Conventional medicine has done a good job with acute care, but the results have been less impressive when it comes to chronic conditions. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, half of all adult Americans now have at least one long-term, complex condition such as heart disease or diabetes.
With this in mind, it’s understandable that more patients and physicians are searching for alternatives, such as functional medicine. While a typical office visit often consists of finding a drug to match a disease, functional medicine addresses the underlying causes in order to maximize overall well-being.
If that sounds good to you, learn more about functional medicine. Take a closer look at this new approach and how you can benefit.
Introduction to Functional Medicine
1. Understand the definition.
Functional medicine treats the whole person rather than isolated symptoms. It encourages a partnership between patients and their health care team. It focuses on enhancing wellness rather than reducing illness.
2. Learn the origin.
The movement started about 30 years ago with a biochemist named Jeffrey Bland. Today, more than 100,000 doctors, nurses, and other health professionals specialize in functional medicine. In fact, the concept is now being introduced into the curriculum at leading medical schools.
3. Assess the impact.
News about functional medicine is starting to spread. Its advocates include Dr. Oz and former U.S. President Bill Clinton. Many patients report getting more relief from arthritis and other conditions after a few months of functional medicine compared to years of conventional procedures.
How to Benefit from Functional Medicine
1. Develop a partnership.
Functional medicine encourages collaboration between doctors and patients. Ensure that treatment decisions reflect your personal values.
2. Adjust your lifestyle.
Take advantage of the increased emphasis on lifestyle factors. Care for yourself with adequate sleep, exercise, and nutrition. Manage emotional stress and cultivate close relationships.
3. Acknowledge genetics.
Family history is also vital. Talk with your relatives to get insights into potential health risks. Share the information with your doctor.
4. Rely on science.
Rest assured that functional medicine incorporates both the science and the art of medicine. Access the prescription drugs and surgery you may need while you explore other aspects of health care.
5. Investigate your environment.
Are you exposed to substances that affect your health? Functional medicine may give you a fresh perspective on how to clear up your allergies or skin rashes.
6. Spot connections.
Effective therapy acknowledges the complicated relationships between your body and mind. Weak abdominal muscles can lead to a sore back. Anxiety can upset your stomach or make your heart pound.
7. Be proactive.
Head off trouble before it starts. Wearing sunscreen protects you from skin cancer. Building strong bones reduces fractures in old age.
8. Receive personalized care.
Be treated like an individual rather than a set of symptoms that can all be cured the same way. Your sore throat may just go away or you may need to have your tonsils removed.
9. Save money.
You may be able to spend less while living better. A daily walk costs less than prescription drugs. It may also help you manage your weight and lower your blood pressure.
10. Work with your body.
Best of all, functional medicine honors your body’s natural healing mechanisms. You can benefit from the latest medical breakthroughs along with natural techniques like rest, meditation, and deep breathing.
Enhance your long term well-being by making positive lifestyle changes and taking an active role in your medical care. Functional medicine can help you live a longer, healthier life.
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I really wanted to talk about this topic today because your natural health and wellness is important. You can adopt healthy lifestyle practices that improve your health and enrich your life, which can in turn improve the lives of those close to you. You have the power to break the cycle of poor health, including chronic disease, so that you can leave a legacy of health to your loved ones.
I use functional medicine and lifestyle medicine as the first line of treatment, before medications, to treat lifestyle-related chronic diseases. Lifestyle-related chronic diseases include diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and some cancers, just to name a few. Lifestyle practices, such as eating a whole-food plant-based diet and regular physical activity, can help you lose weight, and maybe reverse some chronic diseases (if you suffer from them). In certain cases, these approaches may even outperform pharmaceutical therapy. But I always tell my patients that conventional medications may be appropriate at this time to prevent catastrophic illness, but over time, you can work to make the necessary lifestyle changes to possibly reduce and/or eliminate medications. Please remember to always consult your physician for your particular needs and circumstances prior to making any decisions whatsoever.
Is Dietary Supplementation Right For You?
For some people, vitamin and mineral supplements offer important health benefits. Supplements are designed to fight deficiencies found in our diet and complement the food we eat regularly. Supplements are basically “helping hands” to our daily food.
If you suspect that you aren’t getting the nutrients you need, consider shifting your focus from supplements to eating better.
But it is very important to note that we are not eating the same foods we ate years ago because the soils have been depleted of critical nutrients through current industrial farming practices. And because the soil is not as good as it used to be, the food supply (grown from the depleted soil) is not as good as it used to be. For example, you are not getting the same levels of magnesium as you would have gotten 30 or even 50 years ago.
Second, much of the food has been genetically altered, which can impact the inherent and unique nutritional composition that each food possess. For example, ancient einkorn wheat has less gluten, more protein, more Vitamin A, and more beta carotene, than modern genetically modified wheat.
Third, the toxic load in the environment today is much higher than 100 years ago. We can see this with global warming, toxic landfills, polluted oceans and waterways, etc. Toxicity levels interfere with nutrient assimilation and absorption not just into the foods, but into our bodies as well.
So… if you are unable to eat better, the supplements in my MaxHealth Total Wellness Bundle may provide the extra boost you need.
These are my favorite Wellness and Immune-Boosting Supplements to use! This MaxHealth Total Wellness Bundle will ensure you have the intake of the important vitamins, minerals, and probiotics to decrease inflammation and boost your innate wellness day and night. Taken together, it’s a solid plan for increasing your body’s natural resiliency.
For best results make sure you use the supplements with dietary changes including a whole food plant-based diet, regular exercise (at least 2-3x per week), regular sleep (8 hours per night), and intermittent fasting (at least 1-3x per week).
Since weight management is very important in combatting chronic diseases, I recommend that you be mindful of your weight and its fluctuations, and that you monitor your weight AT LEAST on a weekly basis. I recommend a scale that includes a body composition monitor (*this scale cannot be used with a pacemaker or other implanted devices).
Physical activity (or exercise) can improve your health and reduce the risk of developing several chronic diseases like high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and cancer, just to name a few. Physical activity can improve your mood, boost your immune system, and even help you maintain a healthy weight.
I often recommend yoga and resistance training for physical activity, but as you are aware, there are plenty of forms of “movement” that you can do! But for the basics, especially if you’re just getting started, yoga and resistance training are where I would start.
Yoga can be a great way to improve your strength and flexibility, manage your stress, improve your heart health, and lose weight! I recommend using a grounded yoga mat to connect yourself with the earth and reduce inflammation.
Resistance training is the mainstay for overall health. It not only has beneficial effects on reducing body fat, it also increases muscle size and strength. Check out some basic dumbbells/free weights that I recommend to everyone.
Another alternative for dumbbells/free weights are resistance bands. They are great for physical therapy, yoga, strength training, and excellent for traveling.
Remember, living a healthy lifestyle including eating a whole foods plant-based diet, regular physical activity, and reducing stress are the best ways to maintain a healthy weight. Let me know what you think in the comment section below.
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It’s interesting how functional medicine treats the person from their condition as a whole. I also like how you mentioned that functional medicine allows your body’s natural healing skill to work its way on your body. I should consider visiting one of these experts if ever i’d need treatment for my condition.