What is Functional Health?
Functional Health is about evaluating the patient as a whole. It is a type of holistic health that looks at the person in front of them and asks "why" are they experiencing these symptoms?
Then, we go backwards and we go broad, looking for the cause and effect in the complex cascade of interactions within the human body. For example, just consider the interplay between the endocrine and cardiovascular systems or the gut-brain-immune connection.
The Functional Health doctor treats the patient as a unique individual who may have a variety of physical, emotional and/or spiritual factors contributing to their current ailment. This is the mind-body-spirit connection in action.
In comparison, conventional medicine practices a philosophy of reductionism, which means that the whole can be explained by breaking it down into smaller parts. This involves looking at a symptom (ex. pain, lethargy, insomnia, constipation), labeling with a diagnosis and treating most often with medication.
I get the appeal here and have often bought into it myself. Why not? Sounds great to find the exact "one thing" wrong and just eliminate the complaint. Plus, don't you just want someone else to "fix you" and be done with it? Isn't that what we all really want from modern medicine? And, who wants to get involved with our own health? We're busy...
The problem is that the body, most often, doesn't work this way.
Why doesn't it work?
Because by the time we see a problem (such as diabetes, hypertension, obesity, fibromyalgia, allergies, cardiac disease) there isn't "one" reason for it - it represents a multitude of lifestyle, environmental and genetic factors magnified by time.
Rarely is there just one solution or one "pill" because our body is an incredibly complex form of machinery with a multitude of cascade reactions. Simply, A is connected to B which is connected to C.
In Functional Health, symptoms are viewed as a way of the body "talking" to you and instead of just blowing out the flame...the health practitioner goes looking for the match.
Now, don't throw out conventional medicine. It has a very important place in our lives and I can't think of where I'd rather be if I had an injury requiring surgery.
Personally though, I've never been so sick as when I was trying to "get well" through conventional medicine and get a multitude of specialists to communicate with one another. I needed an approach that saw patients as more than just a "sum of our parts."
If you are ready to create big picture changes in your health and your life, then give Functional Health a try.
Also, get ready to take responsibility for your own health. A holistic health approach means you are ultimately the most important person in your health care. Your doctor is the detective and makes the recommendations. You must take the action.
I can tell you, having had the experience of being the patient, that it can be daunting and frustrating to be so involved with your own health - especially for those of us that are impatient and would prefer to outsource our own bodies because we have better things to do!
And, it is also an incredibly powerful experience. You make friends with your own body (mine use to be a stranger - LOL) and you learn to practice a type of self-care and experience a level of vitality that makes you wonder why you didn't figure this out earlier? Forget reading about the mind-body-spirit connection, you will be living it!
Serving Hands-On Healing,
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