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admin 25.09.2014

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Functional medicine addresses the underlying causes of disease, using a systems-oriented approach and engaging both patient and practitioner in a therapeutic partnership. 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. In 2013, the Association of American Medical Colleges listed 120 medical specialties and sub-specialties.
Americans spend 2.5 times more on health care as people living in other developed countries. This graph compares health care costs in 13 countries in 2011, showing percentages paid by private citizens and the various governments. The World Health Organization (WHO), a specialized agency of the United Nations, was founded in 1948 to address international public health.
A state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. DISCLAIMER:  Nothing on this site or blog is intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. We use cookies and similar tools across our websites to improve their performance and enhance your user experience. Although treating symptoms makes patients feel better temporarily, looking for the underlying cause is preferable.
It is an evolution in the practice of medicine that better addresses the healthcare needs of the 21st century.
At IFM, patient-centered care is at the center 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. This approach has proved to cost a great deal and hasn’t been very successful at helping us stay healthy. The graphic below compares the 2014 costs of health care procedures and tests, along with life expectancy, in the US to four other developed nations. Since I founded The Morrison Center in 2004, the answer to this question has evolved with technology and exciting new health-enhancing treatments.Through a partnership of patient and practitioner, integrative medicine seeks to treat the whole person — body, mind, spirit, and environment — to promote health and wellness through the treatment and prevention of disease.
Western medicine is excellent for crisis care; for instance, when you break a bone, cannot breathe or are having a heart attack.

When you’re driving your car and the oil light goes on, you don’t put a Band-Aid over the oil light and drive on. 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. 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.
Functional medicine, as defined by the Institute for Functional Medicine, addresses the underlying causes of disease, using a systems-oriented approach in order to identify and try to fix imbalances in the body. But Western medicine is poor at preventing and treating chronic diseases like heart disease, arthritis or auto-immune diseases.
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.
From Wellness Workbook: How to achieve enduring health and vitality, 3rd edition, by John W.
In this way, functional medicine supports the unique expression of health and vitality for each individual. They are both practiced by licensed medical professionals; both are evidence-based, employ advanced diagnostic tests, and may use prescription medications.
We have the knowledge now to go beyond the current crisis care model and incorporate lifestyle medicine, nutrition, supplements and exercise to improve the functioning of organs as a means of preventing disease and creating vibrant, sustainable health.
Conventional medicine is excellent at addressing acute and urgent medical conditions: heart attacks, broken bones, physical trauma and acute illnesses are generally promptly diagnosed and well cared for under the conventional medical model.
Looking for the root cause, treating the underlying disturbance, and restoring balance are more important than simply treating the symptoms. We should all be comfortable going to the emergency room and putting ourselves under the care of skilled doctors, surgeons, and hospital staff.
When a plant is sick or not doing well, you don’t paint it green; you look at the soil, sun, water and nutrients. Conventional medicine has become extremely effective in developing techniques to treat these acute problems.Integrative and functional medicine differ from conventional medicine in the philosophy that guides our approach to chronic symptoms. This is exactly how I see the body, and the new Functional Medicine model looks at disease and dysfunction the same way. When a patient has experienced long-lasting or recurring symptoms, conventional medicine does not tend to address the underlying cause.
The focus is instead on the symptoms, and treatment is often geared toward turning those symptoms off.

Conventional medicine will often treat symptoms such as indigestion, bloating, poor focus, fatigue, rashes, and recurring pain with anti-inflammatory medications, acid blockers and antacids, stimulants and steroids.At The Morrison Center, we believe such ailments are best resolved by identifying and treating the underlying cause.
We do not prescribe the medication mentioned above because we believe they stop the body from responding to the real causes of the symptoms; if the underlying causes are not addressed, problems can progress and worsen.
We help guide the patient’s healing process with the belief that the body has an innate ability to heal itself.
We do everything we can to fortify the entire body with the goal of enhancing each individual’s healing process.We have learned that irritating, chronic and painful medical conditions are often the consequence of the foods we eat and the chemicals we ingest in our living and working environments. The ways we cope with stress can affect our healing responses, sometimes leading to exhaustion or burnout. Similarly, we look for the causes of problems in possible infections or parasites, chemical toxin exposures and other conditions not considered by conventional medicine. We address the stresses our patients endure in their work and personal lives, and we provide necessary treatments to address the sources and triggers of those stressors. And while we generally do not prescribe pharmaceutical products, we often recommend supplements to tailor our treatments to the unique problem our patient is experiencing.
Stress is a potent disruptor of many enzymes, hormones, and the nervous system—we recognize this, bring awareness to potential stresses, and prescribe supplements and strategies to improve a healthy balance between mind, body, and spirit.We work on the cutting edge of diagnostics and interpretations We use the latest diagnostics to look for deficiencies, which may include genetic testing when warranted.
We order lab tests seeking optimal ranges, rather than “normal” values, and we take advantage of the latest advances in medicine to personalize a treatment plan for each patient.We strive to enhance the body’s innate healing ability Many people do not require pharmaceuticals, which often have significant side effects. Where appropriate, we recommend diet, exercise, lifestyle modifications, and natural supplements.
If medication is needed, we will prescribe it, along with supplements to decrease the risk of side effects.We partner with our patients to achieve optimal health We believe the doctor and patient are equal partners in medical care. Two-way communication is hard to accomplish in the average 10-minute conventional office visit—we spend 30 and often 60 minutes with our patients.
Integrative and functional medicine build on the technological advances we have seen in conventional medicine, with a focus on prevention and helping each patient achieve optimal health and wellness.

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