What is Functional Medicine?

Functional Medicine is an integrative, science-based healthcare approach that treats illness and promotes wellness by focusing on the bio-chemically unique aspects of each patient, and then individually tailoring interventions to restore physiological, psychological, and structural balance. Functional Medicine focuses on understanding the fundamental physiological processes, the environmental inputs, and the genetic predispositions that influence health and disease so that interventions are focused on treating the cause of the problem, not just masking the symptoms. There are seven basic principles underlying functional medicine which include the following:

• Science-based medicine that connects the emerging research base to clinical practice.

• Biochemical individuality based on genetic and environmental uniqueness.

• Patient-centered care rather than disease-focused treatment.

• Dynamic balance of internal and external factors that affect total functioning.

• Web-like interconnections among the body's physiological processes also affect every aspect of functionality.

• Health as a positive vitality, not merely the absence of disease.

• Promotion of organ reserve.

The Continuum of Health Care

(Source: Textbook of Functional Medicine, Institute for Functional Medicine)