Functional Medicine is a patient-centered, holistic (whole-body) healthcare practice that considers how genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors interact to affect health and/or contribute to chronic disease.
In contrast to the disease-centered, acute-care model of traditional 20th-century medicine, Functional Medicine emphasizes the empowerment of patients and collaborative, comprehensive care. Practitioners of Functional Medicine — including physicians, chiropractors, nurses, dentists, dieticians, acupuncturists, nutritionists, and others who have completed additional training courses — seek to determine and address the causes of chronic disease before they impact the client’s well-being.
Visits with a practitioner of Functional Medicine usually last longer than a conventional doctor’s visit. In addition to performing a physical examination and requesting laboratory tests, the practitioner will ask the client numerous questions about his/her mental, spiritual, family, and physical history. Some specialized testing, such as genetic testing or assessments of hormone levels, may incur costs in addition to the price of the visit.
Functional Medicine is used to prevent and treat chronic diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer, mental illness, and arthritis.