Functional Medicine, what is it?
Functional Medicine, sometimes also referred to as integrative medicine is the practice or treatments that focus on optimal functioning of the organs and the body, usually involving holistic and/or alternative medicine.
When I designed my logo above in 2006 I tried to convey this exact meaning. The base of the triangle is Structure. Structure is right in the chiropractic breadbasket. We harp on structure and mechanics in school, understanding movement and joint patterns. It is the base, the rock so to speak for the foundation of the body. Correcting the structure only helps to correct the entire body and it's systems. The left side of the triangle is Chemical. Chemical in this case refers to the organ systems, nutrients, vitamins, hormones and all that goes into organ function. Finally Mental is the right side of the triangle. Mental refers to stress, mood, neurotransmitters and the brain. When you combine the 3 sides of the triangle you get the base for functional medicine. I further added the round circles which is the basis for the 5 element theory in acupuncture. The top circle represents Fire, as we progress clockwise (the construction cycle in traditional Chinese Medicine) we get Earth, Metal, Water and finally Wood.
The design was meant to visualize how I practice. Combining all elements of natural therapy from Chiropractic to Acupuncture, manipulation to nutritional supplementation, and stress to brain function. The point is this, I look at the entire body. A balanced system in all facets performs well.
I see many patients that have turned to me as a last resort. They have been through a ton of diagnostic testing, ruling out this and that. The missing piece is their body has not been looked at as a whole, where this function can affect that.
Short, well kinda long story about a young female patient I saw years ago. She fell off her bike, had extreme shoulder pain. She went to her MD where they x-rayed her shoulder which showed no fracture. Her Mom was at her wits end when they showed up to see me. I can't remember the exact number, but it was near 50 doctors with no result, no decrease in pain. Tests upon tests had been run, everything normal. She was even pushed to start anti-depressants and told her pain was in her head. What was missed by all these doctors before me? She hadn't been to a chiropractor, literally that would have fixed the problem. Luckily she came to see me, and it was such a simple fix. She had a subluxation of Rib 5 in the posterior of her back. I adjusted it and she felt some relief. The next day her mom calls my office and says she is almost completely out of pain for the first time in a year. This was no impressive diagnosis, just a simple one that had great impact. In this case the Structural base was off, and until that rib was adjusted back into it's normal position no amount of medicine would have helped.
In this day and age we must look into the body as a whole. We need to correlate how the organ systems work together and how they affect each other. A body that is in balance (I like the word homeostasis) is a body that can heal itself. I always tell my patients that their body is smart, it knows how to heal itself given the correct environment. My job is just that, correct the environment and watch the body heal itself. I have many techniques at my disposal, chiropractic, acupuncture, functional blood work, nutritional testing and soft tissue techniques. My goal on that initial visit is to give my patients the best treatment recommendations to get them back to optimal health.