The New Medicine, Integrative and Functional Medicine
A Look at the Ever-Changing Environment of Health Care: Part 4
By Steven Ross, DC, FASBE, DAAPM
Roger Williams, MD, coined the term “biochemical individuality.” Just as each of us has a unique face, fingerprint, and personality, our biochemistry is also unique. There are a wide variety of “normal” values found. For example, research has found that some babies require four times the vitamin B6 as others, and ranges of serum amino acids in healthy young men varied fourfold on average.
Identifying your unique biochemical needs provides a foundation for functional medicine.
Benefits of a Holistic Approach to Healing
By looking at each person as an entire being, doctors can discover various patterns and information. Often people see a variety of specialists—one for heart problems, another for gynecological problems, an internist for their general needs, and so on. For example, one man who was experiencing heart palpitations went to see a cardiologist and was put on heart medication. Then he saw his internist because he had a tremendous amount of leg cramping and was put on a muscle relaxant. Next, his psychiatrist put him on an anti-depressant for anxiety. Then the same man saw a functional medicine physician who immediately noticed that all of these symptoms could be due to a lack of magnesium. After being given magnesium and other supportive nutrients, he was able to discontinue all the other medications.
Better Health Right Now
Most people have a reoccurring health problem that can be alleviated or corrected through functional medicine. It’s common to simply learn to live with a variety of small to large health problems and limit our lives accordingly. For example, people with irritable bowel syndrome might stay home because they are unsure of their bowels. Many women with migraines don’t schedule anything during certain parts of their menstrual cycle in case a migraine comes on. And people with arthritis give up moving in certain ways or doing certain things because they can’t. This is because we have been told to just accept our limitations. In contrast, physicians working with functional medicine are realistic as well as optimistic in their approach. This is a winning combination.
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.