What is Functional Medicine? 

by Lisa Irving
Functional Medicine

Photo by Natasha Spencer on Unsplash

If you have never heard about Functional Medicine then the most important thing you should know about it is that it never works on the surface but rather puts its main focus on finding the root cause of any health condition you might be struggling with. 

It is very personalised and uses a structured process to uncover the significant life events of each patient's history to gain a better understanding of who they are as an individual. Functional Medicine practitioners look closely at the myriad of interactions among genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors that can influence long-term health and complex, chronic disease.

A major premise of Functional Medicine is that, with science, clinical wisdom, and innovative tools, we can identify many of the underlying causes of chronic disease and intervene to remedy the clinical imbalances, even before overt disease is present. 

This preventative and very caring model of healthcare evolved over the last 30 years from the insights and perspectives of a small group of influential and highly motivated thought leaders in the medical profession (Dr Jeffrey Bland and Dr Mark Hyman in particular) who realised the importance of an individualised approach to disease causes based on the evolving research in nutritional science, genomics, and epigenetics. 

Using low-risk interventions that help modify molecular and cellular systems of the body, functional medicine practitioners help reverse potential drivers of disease while also alleviating existing symptoms and discomfort. And in the process empowering the patients to take control of their health and together correct, balance, and optimise the fundamental underlying issues in the realms of mind, body, and spirit. 

It is always wonderful to see how well thought out lifestyle interventions are able to reverse "dis-ease", putting the body into its natural state of homeostasis - a dynamic equilibrium within our cells that helps us maintain the optimal functions of our body in any kind of environments and situations.  It seems like being able to thrive in any kind of adversity is a true super power and functional medicine certainly equips us with skills to achieve that.