Functional medicine is the future of conventional medicine.
It seeks to identify and address the root causes of disease, and views the body as one integrated system, not a collection of independent organs divided up by medical specialties. It treats the whole system, not just the symptoms.
What is integrative medicine?
To integrate means “To make into a whole by bringing all parts together; unify.” Integrative Medicine (IM) is a term that describes a design of caring for patients considering mind, body and soul. Integrative practitioners globally assess patients, examining [in depth] the role of genetics, environmental exposures, risk factors for disease, the role of nutrition, exercise, stress and sleep on the manifestation of disease.
Often times, integrative providers will analyze risk factors and treat for “pre” disease states, slowing the progression or even halting the presentation of an official disease state. The emergence of integrative medicine has offered patients a healing centered model focused on shared decision making.
Patients often say, “I wish I would have found you sooner”.
Why is our integrative approach important?
Integrative medicine is the future paradigm for holistic health care: the cornerstone of care is preventive medicine and the focus is identifying the root cause of disease or symptomatology. Patients are more educated that ever before and desire to be a partner in their healthcare decisions. Many patients that seek IM are interested in a patient centered relationship, whereas there are informed decisions and treatment options. They value spending time with the provider, feeling heard and developing a trusting relationship where healthcare beliefs are considered and valued.
Are certain disease states well suited for integrative medicine?
All disease and healthy states are well suited for integrative medicine. Many patients want to maintain their youth and good health – they desire knowledge on recommended supplements and lifestyle changes. We also see many patients who have seen numerous providers and have not found a root cause for their symptoms.
It is not unusual for patients with autoimmune, fatigue, fibromyalgia, GI disorders, menopause, thyroid disease or cancer to visit integrative centers. Often times, patients are seeking comprehensive care for a complex, long standing disease state. It is important to remember that it takes years for disease to manifest and it will take time to support the body to heal; however, with a committed provider and patient partnership, positive outcomes will result.