The Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM) has developed a model of comprehensive care and primary prevention for complex, chronic illness that is grounded in both the science and the art (the healing partnership in the therapeutic encounter) of clinical medicine.
This model is called Functional Medicine. It is not a separate discipline or specialty It combines the best elements of conventional and alternative medicine to supports the management of chronic diseases with a patient-centered approach. It is taught to and practiced by any health care practitioner who has a background in the basic medical sciences and clinical practice. It supports the process of managing the uncertainty inherent in the clinical encounter.
Functional Medicine is a system orientated personalized medicine that recognizes common underlying mechanisms of complex and chronic diseases. It cuts across multiple organ systems to shape a patient’s trajectory toward health. It acknowledges and values the importance of the healing partnership and spiritual and psychological impacts on health. It takes a major focus on healthy nutrition, lifestyle, environment and genetic predisposition as instrumental in the clinical setting.
Functional Medicine supports the science of clinical medicine systems biology, patient-centered health care, the chronic-care model, nutrigenomics, pharmacogenomics, proteomics, metabolomics, evidence-based medicine (EBM), the healing partnership and a practice of creating patient insight as part of the therapeutic encounter.
Functional Medicine is dedicated to prevention, early assessment and improved management by intervening at multiple levels to correct core clinical imbalances and restoration of functionality and health to the greatest extent possible.
It represents the future of comprehensive patient care, disease management and health promotion.
FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE IS:
- Investigative: Addresses symptoms by focusing on the underlying cause of the problem, which leads to more profound and longer lasting results.
- Holistic: Envisions the body as an interconnected whole that is in dynamic relationship to its environment, and recognizes the importance of these connections in health and disease.
- Safe: Treatments have mild or no side effects, and other unrelated complaints often improve spontaneously.
- Patient-centered: Treats the patient, not the disease. Treatments are highly individualized based on patient needs.
- Participatory: Patient is respected, empowered, educated and encouraged to play active role in healing process.
- Integrative: Combines the best of both modern and traditional medicines and emphasizes importance of diet and lifestyle.
- Restorative: Tests and treatments designed to promote optimal function, prevent and reverse disease, and improve quality of life.
- Preventative: Guided by the ancient Chinese saying, “The superb physician treats disease before it occurs.
- Evidence-based: Based on the latest research from peer-reviewed medical journals, and uncorrupted by corporate and political interests.
Functional Medicine info
For additional information feel free to download the information pack below or view this video.