A common misconception about medicine is that it always has to be treated with medicine from a chemical compound or conventional methods. Realistically, medicine and healing can come in natural forms; such as Functional Medicine and Integrative Medicine.
In an interview on the PromptHealth podcast, Dr. Jill Carnahan, who specializes in functional medicine, explained that "there is no disease that is hopeless.” She experienced two major illnesses that were considered life threatening and overcame both of them using functional medicine. Alternatively referred to as “root-cause” medicine, functional medicine is focused on finding the root issue that’s causing a patient’s symptoms. This medicine model uses the understanding of the human body, genetics, and other external factors to identify and treat the underlying causes of illness. Rather than focusing on suppressing and managing the symptoms, Functional Medicine practitioners aim to understand the “upstream” issue causing the “downstream” symptoms.
Putting that definition to example, approaching a diagnosis of depression from a functional medicine perspective will involve the assessment of factors such as:
- Nutritional deficiencies
- Hormone imbalances
- Exposure to toxins and heavy metals
- Gut health
Functional Medicine aims to go directly to the root issues and move from there. On the other hand, conventional medicine typically diagnoses the present symptoms and attempts to treat it through suppression. Functional Medicine is an emerging field in healthcare through it’s approach at understanding each patient on an individual level. Another emerging field of healthcare is Integrative Medicine.
The Integrative Medicine Model seeks to treat individuals from a holistic standpoint. It emphasizes the therapeutic relationship between practitioner and patient, using an appropriate evaluation of each patient as a whole - physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being. Integrative medicine “integrates” all areas of well-being as a way to optimize your health. Practitioners and patients are considered partners in the healing process, working together to create a personalized treatment plan. This plan can consist of a variety of modalities and other lifestyle changes to enhance healing and restore balance in the patient’s life. The medical practice focuses on the belief that treating the mind and spirit along with the body gives the ability to restore and optimize health in a more meaningful and long lasting way.
Which one is better?
Luckily enough, patients don’t necessarily have to pick and choose between Functional and Integrative medicine. Both medicine models embrace the same philosophy of treating patients on an individual level and that true healing requires personalized solutions. Many practitioners merge these medicine models together and use them in their practice to achieve the health patients deserve.
Interested in personalized health care?
If you’re looking to find custom solutions tailored for your health, you need to seek trusted practitioners who can provide the information you need. PromptHealth is a platform that allows these holistic health and wellness professionals to share their information and knowledge on their practice. They provide an innovative platform for people to learn about different approaches to health and wellness, and even provides the option to connect with experts before deciding which practitioner you want to work with. As Integrative and Functional medicine models keep growing, PromptHealth is there for you to explore and learn all the options available. You can use PromptHealth on desktop or through our mobile app on iOS and Android.
If you are a health and wellness practitioner, join PromptHealth and enjoy the new features on the platform that allow you to educate the community on holistic care. If you are a health seeker, discover, learn, and connect on PromptHealth. Together, let’s spread the word on holistic care.