What is functional medicine?

Functional Medicine is a science based, whole systems approach that focuses on identifying and addressing the root cause of presenting symptoms or disease. The emphasis is placed not on ‘what’ the problem is but ‘why’ it has occurred in the first place.

It recognises that the body works as an integrated whole in a dynamic relationship to its environment seeks to identify lifestyle, environmental and genetic imbalances that contribute to overall long term health and the development of complex chronic disease.

The Functional medicine approach

How does it work?

A functional medicine practitioner works like a medical detective. They will take a detailed medical history, ask you to fill out questionnaires and examine blood chemistry test results. Whereas standard ranges for blood tests are used to determine a disease state or not, functional blood chemistry ranges help your practitioner identify where imbalances may exist predisposing the body to disease. Additional ‘functional testing’ may be required to narrow in further on the root cause and these can be ordered by your practitioner.

A functional medicine approach attempts to correct imbalances by providing evidence based nutritional and lifestyle interventions to optimise the body’s normal physiology to create an environment where the body can heal.

Who might benefit from Functional Medicine?

Functional Medicine does not seek to treat disease, but rather try and improve your body’s overall function. Those who tend to do well this this approach

  • Are interested in discovering the underlying cause(s) of their problems
  • Are motivated to play an active role in their own healing process
  • Don’t want to rely on unnecessary drugs and medical interventions for the rest of their lives
  • Are willing to make the necessary dietary, lifestyle and mindset changes to support health and well-being
  • Aren’t looking for a quick fix or magic pill

Because Functional Medicine places it’s focus on addressing the upstream drivers at the root of disease it may be able to help with a wide-range of health complaints including:

  • Chronic pain
  • Headaches and Migraines
  • Digestive discomfort
  • Autoimmune issues and inflammatory conditions
  • Hormonal imbalance
  • Fatigue and energy problems
  • Immune dysregulation
  • Mood disorders

How does it fit with my osteopathy consultation?

Functional medicine and osteopathy both address the root cause of the issue. A Functional medicine approach provides comprehensive nutrition and lifestyle advice as a part of your osteopathy consultation to complement your treatment and management plan.

At the end of your initial consultation you will receive a report detailing the findings of your history, blood chemistry and questionnaire analysis. Additional testing may be recommended along with preliminary lifestyle advice.

Following the initial appointment, any additional functional testing will be completed prior to your next visit. Once these results are obtained a follow up appointment can be arranged where any additional findings will be discussed and a treatment plan established.

How long will it take to get better?

This approach is not a quick fix. It requires an investment of time and energy in order to alter the environmental factors contributing to illness and allow the body time to get well.