In the FM model, the doctor serves as a consultant and works with the patient as an active partner in the process of recovering health and quality of life. Not only can FM help a person with a diagnosis, it can also help prevent disease, slow the aging process, and optimize health throughout a lifetime.
Functional medicine involves understanding the etiology, prevention, and treatment of complex, chronic disease. It is an integrative, science-based healthcare approach that treats illness and promotes wellness by focusing assessment on biochemically unique aspects of each patient. Treatment then involves individually tailoring interventions to restore physiological, psychological, and structural balance.
There are seven basic principles underlying the functional medicine approach:
1) Science-based medicine must connect emerging research to clinical practice.
2) Biochemical individuality means that each person is genetically and environmentally unique, which affects how one expresses both health and disease.
3) Patient-centered care means that the person is the focus of care, not the diagnosis.
4) Dynamic balance describes the ever-changing relationship between internal (mind, body and spirit) and external (physical and social environment) factors that affect total functioning.
5) Web-like interconnections among the body’s physiological processes also affect every aspect of your functionality.
6) Vitality is an important aspect of health because the we want to know: Do you feel really well, full of vitality and zest for life?
7) Promotion of organ reserve. Your organs can achieve greater stamina, recover from illness more quickly, and have a longer “health span,” not just a longer “life span.”
Using these principles, Vitality practitioners focus on understanding the fundamental physiological processes, environmental inputs, and genetic predispositions that influence every patient’s experience of health and disease.