this was for me. My walk and range of motion have improved and the best part is the level of pain has decreased. Thankful for this procedure.

    thumb Donna Notch

    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
  • review rating 5  Dr. Tait and his team are top notch! They explain everything very clearly and care about their patients!

    thumb Irish Coussens

    review rating 5  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.

    thumb Bonnie Barker
  • review rating 5  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!

    thumb Deborah Tollefson

    review rating 5  Wow! What an experience. Dr. Tait and his staff are amazing. First real Dr. Who explained things and had solutions! Not like "sorry can't help you. Thinks outside of the box. Working with all his staff to reach a level of wellness I haven't experienced in 10 years. Working with a nutritionist to improve total body optimal functionality. They are consumate professionals, yet very caring and personable. I can't say enough good things. They are all helping me to make 2020 the best year of my life. Onward!

    thumb Nancy Andrew
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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