Functional Medicine addresses the underlying causes of disease, using a systems-oriented approach and engaging both patient and practitioner in a therapeutic partnership. It is an evolution in the practice of medicine that better addresses the healthcare needs of the 21st century. By shifting the traditional disease-centered focus of medical practice to a more patient-centered approach, Functional Medicine addresses the whole person, not just an isolated set of symptoms. Functional Medicine practitioners spend time with their patients, listening to their histories and looking at the interactions among genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors that can influence long-term health and complex, chronic disease. In this way, Functional Medicine supports the unique expression of health and vitality for each individual.
How Functional Medicine Changes the Way We do Medicine:
Functional Medicine offers a powerful new operating system and clinical model for assessment, treatment, and prevention of chronic disease to replace the outdated and ineffective acute-care models carried forward from the 20th century.
Functional Medicine incorporates the latest in genetic science, systems biology, and understanding of how environmental and lifestyle factors influence the emergence and progression of disease.
Functional Medicine enables physicians and other health professionals to practice proactive, predictive, personalized medicine and empowers patients to take an active role in their own health.
Six Core Principles
A patient-centered approach refers to health care that is respectful of and responsive to individual patient preferences, needs, and values, and that ensures that patient values guide all clinical decisions. At IFM, patient-centered care is the core of what we call the therapeutic partnership; the relationship that forms between a patient and clinician that empowers the patient to take ownership of their own healing. The power of the therapeutic partnership comes from the idea that patients who are active participants in the development of their therapeutic plan feel more in control of their own well-being and are more likely to make sustained lifestyle changes to improve their health.
Click here to read more about Functional Medicine at FunctionalMedicine.org.