In conventional medicine, once a diagnosis is confirmed, treatment is prescribed to “target” the disease. Functional medicine is different – it focuses on the patient with the aim of improving their health and vitality, as well as balancing organ system function. When this is done, the body can fully heal itself, thereby addressing the underlying cause. In contrast, if we merely treat the symptom but do not address the underlying imbalances, the client will never fully return to their previous state of health and will continue to deteriorate further over time, developing yet another diagnosis or requiring more and more medications.
This is the problem faced by many people who have been relying on medicine to “cure” their illness, when in fact, in most cases, medication merely treats the symptoms, with the actual cause or imbalance that led to the symptom continuing to fester under the surface causing further health deterioration.
Our Approach in NOT typical …
We spend time understanding YOU. That means “digging deep” and gaining a clear picture of your current health; as well as aspects of your past health that have led you to where you are today. It is only by understanding your unique health picture, that we can uncover the root cause (or causes) of your health imbalances. This is ‘patient-centred’ health, not the typical ‘disease-centred’ approach.
We “connect the dots” to solve your health puzzle
Chronic health problems and diseases usually takes many years to develop and generally involve many aspects of your health that are out of balance. This means we need a thorough understanding of your family history, medical history, childhood illnesses, significant stressors, current and recurrent symptoms, your environment (house/work), current lifestyle, diet and nutrition, potential toxin load, and on-going stress and support network.
We test organ “function” not just damage
To ensure you get results we can measure and assess key biomarkers for nutrition adequacy, organ function, hormone balance, immune function, gut health and inflammation. We do this both via in-clinic testing, pathology and functional lab testing. The tests that we conduct are based on what we believe will be the best test for your specific needs. We discuss the relevance of any testing we suggest and do not test “just for the sake of testing”. We believe that testing is important to ensure that we are on the right track and also to assess the effect of your treatment.
We help you become a master of your own body
Effective treatment depends heavily on education and building awareness – so that you understand your unique strengths and weaknesses, signs of body system sub-function and also your required nutritional and/or lifestyle needs.
Supplementation, functional foods and herbal medicines may also be suggested. Most importantly, we will support you to make the necessary changes at your own pace. We believe that you, the client, should be the master of your own health and should call the “shots”.
We get results
The results of functional medicine speak for themselves. Getting started may seem a bit overwhelming, as we need to take time to look deeply at your whole health picture (picture one and a half hours with your functional medicine practitioner – versus 15 minutes with your doctor).
You may also benefit from further testing and supplementation to find and address nutrient deficiencies or system imbalances; however, these costs decrease once the deficiency or cause of the imbalance has been fully addressed. We always discuss options with you, depending on your needs.
How long does treatment take?
We work with you until you are back ‘in’ balance (this generally takes between 3-6 months for most people, but can be longer or shorter). Some clients only need some dietary or lifestyle advice and then we don’t see them again for months or years, while other clients come regularly to stay on top of their health condition. The more you invest energy and awareness into your own health, the quicker you will heal and progress.
Also the changes that YOU can create in your current and long-term health can bring a new respect and wisdom for your health, that will stay with you for life!