The word heal is drawn from the proto Indo-European root kailo, meaning “whole.” At its core, functional medicine approaches the healing process through the lens of wholeness, focusing on addressing the root cause of a disease or illness rather than simply on symptom relief.
Using a strictly Western approach often perpetuates the underlying issues, causing reverberating consequences to our health. While Western medical approaches can be necessary and helpful at times, they are most effective when integrated into an approach that also examines and heals the root cause.
Our functional medicine doctor, Dr. Sadi Jimenez, offers whole-person interventions that can integrate Western medicine as needed while also ensuring the root cause is healed, creating a sustainable approach to wellness.
Within the functional medicine framework, each symptom or diagnosis is seen as an arrow, pointing us at the root issue so that we can address the many factors contributing to an individual’s overall health.
Seeing the body as an interconnected system that webs together physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health, functional medicine aims to identify and treat the underlying cause that led to the manifestation of the symptom, rather than treating the symptom as an isolated event.
In essence: we are whole human beings, and thus, medicine can be approached holistically.
Functional medicine exists at the intersection of a variety of methods available to treat patients who are struggling with their health, synthesizing integrative medicine, Western medicine, nutrition therapy, and alternative medicine—just to name a few. While functional medicine does incorporate conventional medicine when necessary, it strives to use natural remedies as a first line approach to treatment.
In contrast to other medicinal approaches, functional medicine qualifies health within a holistic model. A healthy life is not simply limited to a life without physical illness: It is one that radiates vitality and is ultimately aligned with our deepest sense of joy, gratitude, and understanding.
Treatment through Functional Medicine
A core philosophy within functional medicine is that when we are empowered to understand our own bodies, it has an extraordinarily positive impact on our health. As such, our functional medicine doctor, Dr. Sadi, believes in establishing a collaborative partnership with patients on their journey through treatment, empowering them through knowledge and integrating their insight and individuality into their treatment approach.
Doctors who practice functional medicine will encourage patient input on the treatment plan because they recognize the person needs to feel fully on board with the plan in order to implement it. Ultimately, functional medicine doctors believe that we are the drivers of our own bodies. It’s important that the health choices we make are aligned with our best interests, and that includes our wants and desires.
As a holistic practitioner, Dr. Sadi will take into account the full scope of the patient’s physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health. When examining treatment options, they will consider factors such as diet, genetics, hormonal changes, prescription and over the counter medications, and other components of their lifestyle.
A functional medicine doctor may ask about:
- Health history
- Timeline of symptoms
- Sleep patterns
- Exercise habits
- Personal relationships
- Emotional wellbeing
- Hormone Levels
Functional medicine doctors understand that every person is different and has different needs to consider when developing a treatment plan. Progress of treatment is carefully tracked so that adjustments can be made when new information about the patient’s health comes to light.
With functional medicine, the treatments given are based on the systems affected, not the condition diagnosed. For example, depression is a complex diagnosis as it may have multiple causes. A functional medicine doctor will research and treat each cause, leading to a hyper-personalized treatment approach that integrates gut health, anti-inflammatory interventions and potentially other adjunctive services such as neurofeedback or cognitive behavioral or somatic therapy based on the person’s specific needs. Because this approach is so involved, it is common to spend more time with a functional medicine provider than one would with a primary care physician and meet with them every two weeks for several months until optimal wellness is achieved.
Benefits of Functional Medicine
Functional medicine offers alternative and holistic treatments such as food therapy, botanical medicine, lifestyle changes, acupuncture, meditation, bioidentical hormones, or a personalized supplement regimen. The healthcare experience is customized for each individual patient. A functional medicine doctor will work to figure out which treatments and modalities meet the patient’s specific needs.
Typically, functional medicine offers longer appointments because doctors spend more time gathering each patient’s detailed history.
What Makes Functional Medicine Different?
The body is a network of interconnected systems, and the methodologies found within the functional medicine practice acknowledge this interconnectedness. The world is experiencing a dramatic increase in the amount of people struggling with complex and chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes, autoimmune disorders, ADHD, autism and mental health issues. Conventional medicine often treats patients rather than heals them.
Functional medicine aims to heal.
Using a variety of research proven methods, functional medicine practitioners work to identify and treat the root cause of an illness or pain. This approach does not dismiss the practices of conventional medicine. Rather, it integrates Western medicine with other approaches that have long-standing histories in healing knowledge and practice. It provides an extensive evaluation of all the contributing factors affecting a patient’s health so as to take a holistic view of the healing process.
Functional medicine teachings can be applied to any original field of practice. In addition to traditional medical school training, many functional medicine doctors choose to get additional certifications to train in working within this modality. A functional medicine certification is also open to other types of practitioners like acupuncturists, dentists, nurse practitioners, and more.
The cornerstones of functional medicine are:
- Patient-centered care
- Integrative, science-based methodology
- Integrating best medical practices from multiple disciplines
Our Functional Medicine Specialties
- Female hormones and testing; such as painful periods, dysmenorrhea, endometriosis
- Weight gain during perimenopause
- Hormone replacement therapy
- Testosterone therapy for men
- Post-COVID syndrome
- Sleep disturbances
- Food sensitivity testing
- Female hormone testing
- Microbiome testing
WANT TO TALK? SPEAK WITH A FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE DOCTOR NOW
If you have any questions, contact one of our specialists for a free consultation any time.