By: Dr. Jonathan Tait – 4/2/17
When you think of health care in the United States, a number of images probably come up — bottles of pills, surgical tables and long recovery periods. All of these are associated with traditional approaches to healthcare, which, though based in science, are also motivated by profit and tradition.
Consider that large pharmaceutical companies can benefit from your continued dependence on prescription drugs. And medical professionals are reluctant to try new therapies out of respect for the standards of the medical field rather than a sense of innovation or change.
This focus on treatment of illnesses, often dependent on surgery and medications, rather than preventing disease promoting whole-body health is the hallmark of American approaches toward treating chronic diseases. Many patients may feel like they don’t have options — except that you do.
Regenerative medicine is an approach unlike what most people are used to hearing from doctors, therapists, and others in the medical industry. That’s because it aims to heal the whole body, not just treat the symptoms of disease using cutting-edge technology and the body’s own innate ability to heal itself.
Regenerative medicine works hand-in-hand with another concept, known as functional medicine, to treat chronic conditions using a model other than the traditional drug therapy that most doctors will prescribe.
Together, these two treatments work harmoniously to help your body heal itself and avoid invasive surgeries and high medical bills.
Regenerative medicine is structured around the knowledge and utilization of the body’s own natural healing power. The human immune system, over millennia, developed into a way for the human body to repair wounds and battle illnesses from within. Humans use tissues such as platelets to patch up wounds and regenerative cells to replace dead tissue.
Add new technologies
Regenerative medicine takes advantage of new technology that allows medical professionals to speed up the healing process in order to forcefully and naturally combat pain, injuries, and disease.
While most health treatments for musculoskeletal and orthopedic conditions require invasive and expensive surgery, regenerative medicine takes fat tissues, platelets and stem cells from the body and re-injects them into areas of the body that need healing.
Functional medicine is a different, but complementary, type of healing method that also bases its beliefs in the healing power of the body and the desire to avoid excessive surgical and pharmaceutical intervention.
Functional medicine has five basic principles. It focuses on the uniqueness of human beings (both genetically and biologically), and thus necessitates that they each have unique treatments for musculoskeletal injuries and illnesses.
Everyone responds differently. Functional medicine states that it wouldn’t make sense to offer the same blanket treatment to everyone if people’s bodies respond in different ways to a single therapy.
Therefore, practitioners of functional medicine believe in using groundbreaking science and technology innovations to develop new and creative treatments that actually work to heal their patients instead of just treating their symptoms.
Another facet of the functional medicine belief system is the assertion that all human bodies can self-regulate and self-heal, as well as a commitment to whole-body health that is not just an absence of sickness.
Functional medicine practitioners want to go to the root of what is causing a problem so that they can make sure it goes away for good instead of just being kept at bay.
There’s a lot of overlap between regenerative and functional medicine, so it makes sense that these two treatment strategies complement each other.
It’s also important to keep in mind that they are not the same thing — instead, they are distinct processes that work together in harmony. Thus, both are necessary for full and successful healing.
For example, if you are being treated for a musculoskeletal issue, regenerative medicine would direct your doctor to utilize stem cells or a cell that has not yet specialized into a distinct type. The stem cell might be able to replace almost any cell in the body that is dead or diseased to help restore tissue function that may otherwise be impossible to attain.
Functional medicine, meanwhile, will try to understand what is causing the problem and how you can improve your health overall to avoid issues in the future.
Functional medicine and regenerative medicine both work together, however, because they are both based on the belief that the body is capable of healing itself.
Typical treatments, such as surgeries and drugs, may not be necessary. By embracing both of these viewpoints, you can start on the path to true healing.
Consult with a medical professional who understands functional medicine and regenerative medicine. You may be pleasantly surprised at the power that comes from within as your body, with the help of a specialist, start to heal itself.
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