If you are reading this, then you are probably looking for a better solution to a health problem you are dealing with right now. Maybe you have heard of Functional Medicine, but what does it mean? Or maybe you have listened to podcasts or read blogs from others who advocate a functional medicine or integrative medicine approach. Is there a difference between integrative and functional medicine and how is my approach different than other health professionals? Let’s take at look at these points so you can make informed decisions about your healthcare and determine if my style suits your needs.
Functional and Integrative Medicine
Functional Medicine (FM) is a type of health care that seeks to establish normal and healthy function in the body. The process normally starts with collecting comprehensive information about your current health status and your health history. This information is then used to select diagnostic tests that will provide objective information about your body and how it is functioning. This is different than the type of testing used in traditional medicine where the main goal is to determine if you have a disease or not. In functional medicine, we are also interested in identifying disease, but we take it one step further…what is out of balance and not working in your body that is CAUSING the disease or health problem.
Integrative Medicine (IM) is very similar to FM and is a healing-oriented style of medicine that takes into account the whole person. Like FM, it requires a therapeutic relationship between the patient and the doctor. Integrative medicine often combines different forms of treatment styles to achieve optimum health outcomes for the patient.
FM and IM are similar in their approach and often overlap. I consider myself to be both; FM and IM in my philosophy.
I have listed below some of the key attributes of what I consider to be an informed and responsible doctor of IM or FM. They are also my personal beliefs and align with my style of healthcare.
Key attributes and beliefs of a good FM or IM doctor
- Doctor and patient work together in the health restoration process.
- The patient must take responsibility for their current health issue(s).
- Multiple factors influence health including diet, nutrition, lifestyle, genetics, and mindset.
- Both conventional and alternative methods may be required to achieve optimum outcomes.
- Treatment options that are natural and less invasive should be considered first whenever possible.
- Good healthcare is based on information and good science and not stuck in outdated beliefs and procedures.
- Always recommend what is best for the patient; not necessarily what is convenient or covered by health insurance plans…the patient’s health and wellbeing come first.
I believe that each person has unique needs and there is not a “one-size-fits-all” approach to health care. I take the time to find out what the individual is trying to achieve with their health before accepting them for care or making any recommendations.
Sometimes I encounter individuals who are not a good fit for the functional or integrative approach. This often occurs when the individual wants to see dramatic and lasting changes in their health with very little effort on their part. This just isn’t feasible or even reasonable. Becoming well and reversing disease is a process…just like becoming ill was a process. The healing process requires the discovery of what is not working well in your body and changing the conditions of the body so that health can be restored.
I want what is best for you, and that might mean that I am not your best solution. I am committed to doing all I can to help my patients regain their health, but it’s a team effort. I’m on your team if you are ready to start feeling better and turn your health around.
You can feel better, let’s see what we can accomplish together.
I wish you success on your quest for health!
If you would like more information about functional medicine and integrative medicine or Dr. Sexton go to www.napervilleintegratedwellness.com
Do your own research, inform yourself and ask lots of questions. When collecting information, you MUST consider the source. There is no shortage of false, misleading, outdated, profit-driven and utterly biased information in healthcare today; even from the most respected sources and organizations.