What is Functional Medicine? How do I know the Functional Healing or Functional Medicine approach is right for me?
Functional medicine is, simply put, root cause medicine. Outside training and certifications are usually obtained to identify the underlying causes of symptoms and conditions. Most training via conventional schooling does not include this. If you have been to your primary care or specialty care provider it is possible you did not hear anything about Functional Medicine concepts. One explanation is that functional medicine training is different from conventional medicine training. Not better; just different.
The Functional Healing approach may not be for everyone. I think it is the ideal approach for most chronic conditions, but in order for someone to get the most of their experience they need to be ready. Below are some guidelines for helping to determine if you are appropriate and ready:
You are looking for answers. You have already either sought care through the conventional/typical medicine setting or you already know that setting does not align with your healing goals.
You are ready to make hard changes. You recognize that there are improvements that can be made in your diet, activity level and/or personal habits. You are willing to trial elimination of certain foods, drinks and habits.
You are willing to think outside the box. You are open minded and willing to try new things. You are never expected to do something you do not feel comfortable with, but being willing to look into new ideas helps a lot.
You are ready to dedicate resources to your healing journey. This includes time, energy and money. You are ready to research conditions or infections discussed. You understand that this approach requires out of pocket expenses consistently for a period of time. Usually months to years. Expect to work on healing for multiple years if you have been unwell for a while.
You are ready to take personal responsibility for your healing journey. You understand that the hard work will come from you. There will be support and guidance, but all the action based recommendations will have to be completed by you.
You want a partner in your healing journey. You expect to work together to come up with a plan. It is always your decision and you need to be comfortable with the plan.
If after reading the above you feel ready for a Functional Medicine or Functional Healing approach, you are in luck! There are many options out there. You can do a search for local or telehealth providers. If you live in Colorado, Texas, Minnesota or Wisconsin, check out my website to see if working with me might be a good fit. There are also many resources on the Institute of Functional Medicine Patient Resource Center website (https://www.ifm.org/functional-medicine/patient-resource-center/ )to help you get started with lifestyle changes today. No matter what path to Functional Healing you choose, I truly wish you the best on your journey!