What Is Functional Medicine (And How Does It Work)?

Have you ever been to the doctor, finished the examination, and heard the doctor say after looking at your test results, “Well, looks like everything’s normal. I’m really not sure why you aren’t feeling well”?

The goal of functional medicine is to change the approach to medicine, so problems like this don’t exist anymore. Instead of just looking at symptoms and diseases and then running tests in a piecemeal fashion, functional medicine recognizes that a symptom is just the outward manifestation of a more comprehensive underlying problem. In other words, doctors who practice functional medicine are patient-focused more than disease-focused. They look at the whole person instead of labeling them with whatever disease they’re battling. 

The team at Balance WellSpace in Roanoke takes just this approach to your care. Read on for more about how their philosophy brings you better results.

What is functional medicine?

According to the Institute for Functional Medicine, doctors who practice functional medicine take a systems biology-based approach that focuses on the root cause of disease rather than just the symptoms. A symptom can be caused by more than one thing, so the precise working out of each cause depends on each person’s genetics, their environment, and their lifestyle.

To achieve results that last beyond the time a prescription runs out, you must address the root cause of whatever the issue is. To do this, functional medicine doctors look for unifying factors at your body’s cellular and systems levels. These factors underlie everything else the body does, so they must be addressed to result in any lasting change.

How does functional medicine work?

Because functional medicine focuses on overall health, it is an effective approach for dealing with chronic diseases. It also works well for those who want to be proactive in preventing diseases from occurring in the first place.

The idea is to harness the body’s own power to heal itself by giving the body what it needs to create health. This means functional medicine is patient-centered. No two patients are exactly the same, so no one gets exactly the same treatments. 

Functional medicine is also comprehensive, which means doctors employ techniques from many different disciplines to improve your health. This can include anything from a chiropractic approach to nutrition to exercise. 

It can also include comprehensive blood testing to look for foundational causes of illnesses and possibly even detect health problems before they become an issue. The lab work can show exactly how far a disease has progressed, and it can show any nutritional shortcomings that need to be addressed.

Functional medicine also requires complete cooperation between the doctor and the patient. The doctor’s job is to diagnose, educate, and treat the patient. The patient’s job is to actually follow the treatment as prescribed by the doctor.

Functional medicine is the perfect approach to medicine in today’s world because it supports the idea that everyone is unique and will express their health in many different ways. To get started exploring your health from a functional medicine perspective, contact the team at Balance Wellspace. They will be glad to set up an appointment, so you can get started building a healthy foundation for the rest of your life!

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