Functional medicine is an integrative, systems biology healthcare approach that treats illness and promotes wellness by resolving the root causes of chronic health conditions. Individually tailored interventions draw from both cutting-edge science and ancestral approaches to wellness. They seek to restore physiological, biochemical, psychological, and structural balance
Lifestyle is a very big factor in health. Research estimates that 70-90% of the risk of chronic disease—such as coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, and colon cancer–is attributable to lifestyle [Willett, WC. Science, 2002:296, 695-697]. A comprehensive approach to improving your health may need to address what you eat, how you move, how you handle stress, exposure to toxins, sleep quality, and/or your relationships. People working in partnership with a functional medicine health coach make targeted lifestyle changes to improve their own health and changing the outcome of disease.
As within any other field of practice, Functional Medicine practitioners do not all operate at the same level. Some are astute, amazing healers with incredible ability to synthesize the latest research findings, accumulated clinical experience, and wisdom health traditions into profoundly effective means to reverse disease. Other practitioners, frankly, appear to excessively prescribe tests and supplements, have a limited understanding of medicine, and/or profit from people’s desperation for wellness. I admire the best of Functional Medicine and aspire to be esteemed among the former group, but I am not a blind devotee and will not direct you to the latter.