What Is Functional Medicine?
All the physicians at Alliance Integrative Medicine are experienced practitioners of functional medicine. Patient-centered, integrative, and science-based, functional medicine focuses on the origins, prevention, and treatment of complex chronic diseases. Functional medicine sees you, the patient, as a whole person, with a unique life, a unique set of circumstances, and a unique set of genes.
Functional medicine looks at the body as a complex web of interacting systems. This explains how external factors—stress, our community support, environmental toxins, diet, lifestyle, and exercise—interact with internal factors, such as hormone levels and inflammation, in our bodies. When the interaction is off balance, our bodies respond with what is called “disease.” By working with you to restore the dynamic equilibrium among your body’s systems, the functional medicine physicians at Alliance Integrative Medicine can help you move from chronic illness toward lasting wellness.
According to The Institute for Functional Medicine, “functional medicine is an evolution in the practice of medicine that better addresses the healthcare needs of the 21st century. By shifting the traditional disease-centered focus of medical practice to a more patient-centered approach, functional medicine addresses the whole person, not just an isolated set of symptoms. Functional medicine practitioners spend time with their patients, listening to their histories and looking at the interactions among genetic, environmental and lifestyle factors that can influence long-term health and complex, chronic disease. In this way, functional medicine supports the unique expression of health and vitality for each individual.”
Seeing and Treating The Whole Person
Contemporary medicine has compartmentalized the body into separate parts and specialized functions, seeing the patient merely as a collection of symptoms. Functional medicine takes a holistic approach to your health. Our physicians understand that everything in your life and your health is connected. The physicians at AIM see you as a whole person and take an interest in all parts of your life, including your diet, environment, work life, relationships, stress levels, exercise routines, medications, and whatever else is important to you. Our doctors don’t just treat your symptoms. They go deeper, looking at your fundamental processes to find the underlying imbalances that might be causing you to have your symptoms.
Every functional medicine practitioner follows these basic principles:
- Each person is unique, with unique healthcare needs.
- Health is more than simply the absence of disease.
- Balanced biochemistry is essential to proper functioning.
- Medicine must be personalized for the individual.
Functional medicine is science-based and uses a variety of lab tests to help understand how your individual body systems function. To assess where your imbalances lie, our physicians will do appropriate, comprehensive lab testing to assess for:
- Nutrient deficiencies
- Immune and inflammatory imbalances
- Digestive, absorptive, and microbiological imbalances
- Oxidation problems
- Neurotransmitter and hormonal issues
- Detoxification and biotransformation problems
Using this detailed information, along with a comprehensive evaluation, the doctors at AIM partner with you to customize a wellness plan just for you. Drawing from the best of conventional medicine and the best of proven alternative treatments, functional medicine can be a powerful, transformative approach to regaining your health and well-being!