Functional Medicine

An abundance of research now supports the view that the human body functions as an orchestrated network of interconnected systems, rather than individual systems functioning autonomously and without effect on each other.

Functional medicine is a science-based field of health care, grounded in the following principles:

Functional medicine is anchored by an examination of the core clinical imbalances that underlie various disease conditions. Those imbalances arise as environmental inputs such as diet, nutrients (including air and water), exercise, and trauma, all processed by one’s body, mind, and spirit through a unique set of genetic predispositions, attitudes, and beliefs.

The fundamental physiological processes include communication, both outside and inside the cell; bioenergetics, or the transformation of food into energy; replication, repair, and maintenance of structural integrity, from the cellular to the whole body level; elimination of waste; protection and defense; and transport and circulation.

The core clinical imbalances that arise from malfunctions within this complex system include:

Imbalances such as these are the precursors to the signs and symptoms by which we detect and label (diagnose) organ system disease.

Improving balance — in the patient’s environmental inputs and in the body’s fundamental physiological processes — is the precursor to restoring health and it involves much more than treating the symptoms. Functional medicine is dedicated to improving the management of complex, chronic disease by intervening at multiple levels to address these core clinical imbalances and to restore each patient’s functionality and health.

Functional medicine is not a unique and separate body of knowledge. It is grounded in scientific principles and information widely available in medicine today. It combines research from various disciplines into highly detailed yet clinically relevant models of disease pathogenesis and effective clinical management.

Functional medicine emphasizes a process of integrating a diverse range of information as a body of knowledge that focuses on functionality at many levels, rather than a single treatment for a single diagnosis.

Functional medicine uses the patient’s story as a key tool for integrating diagnosis, signs and symptoms, and evidence of clinical imbalances into a comprehensive approach for improving both the patient’s environmental inputs and his or her physiological function. It is a clinician’s discipline, one that directly addresses the need to transform the practice of primary care.