Does Functional Medicine Work

Functional medicine is a type of approach to the treatment and prevention of disease that has seen its conception quite recently, but is gaining more and more popularity. The uses of functional medicine are many, but it is necessary to understand its origins, methods of use and benefits to better know if and how it can help us in everyday life.

The origins of Functional Medicine

The term "functional medicine" was coined in in the 1980’s and is therefore a relatively recent term. It is an approach that acts as a supplement to traditional medicine, a kind of bridge linking diagnostics to therapy. It does not work in the opposite way to conventional medicine, on the contrary: it becomes a help; a way to connect the various areas of care together.

Functional medicine is concerned with studying the patient's functional disorders, looking for the causes of the disorder rather than focusing on the symptoms themselves. For this reason, it focuses on the whole organism and on the latter's equilibrium situation. It is not enough to focus on a single symptom, but to consider the body in a more "holistic" way.

In the case of functional medicine in general, its main purpose is the observation of physiological and pathological phenomena and the study of anatomy and its biochemical processes, as well as the origin of diseases. All of this can help to frame the patient's illnesses in precise patterns, which connect the various parts of the body.

In the case of individual patient care, it focuses on the causes of functional disorders, allowing to connect diagnostics and therapy, based on the mechanisms that control human stress. The aim is to rebalance these negative reactions to find total balance. Functional medicine believes that the body can be regulated thanks to its natural self-regulation capacity, and therefore is able to heal best if placed in the ideal condition to be able to do so.

How does functional medicine work?

Functional medicine includes a series of interventions that allow the body to recover from the disease on its own, in different ways. It works in synergy with traditional medicine, dealing with different areas of the body, such as: the orthosympathetic and parasympathetic system, metabolic regulation and brain regulation. These areas regulate body mechanisms that contribute to the total health of the individual. By identifying unbalanced areas, you can help the patient heal earlier and heal better.

In particular, it focuses on those disorders that do not have a specific disease to refer to. It is also about all those small ailments that can be encountered at different stages of life, to which conventional medicine does not connect a precise clinical diagnosis. Examples include persistent headaches, skin disorders, debilitating menstrual pain, and so on. The causes of these disorders may not be linked to a syndrome or disease, but be the result of body imbalances: they can derive from environmental situations, bad habits, etc.

But Does it Work?

The benefits of these treatments are certainly many. The approach to the problem is holistic, and allows you to control the whole organism, as well as to cure the symptom. The treatment allows to understand the patient's physiology, in order to find the most suitable therapy for the disease and the specifics of the patient. With this therapy, unconventional forms of treatment are also often integrated, such as phytotherapy or homeopathy. It is necessary to emphasize again that these methods do not replace conventional therapy but work as a supplement to make healing faster and more complete. The integration aims to find ways in which traditional medicine and alternative medicine can meet, to create a therapy that is truly successful.

Another interesting element of functional medicine is that it views each patient as a unique individual with unique characteristics and needs. For this reason, there is no "cure for all", but everyone needs a personalized therapy that takes into account the various peculiarities of the organism. The ultimate goal is to bring the patient to a total body well-being, and to give them the right tools to continue to maintain such a state of well-being. This also includes lifestyle changes needed to prevent further ailments. Functional medicine works when the patient and provider work together and communicate.

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