Functional medicine seeks to identify and address the underlying causes of disease and health complaints rather than simply treating symptoms. It employs a system-oriented approach where both the patient and practitioner are engaged in a therapeutic partnership. In functional medicine the body is viewed as an integrated system rather than a collection of separate organs. At Luminary Integrated Health we combine nutritional therapy, herbal medicine, supplements, stress management, detoxification, lifestyle changes, as well as prescription medications when needed to restore optimal function and proper balance in your body.
WHY DO WE NEED FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE?
As a society we are experiencing an increase in the number of people who suffer from complex, chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer, mental illness, and autoimmune disorders like RA and lupus.
The way most practitioners practice medicine is oriented towards more acute care which is the diagnosis and treatment of trauma or illness that is short in duration and requires immediate attention (like a broken bone or a severe infection). Treatment options typically include applying specific, prescribed treatments such as medications or surgery that aim to treat the immediate symptoms or problem.
This acute care approach does nothing toward preventing and treating complex, chronic disease. It often does not take into account the uniqueness of each individual or environmental factors that influence the rise of chronic disease.
HOW IS FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE DIFFERENT?
Functional medicine seeks to understand the origin, prevention, and treatment of complex, chronic disease.
In Functional Medicine the focus is on:
Patient-centered care. The goal is the promotion of health beyond simply the absence of disease. By working as a team, the patient and the practitioner address the unique needs of the individual and adapts treatment to suit them.
An integrative, science-based approach. Functional medicine practitioners consider the complex interactions of the patient’s history, physiology, and lifestyle. Both internal (mind, body, and spirit) and external (physical and social environment) factors are taken into consideration.
Integrating best medical practices. Functional medicine blurs the lines between traditional Western medical practices and “alternative” or “integrative” medicine. This creates a focus on prevention through nutrition, exercise, and lab testing and prescribed combinations of medications, botanical medicines, supplements, therapeutic diets, detoxification programs, and stress-management techniques.
The Functional Medicine practitioners at Luminary Integrated Health consider all of the systems in the body to be interconnected, not as individual, separate systems. Many factors go into an assessment by a functional medicine practitioner, including:
Environmental: The air you breathe, the water you drink, the diet you eat and the quality of food available to you, your level of physical activity, and the toxic exposures or traumas you have experienced.
Mind-body: Psychological, spiritual, and social factors all have a profound influence on your health. Looking at these areas helps the Functional Medicine practitioner see your health in the context of you as a whole person, not just as a product of your physical symptoms.
Genetic makeup: The presence of individual genes might make you more likely to develop certain diseases, your DNA a dynamic structure. New research shows that your genes may be influenced by everything in your environment, as well as your experiences, attitudes, and beliefs. This is exciting because it means that it is possible to change the way genes are activated and expressed.