Video Credit: Dr. Oz Show, January 12, 2012
Simply put, Functional Health practitioners are doctors with the tools and training to diagnose a wide spectrum of conditions along with an education to use natural and integrative treatment options. By determining and addressing the root cause of dysfunction Functional Health practitioners are able to more effectively improve the health of their patients. In an era where more and more people have become concerned about the adverse reactions of prescription and over-the-counter pharmaceutical drugs, Functional Health practitioners are becoming a popular alternative. Every year, more and more patients are choosing a Functional Health practitioner as the first doctor they visit when they get sick or are having health problems.
And because Functional Health practitioners are trained not only in diagnostics but also utilize cutting edge testing and natural treatment plans, these health practitioners find themselves evaluating and successfully helping those patients deemed by the conventional medical community as "challenging" or even "hopeless". How is that possible? It's the approach: a time honored method of doing the "detective" work in addition to using integrative and natural treatments, nutritional therapy, biofeedback, and lifestyle management to replace dysfunction and illness with normal body function and health.
A certified Functional Health practitioner completes 2 years of additional training beyond a doctorate degree that provides the organization and protocol which helps them connect the dots and determine the root cause. The Functional Health approach is not about giving synthetic drugs to control symptoms, but is about finding and correcting the source of the dysfunction. The functional examination and diagnostic testing helps answer not only what is going on but why this is happening to begin with.
A licensed physician, MD, DO, DC, or ND, can continue their post-doctorate specialty training to achieve the level of Certified Functional Medicine Practitioner (IFMCP) by an accredited organization. Their assistants (PA and NP) may receive certified training as well. Training takes 2 years or more followed by a certification exam and case study.
While Functional Medicine is largely considered an alternative field (non-conventional), both DC and ND physicians are at an advantage having received holistic natural training within our doctorate school course work. The 5 basic principals of Functional Health are also principles for both Naturopathic Doctors and Chiropractic Doctors. Functional Medicine, however, provides an added organizational protocol to the approach taken with each patient. We utilize a comprehensive Timeline and Matrix that help us identify a personalized starting point to determine the root cause of various conditions, as well as an action plan to follow to achieve the patients goals. By supporting the body's natural ability to heal itself we are able to restore function to the body.
While Naturopathic Doctors are licensed in 21 states in the US, Chiropractic Doctors have been licensed alternative care doctors in all 50 states and over 30 countries for close to 50 years. At it's core, Chiropractic seeks to restore, improve and optimize the function of the human body by removing the interferences (chemical, physical and emotional), nurturing and providing support, and allowing the intelligence of the body to heal itself. Many chiropractors focus on musculoskeletal imbalances (physical) and specialize in fields such as Sports Medicine or ART, while others may seek specialties in physiological and neurological imbalances as Clinical Nutritionists, Functional Neurologists, or Functional Medicine Practitioners and Chiropractic Internists (Natural Primary Care).
We would love nothing more than to help you discover your path to optimal health as our patient. So if we are able, let's get together and dig deep into your health. And if we are too far apart, let's let the interwebs connect us. Here's what we are up to ...