functional medicine

What is it?

Functional medicine is a dynamic approach to assessing, preventing and treating chronic disease. It addresses the underlying causes of disease using a systems-orientated approach, 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-centred focus of medical practice to a more patient-centred approach, functional medicine addresses the whole person, not just an isolated set of symptoms. This approach leads to therapies that focus on restoring health and function, rather than simply controlling signs and symptoms.

Functional medicine can therefore be characterised as going back to basics: it is concerned with the processes wherein disease originates. It looks at the patient's life story and interactions with all the 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, and the desire to make people well, not just manage symptoms.

For further information see www.functionalmedicine.org

Hippocrates (460–377 BC) is believed to have said, "It is better to know the patient who has the disease than it is to know the disease which the patient has."