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WHAT IS FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE

Functional Medicine is an innovative approach to health.  It is a proactive, personalised, integrated model that empowers you to achieve the highest expression of health by working collaboratively to address and prevent the underlying causes of disease.  Sounds pretty amazing, doesn’t it. And it is! 
The Functional Medicine Tree

The Functional Medicine Tree

Functional Medicine looks at the whole body and all it's systems.

Functional Medicine addresses the underlying causes of disease, using a systems-oriented approach that places the patient in the center of their health choices. It is an evolution in the practice of medicine that better addresses the healthcare needs of the 21st century as well as providing a solution to lifestyle-related chronic diseases.

It looks at all your nutrition, environment & lifestyle choices as a foundation to your health and how these choices impact on your DNA and biochemistry.

All body systems are linked

All body systems are linked

This graphic illustrates how a diagnosis can be the result of more than one cause. For example, depression can be caused by many different factors, including inflammation. Likewise, a cause such as inflammation may lead to a number of different diagnoses, including depression. The precise manifestation of each cause depends on the person's unique genes + nutrition, environment and lifestyle choices. Only treatments that address the right cause will have a lasting benefit beyond symptom suppression.

A few Functional Medicine principles

Focuses on health rather than disease

Health is not just the absence of disease, but instead a state of immense vitality. The main aim is to achieve optimal wellness and prevent chronic disease.

Recognises that we are all genetically and biochemically unique 

We don’t all need the same treatment, same medicine, or same dose of medicine. You need to manage your unique genetic code and your biochemical individuality with the guidance of your healthcare practitioner/s.

Participation

While Functional Medicine is deeply science-based and utilises the latest, advanced lab testing technologies, it is also big on the human factor - you’re encouraged to be actively involved in this process. 

You are the focus; not your disease or your doctor. Your body is intelligent and has the ability to heal and prevent nearly all the diseases of ageing. Functional Medicine supports the normal healing mechanisms of our body, naturally, rather than just attacking the disease directly.

A preventative approach, not an early detection approach

True prevention starts by detecting and correcting tiny imbalances in your biochemistry, sometimes many years before you see chronic disease ‘fruit’ as physical symptoms. Early detection, however, just encourages you to constantly scan your physical body for ‘fruit’. In many cases, this might be too late.   

Looks at a person holistically and not as only separate systems

The latest research shows us that everything that happens inside our body is connected via a complex network. We are not made up of separate systems, like our respiratory or gastrointestinal system, that don't communicate with each other but rather an integrated network where something that affects one part of the network, can ripple through to other parts of the network.

Incorporates which circles your join around your DNA

It cares which nutrition, environment and lifestyle choices are you making because these choices can lead to ‘tags’ being added to the outside of your genome (your complete DNA code). All these tags are called your epigenome and they can change the way your genome expresses itself - these tags can turn chronic disease on or off.

JoinCircles

A person-centered approach

Functional Medicine practitioners work with the person to find the most appropriate and acceptable treatment plan to correct, balance and optimize the fundamental underlying issues in the realms of mind, body, and spirit. Beginning with a detailed and personalized history, the person is welcomed into the process of exploring their story and the potential causes of their health issues. The person and their healthcare practitioner work together to determine the diagnostic process, set achievable health goals, and design an appropriate therapeutic approach.

Instead of asking “What medication matches up with this disease?”, Functional Medicine asks the vital questions that very few conventional doctors ask: “Why do you have this problem in the first place?”, “Why are you not functioning optimally?” and “What can you do to help your body function optimally?”

- Dr. Heidi

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