The New Medicine, Integrative and Functional Medicine
A Look at the Ever-Changing Environment of Health Care: Part 2
By Steven Ross, DC, FASBE, DAAPM
This new approach to healthcare is based on helping your body—your whole being—work in harmony. By contrast, conventional medicine compartmentalizes the body into specialties: liver doctors, bone doctors, heart doctors, mind doctors, and so on. With the functional method of diagnosis and treatment, all systems are linked and relationships between them explored. Many diverse fields contribute to this process, including genetics, herbal medicine, nutrition, acupuncture, ayurvedic medicine or ayurveda, environmental toxicology, endocrinology, chiropractic, gastroenterology, psychology, and immunology.
Briefly defined, functional diagnostic medicine:
- Is patient-centered, based on each person’s unique needs.
- Aims to balance the patient’s functional systems.
- Integrates physical, mental, and emotional health.
- Uses scientific laboratory and diagnostic tests to pinpoint underlying causes.
- Focuses on outcomes versus controlling or suppressing symptoms.
- Emphasizes lifestyle changes, benchmark and follow-up testing.
As you delve further into these blogs/articles, you’ll understand what this holistic approach really means to gain optimal health, rather than absence from disease. You’ll see that integrative and functional medicine not only looks at how you’re “doing” and “feeling” but more important, it looks at how you’re “functioning.”
You won’t be told, “it’s all in your head.” Its practitioners are interested in all of you—your well-being, what you eat, your work environment, your hobbies, your relationships, and how you communicate with others, how you relax and play, the medications you’ve taken, what chemicals you may have been exposed to, and how well your digestive system functions.
Interested in learning more? See Dr. Ross’ course here.
Dr. Steven Ross, DC, FASBE, DAAPM is the President and Co-Founder of Advanced Med Academy. He is a licensed doctor of chiropractic since 1982, a diplomat of the American Academy of Pain Management, a Fellow of The American Academy of Applied Spinal Biomechanical Engineering (A.S.B.E.), and an affiliate physician of the Chopra Center in La Costa, California. He runs a functional medicine practice in San Diego, California.