Functional Medicine

Chiropractic Functional Medicine

Image Description

Many people who seek medical care do not have a clinically identifiable disease or pathology. Their problems are based in what I call “derangements or blockages in normal physiology” and present as dysfunctions in one or more organ systems that left unchecked would ultimately lead to disease and pathology. Typically these patients come to us having usually been told that everything looks normal based on the standard tests routinely run by their doctor (physical examination, urinalysis, blood tests etc.). These patients fall through the cracks of the current medical paradigm because they are neither sick from a pathological perspective (no tissue changes, no findings on diagnostic testing etc.) nor 100% well. These patients fall into a gray area of medicine and we need a different approach to be able to deal with this.

Some areas of physiology that are considered by a Functional Medicine practitioner are:

  • Nutritional deficiencies or imbalances
  • Inflammatory imbalances
  • Digestive/intestinal imbalances
  • Impaired detoxification
  • Structural and/or neurological imbalances
  • Oxidative stress
  • Immune system dysfunction
  • Hormonal and endocrine imbalances

Functional medicine practitioners know that most of our patients are by no means “normal”, but are a long way from being in a state of optimal health. Functional medicine is the way to deal with this because functional medicine is about being the ultimate medical detective.

read more

What is Functional Medicine?

What is it and why do we need it?

Functional medicine is an evolution in the practice of medicine that better addresses the healthcare needs of the 21st century. 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. 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. In this way, functional medicine supports the unique expression of health and vitality for each individual.

Why Do We Need Functional Medicine?

  • Our society is experiencing a sharp increase in the number of people who suffer from complex, chronic diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer, mental illness, and autoimmune disorders like rheumatoid arthritis.
  • The system of medicine practiced by most physicians is oriented toward acute care, the diagnosis and treatment of trauma or illness that is of short duration and in need of urgent care, such as appendicitis or a broken leg.
  • Unfortunately, the acute-care approach to medicine lacks the proper methodology and tools for preventing and treating complex, chronic disease. 
  • There’s a huge gap between research and the way doctors practice. The gap between emerging research in basic sciences and integration into medical practice is enormous—as long as 50 years— particularly in the area of complex, chronic illness. 
  • Most physicians are not adequately trained to assess the underlying causes of complex, chronic disease and to apply strategies such as nutrition, diet, and exercise to both treat and prevent these illnesses in their patients.

How is Functional Medicine Different?

What is it and why do we need it?

How is Functional Medicine Different?

Functional medicine involves understanding the origins, prevention, and treatment of complex, chronic disease. Hallmarks of a functional medicine approach include:

  • Patient-centered care. The focus of functional medicine is on patient-centered care, promoting health as a positive vitality, beyond just the absence of disease.
  • An integrative, science-based healthcare approach. Functional medicine practitioners look “upstream” to consider the complex web of interactions in the patient’s history, physiology, and lifestyle that can lead to illness. The unique genetic makeup of each patient is considered, along with both internal (mind, body and spirit) and external (physical and social environment) factors that affect total functioning. 
  • Integrating best medical practices. Functional medicine integrates traditional Western medical practices with what are sometimes considered “alternative” or “integrative” medicine, creating a focus on prevention through nutrition, diet, and exercise; use of the latest laboratory testing and other diagnostic techniques; and prescribed combinations of drugs and/or botanical medicines, supplements, therapeutic diets, detoxification programs, or stress-management techniques.

The Institute for Functional Medicine is a nonprofit educational organization
Visit us at or call us at 1-800-228-0622
©2008 The Institute for Functional Medicine