What is functional medicine? What makes it so important?
For some people who never knew about “Functional Medicine”, the term might be quite new. However, for the past few decades, it has been growing across the globe. A lot of people have experienced positive results from applying this approach and principles in their lives.
So, what is functional medicine? If it’s your first time knowing about this approach, you might wonder what it is and what makes it important.
Basically, functional medicine is a science-based approach which is quite far different from the conventional medicine we know in general.
The concept of functional medicine was created by a nutritionist and author, Dr Jeffry Bland in 1990. In this approach, the focus is on patient-centred care. The practitioner will try to identify and analyze the patient’s health issue. As mentioned on the official page of IFM, functional medicine actually “determines how and why illness occurs and restores health by addressing the root causes of disease for each individual.
Functional medicine practitioners will try to consider the patient’s history, lifestyle, and other factors which might affect the patient’s health.
Functional medicine also combines Western medical practices with alternative medicine. Its focus is also to prevent illnesses from attacking human’s body through the right diet, exercise, nutrition, stress-management techniques, etc.
Balance rule in functional medicine
In functional medicine, there is a balance rule that we need to follow. It consists of two steps as explained below:
The first thing you need to do is removing everything that troubles you such as stress, junk foods, cigarettes, etc. If you want your disease to be cured, you can’t just take medicine and wish everything will be fine. You need to make sure that the root causes are gone. Also, there should be no bad habit which hinders you from being healthy.
The next step is to add good habits to replace the bad ones you have removed. For example, getting enough sleep, exercise, nutritious food, water, etc. You can also add more positive ingredients such as communication, love, relaxation, meaning, and purpose.
The Natural wisdom of the body and it’s healing ability will take care of the rest.
Functional medicine practitioners and health coaches
Functional medicine practitioners and health coaches generally pay attention to how they can treat the patient and not the disease. They would support people to get cured naturally rather than attacking the illnesses directly as they believe that our bodies are capable of healing and preventing diseases from attacking us.
Since the focus of this approach lies on finding the root cause of a disease or symptom, then it would be more effective to help the patient gets rid of the cause and prevent it from returning to his or her body.
For example, you are experiencing rheumatoid arthritis, and then a functional medicine health coach will try to analyze your situation, history, lifestyle, and physiology to be able to diagnose the root cause of it. After that, he finds out that it happens because you have been eating food which actually can trigger them. Together, you and your health coach would be able to plan the steps you would need to take in order to reduce the pain or heal your body.
Working together with a health coach
Human bodies are different from one another, and as a result, the needs will be different too. This is something that people who work as a functional medicine practitioner and health coach completely understand. That’s why all the plans made for each patient are personalized and will be based on what they truly need.
In conventional medicine, the patients sometimes would be given drugs or hormones to deal with their diseases. However, sometimes it does not last long and the disease might return again. It is because the drugs or hormones cures the disease, but sometimes it does not mean it helps the body gets rid of the root cause.
In fact, most diseases might occur due to certain causes (E.g: unhealthy lifestyle, food, stress, etc.) and if one wants to be free from those diseases, he or she might have to get rid of the root cause and start to take an action (E.g: change the lifestyle, eat only healthy food, start exercising, etc.).
However, changing a habit or lifestyle is not easy for a lot of people. We got it! It can be challenging and it might be difficult when someone has to do it alone. That is why some people who want to have a healthier life naturally will then try to find someone who can help them achieve their health goals such as a functional medicine health coach.
This health coach is there to help the patient find out the root cause of their diseases. Afterwards, they will assist them in planning the steps they want to take in order to reach their health goals.
A health coach would be there to support the patient and motivate them in every way to make sure that they will not give up, are on the right track, and finally, develop a healthy lifestyle to heal or prevent illness from coming back to his or her body.
If you are interested in getting yourself a personal health coach, or if you want to learn more about a functional medicine health coach, you can click on the menu down below.