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We are living at a time when chronic disease is at an all-time high. The burdens placed on individuals and the healthcare system have supported the need for a paradigm shift in medicine and healthcare delivery.
Underlying the paradigm shift has been the shift from disease-focused medicine to health & wellness, using a holistic, restorative approach to individual health.
Various organizations offer advanced formal training, fellowships & certifications for licensed health practitioners who practice functional medicine.
When selecting a health care provider it is important to inquire about the background of the practitioner, certifications, the focus of their practice, the types of services offered and length of time the practitioner has been in practice offering integrative, restorative health care services.
Integrative Health and Functional Medicine is 21st century medicine, where the emphasis is on discovering the underlying cause of illness, correcting those causes, preventing further disease, and promoting healthy longevity by using a blended approach to healthcare. Conventional approaches are blended with natural approaches of care. The framework is “person-centered” where the individual actively participates in their healthcare and works alongside the health practitioner to correct disease and promote health.
Using a person-centered approach to healthcare, the practitioner takes time to listen to you, where you share the details of your life events since childhood, and gathers information regarding your personal health, family health, nutrition status, psychoemotional history, the environment you grew up in, and other factors that effect health. Genetics, lifestyle and environmental issues are discussed as these factors also influence long term health. All self-reported information, scan results, laboratory/pathology reports, and other scientific data in conjunction with a comprehensive physical examination contribute to your unique health profile.
Your complete health profile information is used to design a written plan of care specific to your needs. The plan prioritizes steps to address your immediate health concern or illness first. Methodologies used to shift from disease to health may include the use of food as medicine, nutraceutical supplementation, strategies for healthy eating, stress management through relaxation techniques, acupuncture, massage, exercise program, yoga, psychological or other counseling, botanical or phytomedicinal use, and other modalities viewed as more natural approaches. If necessary, presciption medications are used as a secondary approach to healing and health. When the immediate health concerns are resolved, a different plan of care is designed to reflect ways to promote and maintain optimal health.