Many people understand what conventional medicine is, but functional medicine is making new waves in our self-care-focused society. It is not a concept many people understand, but it can be an excellent form of healthcare for what someone needs.
Maybe you suffer from chronic pain or health issues. For example, you have a consistent, upset stomach, or you do not sleep well, or you are feeling perpetually down. Functional medicine may be the answer. It’s a way to promote wellbeing and sustain long-term health with a more individualized, custom approach.
So, what is functional medicine, and what are the reasons you should try it? It’s an effective and natural way to treat your ailments, and here are several advantages to adding functional medicine into your life.
WHAT EXACTLY IS FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE?
First, you should understand what functional medicine is before looking at its benefits. The best way to describe functional medicine is to focus primarily on health promotion and disease prevention. Rather than treating a diagnosis, natural healthcare is utilized. It’s more of a resource to help guide people’s health and wellness.
The approach to functional medicine is identifying the root cause of the ailment with treatments that include lifestyle changes, food choices, and other personalized changes. Its whole focus is on the individual, with a proactive approach to achieving health and preventing future illness or disease.
To put it simply, functional medicine prioritizes the why for your health- why are you suffering from a disease or chronic illness? Functional medicine is all about understanding the symptoms rather than treating or masking with a medication. Functional medicine experts have scientific fundamentals to this understanding.
A more personalized and customized health approach allows practitioners to treat the individual instead of the illness. You can address your lifestyle choices and make adjustments to give your body what it needs to function optimally.
The experts in integrative and functional medicine by Rahav Wellness in NYC state that there is often a limit to patients and caregivers with a conventional healthcare system. Whereas functional medicine practitioners spend more time with their patients and assist them in making a connection between their health and the things they eat and do. They are there to provide guidance and support to your personal lifestyle.
Here are some of the reasons you can benefit from trying functional medicine.
1. IT IS LESS COSTLY
Healthier choices mean less spending on prescriptions and doctor visits. Think about saving your cost from other things, like taking sick days or additional time off work for hospital visits. Going to the Emergency Room alone can rack up quite the hefty bill.
If you can focus on preventing the disease or illness from its regular occurrence or from happening at all, you will save yourself substantial money. Functional medicine will give you the tools so that you can nip those problems from the get-go and protect yourself on those frequent doctor appointments.
2. IT IS A SYSTEM-BASED APPROACH
Instead of working on a condition-based approach to your health, which is what conventional medicine does, functional medicine looks at your body’s systems and discovers which of them are out of balance.
Rather than treating your depression with an anti-depressant, a functional medicine practitioner will examine the root cause of your depression, such as a lack of vitamins or minerals, is being attributed to – could a simple vitamin deficiency be the cause?
Maybe a hormonal imbalance in your mind is causing a lack of self-confidence, or your depression is due to a problem with your gut health or inflammation. When your health is not prioritized, it can lead to intense feelings of depression.
3. YOU CAN LEARN A LOT ABOUT YOUR BODY
There is an educational aspect to functional medicine. Instead of just giving you a treatment that a doctor says will help your ailment, you learn about your health, your body, how it functions, dieting, detoxification, and more. Having the education about nutrition, dieting, and how you can take action to prevent illness is a huge step forward in healthcare today.
Understanding how choices can affect your wellbeing is essential in long-term health. To feel better, you should leave a functional medicine consultation feeling empowered and more knowledgeable about steps you can take with your diet, etc.
4. YOU WILL BE MORE PROACTIVE TO TREAT THE CAUSE
You don’t have to wait for a diagnosis of an illness or a disease before you can start treating your problems. Prevention is key, so making necessary changes in your health and lifestyle make it easier to keep ailments from happening in the first place.
More often than not, prescriptions and medications cover up symptoms. It’s just a way to mask and help you function without actually treating the cause of the problem. Functional medicine involves things like food sensitivity testing, hormone panels, and blood analysis to identify what is causing your health issues so you can make changes right away.
5. BUILD A RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR DOCTOR
Doctors see so many people throughout the day, and with limited time it is hard to feel like you genuinely know your doctor. The doctor-patient relationship is the priority when it comes to functional medicine, with the goal being to discover the way behind your problems.
The educational aspect allows the practitioner to spend more time with you, getting to know your lifestyle and understanding what you do daily. In addition, they examine factors such as exercise, diet, sleep quality, emotional stress, and other areas that go beyond the standard scope of the procedure.
FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE IS GENUINE HEALTHCARE FOR THE FUTURE
Functional medicine provides you with more genuine healthcare to help you heal without medications, which can give side effects and not treat the cause of your problems. With more attention to your lifestyle, less spending, and understanding nutritional imbalances in your body, functional medicine will naturally address your healthcare needs.
Having a more proactive approach to your health can make a world of difference. Incorporating more self-care into our habits and practices affect our health to improve our body function and create long-term wellness, and functional medicine will get you there.
Iskra Banović is our seasoned Editor-in-Chief at BlueFashion. She has been steering the website's content and editorial direction since 2013. With a rich background in fashion design, Iskra's expertise spans across fashion, interior design, beauty, lifestyle, travel, and culture.