Functional Medicine: What is IS and What it ISN’T

Functional medicine is a practice that is slowly trickling into the mainstream, yet many people are unaware of what it actually is. And often, when people hear of alternative approaches to conventional medicine it is written off as “hippie” or contradictory to modern science. We’d like to take a moment to address some of the misconceptions you may have about functional medicine and support why it is the future of healthcare.

1) MYTH: Functional medicine as an alternative medicine is simply that…an alternative

The phrase “alternative medicine” may conjure up images of yogic poses, herbal potions, and burning incense. Which can be an alternative medicine for some. But functional medicine as alternative medicine approaches sickness and disease by looking deeper within for the answers to your health problems. If a person is suffering from a recurrent condition like allergies, IBS, infertility, headaches, or chronic pain, there is clearly something in the body that is not functioning properly. A traditional medical doctor will prescribe a particular pill or treatment to alleviate the associated symptoms whereas a functional doctor will want to know why you are feeling the way you are and get to the root cause. Is there a nutritional deficiency? Is it environmental, as in exposure to allergens, or is it chemical like exposure to toxins? Functional medicine seeks to restore the person as a whole.

2) MYTH: Functional medicine is not rooted in science

“Natural cures” can easily get dismissed as old wives tales or superstitions but our bodies have been given the remarkable ability to heal themselves and can do it with the tools given to us in nature. That alone has been proven to us through science! Doctors and scientists alike research all types of alternative treatments and it is through scientific principles and advanced diagnostic tests that functional doctors are able to find the root cause of a patient’s problems.

3) MYTH: Functional medicine is against the use of conventional medicine

Let’s say you get a headache every day and take a painkiller to help with the pain. Who doesn’t want an instant cure to the ailment they’re experiencing? But how long is that pill going to do the job before it wreaks havoc on another system in your body? Painkillers have links to addiction, depression, heart conditions, and a host of other risks. Do you really know what you’re signing up for? In addition to finding the root cause of your illness, the goal of a functional doctor is to correct the problem thus resulting in diminishing your dependence on a potentially harsh medication. You can trust that a credible practitioner of functional medicine will work with you and your medical doctor to make the choices that best suit your needs.

If you want to learn more, this video features clients of the Livewell Clinic who have come with their own issues and left with life-changing results.

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