Understanding How Functional Medicine Differs from Conventional Medicine

Functional medicine is an approach to good health that begins with understanding the underlying causes of your symptoms. There are many examples, but here’s a common scenario that illustrates the difference in functional and conventional medicine:

It’s early afternoon, and you have a headache, so you take an over-the-counter pain reliever. The headache subsides, but the next day, the same thing happens. In functional medicine, we ask, “What’s causing the afternoon headache?”

Once that question is answered, the need for the pain reliever — which does have risks and side effects — is eliminated.

Too often, when you go to the doctor, they treat your symptoms, like the headache, with medications, like the pain reliever. But they never investigate the reason you have symptoms to begin with. At Family Acupuncture and Wellness, we seek to treat the underlying cause of your symptoms.

An integrated whole

Remember in school, when you learned about the body’s various systems? There’s the circulatory system, the digestive system, and so on. Conventional medicine examines each of those systems in isolation; that’s one reason there are so many specialists.

Functional medicine views all of your body’s systems as parts of a whole. If you have problems with your circulatory system, your nervous system may be impacted. A problem in one system often creates problems in other systems.

The most personalized version of medicine

Throughout the medical community in the last few years, there’s been a buzz about something called personalized medicine. One example of how personalized medicine works is using genetic testing to identify your particular risk of certain diseases, like some cancers. Another is genetic testing to understand how your body processes certain medications.

Personalized medicine isn’t just about genetics, though. It is more about the idea of beginning by considering you as an individual, rather than as one of many others with similar conditions.

In that way, functional medicine is well ahead of the curve. Functional medicine is the ultimate highly-personalized medicine because it is entirely patient-focused. We consider your medical history, your environment, your lifestyle, and you as an individual.

Creating a wellness plan designed for one

Just as your body is one whole, made up of various parts, so your path to the best possible health involves many parts. Our staff helps you identify the areas of your life that need to be addressed.

You may be operating under extreme stress, or perhaps your nutritional plan doesn’t meet your needs. Like many Americans, you may not be getting enough, or the right type, of exercise.

We can help you understand how those various parts of your life work together to create good health. Your treatment plan at Family Acupuncture and Wellness is designed specifically for you, based on your needs.

If you’re ready to experience a new approach to the best possible health, book an appointment online or by phone at Family Acupuncture and Wellness. You may be surprised at the difference functional medicine can make in your life.

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