What Is Functional Nutrition? A Guide To Holistic Healing
In recent years, integrative medicine has become increasingly more popular and people are searching it out because they want more holistic and natural ways of healing their health issues.
I see a lot of clients who have come to me after going through rigorous tests in Western medicine and really ending up with no answers and usually a prescription in hand. And so they're looking to find a more natural way to deal with what's happening to them while traditional medicine is really focusing on just symptoms.
The difference is that functional medicine really takes a more comprehensive look at the individual and looks at it from the root cause. So we see the symptoms, but what's underneath those symptoms?
Hi, my name is Marcie Vaske with Oswald Digestive Clinic, where we see clients who struggle with gas, bloating, constipation, or even diarrhea.
So if this sounds like you or someone else, you can easily make an initial appointment with us, Or if you're the kind of person who likes to do things on their own, we also have a FREE GUIDE: which is Five Ways to Improve your Gut Health where you can easily download.
So today we're going to dig into our topic, which is what is functional and integrative medicine.
What is Integrative And Functional Medicine?
Now, integrative and functional nutrition has really started to become more popular, as I mentioned, and is becoming more of a powerful force because in using the best of conventional medicine tied in with alternative therapies, we can really help the individual find relief from their symptoms and live a more healthy life.
In integrative medicine, we take an approach where we look at the individual, and that means that we all know that everybody is individual and needs specific things, so every plan we come up with is something unique to you, and that way you can get to a better healthy state.
And having that long-term without just band-aiding over those symptoms, meaning that we're really emphasizing the partnership between the practitioner and the patient. And this way we're focusing on the whole person and their individual uniqueness and needs.
Holistic Healing with Functional Medicine
The way that functional medicine works is that we look at the individual and take into account, not only their symptoms, but also their environment, their lifestyle, and genetics, and put that all into our thought process when we're making a plan for them by using this holistic approach or enhancing the body's own ability to heal itself.
Key Principles of Integrative And Functional Nutrition
Now, of course, using food, supplementation, and lifestyle changes all are incorporated in this individualized plan.
The Healing Power of the Body: Integrative practitioners like myself, understand and know that the body has a lot of healing properties and can heal itself when it is given the right support.
Root Cause Analysis: looking at the person and finding out what is the root cause of these symptoms. So often people will come to me and they'll have, let's just say, diarrhea, bloating, gas, and it's just been going on for such a long time and there's really been no answer for them. So I try to back up and look at what could be underneath this that's creating these ongoing symptoms.
System Interconnectedness: once we find out what the root cause is, then we can move forward in a really methodical way to help relieve the symptoms and get the person feeling well again.
And the way that we get the person well again, is by understanding the body and also understanding the interconnectedness that all the systems within our body hold.
And once we can restore health to, let's say your gut, which just responds so beautifully within the rest of the body, we oftentimes don't recognize that maybe because we have a poor gut, that's why our joints ache, or maybe because that's why we're getting more acne or rashes or hives.
The gut is so connected to so many different systems and our overall well-being that really working more alternatively and using different approaches toward healing the gut and increasing the microbiome is essential to better overall health.
How do you do that? How do you find the root causes?
We definitely do some deep comprehensive testing, which helps to give us clues and data that can help us start to clean up the, let's say it's gut, clean up the microbiome, and help in that healing process. And this is how we get to all of these individualized treatment plans.
When we know what the root cause is, then we can go in and work toward better healing, and better gut health, which as I said earlier, is so key to so many different systems within our body.
Within integrative medicine, it's not that we just use supplementation and some whole bunch of tests. That's not just the things that we have at our fingertips. Those are used when we know that number one if we do need more data, then we can have those to go to if we have supplementation that we know is going to be helpful in supporting you, getting to your next step, definitely something that's going to be recommended.
Diagnostic and Therapeutic Modalities in Functional Medicine
But there are also other alternative therapies that we can think about, such as herbal medicine, things like massage or acupuncture, and just these mind-body healing techniques. So doing meditation, for example.
All of these things play a key role in the health of our body. And it's not just about changing your diet, there are many components to integrative nutrition, integrative health, and integrative medicine that really cover a broad range of health conditions.
You're struggling with chronic pain, for example. Alternative health can definitely be helpful. Autoimmune disorders, mental health, and, using the gut as an example, gastrointestinal disorders.
Now, not only can we help support our symptoms and health conditions that are plaguing people, but also integrative medicine is used for preventative health. So looking at lifestyle or your nutrition using exercise and different modalities to help you stay healthy and stronger as you go through the process of life.
Combining Western and Alternative Medicine for Better Health
In the past, there have been some misconceptions of integrative medicine, and oftentimes what they'll say is that it's not really proven by science, but lots of research has been done over the years about showing that alternative therapies really do improve people's lives.
And I think that as we continue to move throughout the process of life and if you're not getting answers from Western medicine, then alternative and functional medicine is going to be somewhere you might want to be looking. It can be so encompassing and so healing for so many different conditions, and for people who are just really feeling like they have nowhere else to go.
Now, of course, western medicine, we need that. There are things that functional medicine might not be able to do such as surgery.
I think that that's why it's beautiful to combine the two and say that using the best of Western medicine, but putting it in more of a functional role within the person's life and using that knowledge and changing their health through root cause, ways, and integrative medicine really provides a personalized, holistic approach for you to have control over your own health.
And that's another great thing about it, is that this is for you and it's going to be looking at you as a whole person. So embracing alternative medicine can really lead to profound changes within your life.
I work with people every day who have had life-changing experiences, and I want you to have that as well.
If you'd like to explore any of this information further or obtain an individualized nutrition plan, you can schedule an initial appointment at our clinic. We also take insurance and some of our clients get full coverage, which is great.
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