My simple guide to Functional Medicine

Why Functional Medicine?
In this month’s blog I would like to try to explain about functional medicine, how it works and why it takes time and a certain mind set to help with healing.

Our bodies are affected by:

  • FOOD: Provides the body with the building blocks to function normally.
  • HYDRATION: We are made up of 70% water.
  • SLEEP/RELAXATION: Sleep is when restoration and healing happens.
  • MOVEMENT/EXERCISE: Keeps our heart healthy and joints functioning well.

Our mind is affected by:

  • FOOD: The energy needed for the brain to work effectively.
  • HYDRATION: Dehydration affects brain function.
  • SLEEP/RELAXATION: This affects our alertness and resilience to stress
  • MOVEMENT/EXERCISE: Helps us to feel better in our self.

Both the mind and the body are affected by nutritional deficiencies and food intolerances.

The human mind and body then processes the environment around it through genetics, attitudes, beliefs, emotional and spiritual influences.

Our environment affects humans daily in various ways.

  • STRESS: The stress we experience and the trauma that we process day to day.
  • TOXINS: e.g. Foods, (preservatives, additives, pesticides, artificial sweeteners), drugs, medicines, mercury( dental fillings) , mold in the environment
  • INFECTIONS: bacterial, viral, parasitic infections.
  • RELATIONSHIPS AND COMMUNITY: Toxic relationships and issues in the community.

When all of the above are in balance we have wellness.

If any of these aspects are either too much or too little, we have illness and dysfunction. Currently in medicine, symptoms are put together, a disease diagnosed and the right medication is found to help deal with the symptoms. This is great as it can quickly remove pain and help us feel better sooner. The reality is that patients still don’t feel well.

The W.H.O definition of health, is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely an absence of disease or infirmity.

How is functional medicine different from conventional medicine? Functional medicine uses science and a good listening ear to hear your story. This allows us to help you understand where your imbalances are and why you have the symptoms you are experiencing. The comprehensive history and examination looks to identify all the factors that have led to heath imbalances.

Functional testing helps us understand where your body is at this moment and how we can personalise the lifestyle prescription for you.

As you can imagine there, is a lot of information to address but that is our role as functional practitioners to be the detective and unlock patterns in your symptoms and support the body by creating a healing environment.

So how do we do this?

We address your SLEEP and RELAXATION.
We address your MOVEMENT and help you manage STRESS.

Make no mistake following a functional medicine approach means a lot of hard work, challenging your thoughts and a big lifestyle change but with support it is both do-able and effective. We are here to support change. Creating a therapeutic partnership helps us find out about the patient who has the disease and not just the symptoms that the patient has. This takes time. This is not a quick fix approach as healing takes time.

When it comes to cost, investment in your health can only be a positive outcome. If you are ready.

Continuing to live and eat and do what you are currently doing, will only mean that you continue to feel the way you are. A small change can make a big difference. For example, stopping gluten could stop your IBS symptoms; more movement, could improve your sleep which in turn could improve your mood and then your relationships. Life is not a bed of roses but if your body is in a state of balance, it is able to have the resilience to deal with all that life throws at you.

I understand that some people are looking for quick solutions and are not in the ideal place to deal with change. If you are reading this, then you are looking for a different way of approaching wellness – then keep on reading and learning about functional medicine. When you are ready to make that change you now know that there is another way out there.

Dr Indra