In conventional medicine, the aim is to diagnose a condition, so that treatment can be prescribed to “target” the disease.
Functional medicine is different – it is patient focused, not purely disease focused.
The aim of functional medicine is to improve the client’s health and vitality but addressing underlying health and organ imbalances, so the body can fully heal. In contrast, conventional medicine often focuses on treating the symptoms (e.g. anti-acid medications for heartburn) but do not address the underlying imbalances (e.g. food intolerance), this means that the client will feel better on the medication initially but will never fully return to their previous state of health. Over time, their health will continue to deteriorate resulting in more symptoms and medications.
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.
We “connect the dots” to solve your health puzzle
Chronic health problems and diseases usually take 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 as well as your environment (home and 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 via symptom review, in-clinic testing, general 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, recognise signs of body system sub-function as well as 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. This involves completion of comprehensive Functional Medicine Appraisal Questionnaires, as well as a thorough initial consultation (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, which can taken anywhere form a couple of months, to a couple of years, depending on your condition and commitment. For example, some clients only need some dietary or lifestyle advice and a quick health appraisal, then we don’t see them again until they are ready for a health reassessment; while other clients come regularly to ensure that their health condition is thoroughly addresses. The more you invest energy and awareness into your own health, the quicker and better your results.