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What is Functional Medicine?

functional medicineFunctional medicine looks at the core of a health issue. Rather than using medicine to cover symptoms, functional medicine programs explore what underlying issues might have prompted a certain health problem, and then takes steps to fundamentally improve your health through science-based, integrative methods.

Health is not the absence of disease; it is a level of optimal well-being that relies on biochemical processes affected by things like vitamins, nutrition and lifestyle habits like sleep and activity.

Functional medicine seeks to improve the health of patients by analyzing and improving their functioning in 8 major areas:

  1. Detoxification & Biotransformation
  2. Hormone & Neurotransmitter Balance
  3. Gastrointestinal Function
  4. Energy Production & Oxidative Stress
  5. Immune & Inflammatory Balance
  6. Mind & Spirit
  7. Structural Function
  8. Environmental Factors

What Makes Functional Medicine Different?

Conventional medicine programs diagnose and treat illnesses but may not explore the underlying causes of the condition that led it to develop.. Functional medicine looks at the body holistically, and evaluates the ways that different aspects of your current health and lifestyle may be affecting your current illness.

Functional medicine programs are:


Doctors of functional medicine spend a considerable amount of time with each patient, discussing the factors involved in health problems and using in-depth testing to ensure the best results. This approach allows a doctor of functional medicine to take a holistic view of the body and closely examine internal and external factors that influence health.

Naturally effective.

Functional medicine relies on natural substances like herbs and vitamins to influence biochemistry. Disease-causing factors like toxins are removed from the body, while minerals, fatty acids and other elements crucial to health are added. Prescription drugs are used only as a last resort.

Common forms of functional medicine therapy include:

  • Detoxification
  • Chelation
  • IV Therapy
  • Massage Therapy


Doctors of functional medicine use diagnostic tools commonly available in traditional medicine to find and treat the underlying causes of disease. This makes functional medicine capable of treating existing diseases while also anticipating and defending against the development of new diseases.


Functional medicine draws extensively from a variety of medical disciplines. This integrative approach focuses on restoring the health of the entire body instead of applying single therapies to resolve isolated symptoms. Health is measured in terms of quality of life and positive vitality rather than the absence of disease.

Functional medicine initiates an ongoing series of learning and change to encourage a healthier way of life. Rather than meeting with your doctor once and getting a prescription to cure a problem, functional medicine relies on mutual interest for finding the root of your health issues, and using that knowledge to fundamentally improve your health.

Suggested Reading

Functional Medicine and Chronic Disease

When it comes to treating urgent or acute medical needs, the traditional western medical system has a pretty good system in place. Hospitals are available for urgent medical care around the clock, and doctors are trained in highly specific issues so they can diagnose, treat, and analyze those specific health concerns with expert perspective. [Read more]

Exploring Functional Medicine

Traditional medicine tends to be disease centered. Functional medicine takes a whole-patient approach, and helps people maintain better health overall instead of just treating discrete illnesses. [Read more]

What is Functional Medicine?

While functional medicine is a new term to many people, many of the ideas behind it have been around for some time. [Read more]

Probiotics Aid in Functional Medicine Therapy

Most people are familiar with the word antibiotics, which describes an organism that kills unwanted bacteria in the body. [Read more]

Functional Medicine offers new approach in treatment

Countless patients go to the doctor every year with a multitude of symptoms ranging from fatigue, head ache and joint pain, to muscle aches, insomnia and mood swings; only to be told that all of their tests are “normal.” [Read more]