Functional medicine is a holistic and comprehensive approach to healthcare that seeks to address the root cause of your condition and achieve improvement or a cure. It looks at the whole person, not just a few immediate symptoms. It is a patient-centered therapy that seeks vitality and resilience for the patient, not simply an absence of disease.
When you work with a functional medicine doctor such as Hong Kong’s Dr. Susan Jamieson, you typically spend more time than you do with a conventional doctor. With a functional medicine doctor, you work in partnership to explore your detailed personal and family history, including the circumstances around your first symptoms, as well as other life experiences that may have contributed to your condition.
Of course, physical examination, blood tests, urine tests, and other forms of traditional diagnosis are used by functional medicine doctors, but they are also more likely to ask you about diet and nutrition, life stresses, sleep, and other factors that can affect your health. Many functional medicine doctors, such as Dr. Jamieson, may suggest genetic testing to help understand predispositions to certain conditions.
A genetic test does not tell you that you will get a certain disease, but it indicates areas in which you may be more susceptible to certain types of health problems.
Here is Dr. Mark Hyman discussing functional medicine at TEDMED:
Learn more about the practice of functional medicine.
Treating Chronic Disease
Chronic disease accounts for the majority of healthcare spending, as well as huge costs and quality of life. It is influenced by a number of factors including:
- poor nutrition
- sedentary lifestyles
- chronic stress
- genetic predisposition
- environmental toxicity
- fragmented social networks
- chronic infections
- aging populations
Unlike traditional medical practice, functional medicine examines these factors in the context of the patient’s health to reduce the causes of chronic disease.
The Functional Medicine Approach to Treatment
When you work with a functional medicine doctor, you will be asked for your help in implementing a treatment plan. Functional medicine practitioners do not typically reach for the prescription pad alone.
A functional medicine approach doesn’t only attempt to alleviate immediate symptoms. Instead, it incorporates the latest understandings in genetic science, nutrition, systems biology and integrates them with an understanding of environmental and lifestyle factors. It is personalized medicine at its best.
Changes in your lifestyle, stressors, what you eat, physical activity, and removing your exposure to potentially toxic substances may be explored. Reducing stress, nutritional supplementation, and even attitudes and beliefs may be explored.
Alternative therapies fit very well with the functional medicine approach, and herbal medicine, acupuncture, and other therapies may be suggested. One of the reasons why Dr. Jamison’s integrative health practice has been so successful in treating challenging conditions is because we offer many excellent alternative therapies here in our practice.
Our goal is to return you to your optimum state of functional health.