Putting the I Into Health:
But, wait- there is no “I” in health. Literally that’s true, but unfortunately it is also often true metaphorically. Too often we simply place our trust in the medical system to tell us what to do, and we wait until there is a diagnosis before we take any action. To truly be healthy, and to help prevent future negative out comes, we have to embrace our own health by thinking of the future by engaging in a healthy lifestyle, preventative care, and consulting with a doctor who will collaborate with us on our health story- an integrative and functional medicine practitioner.
What is integrative and functional medicine?
Integrative and functional medicine are both approaches to healthcare that focus on treating the root cause of illness rather than just treating symptoms. According to 1, integrative medicine seeks to address the individual as a whole and applies many different therapies to achieve wellness. It uses an evidence-based approach to improve your health and wellness by believing that your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual needs affect your health. It believes those needs rely on each other and affect your entire well-being.
Functional medicine, on the other hand, focuses on creating individualized therapies tailored to treat underlying causes of illness. It uses the latest in research and nutritional and laboratory science and knowledge-gathering to further create personalized treatment plans that address the root cause of illness 2.
Integrative medicine treats the body as an interconnected whole and recognizes the importance of these connections in how your body develops and overcomes disease 3. Functional medicine treats each person as an individual with unique genetic makeup, lifestyle, and environmental factors that contribute to their health status 4. Integrative medicine has many benefits, including promoting patient self-efficacy and reducing the impact of chronic diseases. It is a combination of traditional and alternative medicine that involves putting the patient first and taking a whole-body approach to healthcare. Integrative medicine techniques support your body’s natural ability to heal, reduce stress, and promote a state of relaxation that leads to better health. It can help you achieve optimal health when you engage in your own healing and feel empowered to make lifestyle changes.
Integrative medicine is a philosophy that combines conventional and alternative techniques to improve health. Some examples of integrative medicine can include using physical therapy to complement pain management practices, healing touch therapy/bodywork for anxiety or chronic pain, diet and supplement recommendations for general health, and lifestyle interventions such as yoga and meditation to reduce stress.