What is Functional Medicine?
When most people schedule an appointment with their doctor, they arrive prepared to tell the physician their symptoms and they expect to have the doctor provide a diagnosis and maybe a prescription. Functional medicine takes a different approach. Instead of looking at just symptoms and diseases, practitioners of functional medicine look at the person experiencing those problems. This different yet common-sense approach allows us to observe the whole person and all of his or her experiences instead of the linear approach of symptom to diagnosis to prescription.
At Ravenswood Chiropractic & Wellness Center, we believe that healthcare is more than handling the current manifestation of whatever symptoms a patient is experiencing. The functional medicine system allows us to provide more patient-centered medicine instead of symptom-focused treatment.
For example, a functional medicine approach will:
- Take into account the patient’s personal history, not just their medical histories.
- Possibly incorporate additional therapies like chiropractic, physical therapy, acupuncture, massage, emotional counseling and nutritional counseling along with the latest medical laboratory diagnostic testing.
- Search for the root cause of the problem rather than simply treating symptoms.
- Find a long-term solution to address the root cause.
What do we mean when we look at the patient’s personal history rather than just their medical history? Generally, our questions about a patient’s history fall into one of three main categories.
- Lifestyle. Is there any current stress the patient is experiencing? What does the patient do for a living and how does it affect their body? What is their level of activity? How much sleep do they get? What does their diet consist of?
- Environmental factors. What is the patient’s air and water quality like? What is the work and home environment like? How about their commute?
- Genetics. Is the patient predisposed to any diseases or conditions that can be helped by early detection or prevention?
The next step is to evaluate the problems and likely solutions. Using a functional medicine approach, we look at three elements and ask ourselves these questions:
- Origin. What are the root causes of the problem? Do they have to do with the patient’s lifestyle, environment, and/or their genetics?
- Treatment. What is the best possible course for alleviating the problem?
- Prevention. What can be done to keep the problem from getting worse? How can we prevent this or any related problems from happening later?
Finally, we begin to integrate solutions into the treatment. One of the reasons the functional medicine approach works so well for us is that we have so many treatment options available in our office. We may recommend one or more of the following therapies to treat the problem.
Nutritional counseling. In addition to all of the Physical Medicine treatments mentioned above, we also offer nutritional counseling. Our practitioners may suggest a variety of treatment options, such as diet changes, exercise programs, stress management and relaxation techniques, detoxification programs, and/or vitamins, minerals, or other supplements.
Don’t agonize over what to do about your pain for one moment longer. Our team at Ravenswood Chiropractic & Wellness Center is here to help you find the root cause of your pain and prepare a course of treatment for you. Call us today at 773.878.7330 to schedule an initial appointment. We’ll perform a comprehensive physical and patient history review to begin the assessment of your condition and how we can treat it with the many resources we have available for you.