What is Functional Medicine?
Functional Medicine addresses the underlying causes of disease, using a systems-oriented approach and engaging both patient and practitioner in a therapeutic partnership. It is an evolution in the practice of medicine that better addresses the healthcare needs of the 21st century. By shifting the traditional disease-centered focus of medical practice to a more patient-centered approach, Functional Medicine addresses the whole person, not just an isolated set of symptoms. Functional Medicine practitioners spend time with their patients, listening to their histories and looking at the interactions among genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors that can influence long-term health and complex, chronic disease. In this way, Functional Medicine supports the unique expression of health and vitality for each individual.
What is a Functional Medicine Analysis?
Illness and disease do not appear overnight. They develop over time. Yet our health care system is not set up to accommodate this obvious fact. We pool together a pattern of symptoms, put a name on it, and call it a disease. Then, a one-size fits-all protocol is applied. When you come in with breathing problems and get a diagnosis of asthma, you get a prescription for an inhaler to help you breathe better. But what about the answers to questions “Why did I develop asthma?” or “What do I do to reduce my need for the medication?” It is the equivalent of focusing on and treating the exhaust pipe when your car begins spewing black smoke.
Of course we want to feel better and need our symptoms addressed. But the bigger picture – the accumulation of all the small events that have occurred – facilitates the understanding of where the disease has come from.
What is a Functional Medicine Report?
Documenting the actions, events, and environmental influences that have occurred in your life allows for the construction of meaning and a “Big Picture” view of how your body got to where it is today. This opens up a conversation between you and your practitioner.
Dr. McSwain helps you work together, evaluate holistically, look for patterns, and find correlations/triggers/mediators. Each of us has a unique history that accumulates over time and holds the clues that can contribute significantly to creating a personalized plan to get you back to the health you want.