Integrative and Functional Medicine?
Integrative and Functional Medicine approach the practice of medicine holistically. Practitioners of these disciplines treat the whole person rather than a specific disease. Because of their holistic approach, these disciplines prioritize the physician-patient relationship.
Integrative Medicine uses a combination of “Western” medicine and various complementary healing modalities (including, for example, acupuncture, botanical medicine and meditation) to treat a patient and support her healing. Integrative medicine doctors also incorporate the importance of nutrition, exercise and other lifestyle support.
Functional Medicine embraces these practices, but it also uses a systems-oriented approach to understand the underlying cause (the “root cause”) of a disease. Accordingly, Functional Medicine utilizes many modern testing and laboratory methods. For example, a doctor may request a patient to undergo genetic marker testing and/or gastrointestinal laboratory analysis. Functional medicine doctors combine this information with in-depth patient interviews to construct a holistic view of the individual and her lifestyle. The resulting “deep dive” is a highly personalized and detailed analysis of the patient’s health. This personalized, systems-based approach has proven particularly effective at treating chronic diseases like obesity, depression, and diabetes.
At DCIM, we believe that Integrative and Functional Medicine are complementary and intertwined. We therefore embrace both approaches. We understand that each patient is unique, and requires a deeply personalized approach. We also believe in the body’s innate healing ability. Our role as physicians is to honor the individual and cultivate her ability to heal.