WHAT IS FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE

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-centred focus of medical practice to a more patient centred 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.

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-centred 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.

FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE PRACTITIONERS PROMOTE WELLNESS BY FOCUSING ON THE FUNDAMENTAL UNDERLYING FACTORS THAT INFLUENCE EVERY PATIENT’S EXPERIENCE OF HEALTH AND DISEASE.

The Institute for Functional Medicine teaches practitioners how to assess the patient’s
status relating to modifiable lifestyle factors and fundamental clinical imbalances through careful history taking, physical examination, and laboratory testing. The Functional Medicine practitioner will consider multiple factors, including:
  • Environmental inputs – The air you breathe and the water you drink, the particular diet you eat, the quality of the food available to you, your level of physical activity, and toxic exposures or traumas you have experienced all affect your health.
  • Mind-body connections – Psychological, spiritual, and social factors all can have a profound influence on your health. Considering these areas helps the Functional Medicine practitioner see your health in the context of you as a whole person, not just your physical symptoms.
  • Genetic makeup – Although individual genes may make you more susceptible to some diseases, your DNA is not an unchanging blueprint for your life. Emerging research shows that your genes may be influenced by everything in your environment, as well as your experiences, attitudes and beliefs. That means it is possible to change the way genes are activated and expressed.
Through assessment of these underlying causes and triggers of dysfunction, the Functional Medicine practitioner is able to understand how key processes are affected. These are the body’s processes that keep you alive. Some occur at the cellular level and involve how cells function, repair, and maintain themselves. These processes are related to larger functions, such as:
  • how your body rids itself of toxins
  • regulation of hormones and neurotransmitters
  • immune system function
  • digestion and absorption of nutrients and the health of the digestive tract
  • structural integrity
  • psychological and spiritual equilibrium
  • how you produce energy
  • inflammatory responses
 
All of these processes are influenced by environmental factors and your genetic make-up; when they are disturbed or imbalanced, they lead to symptoms, which can lead to disease if effective interventions are not applied.
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NIJEN AKSEL BSc MBA MNIMH IFM GAPS

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24 Rankin Avenue

Edinburgh EH9 3DB

PHONE: 07809 557 501

EMAIL:nijen@edinburghherbalist.com 

 

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Edinburgh Herbalist now offers Functional Medicine Nutritional Packages and GAPS Nutrition Package. Call for more information.