Understanding Functional Medicine and How It Can Help You

Understanding Functional Medicine and How It Can Help You

Around 50% of American adults have a chronic health condition, and functional medicine often provides better outcomes for them. If you feel that treating your symptoms isn’t working, functional medicine, which focuses on the underlying cause of disease, may be a good choice. 

When you come to the Osteopathic Center for Healing, you receive individualized, science-based care that puts the focus on you. Neil Spiegel, DO, and Jennifer Gularson, PA-C believe that addressing the root cause of illness is the best way to promote optimal health. 

The functional medicine difference

When you have a problem and see a practitioner of conventional medicine, they usually treat your symptoms. For example, if your wrist is swollen, they may give you an anti-inflammatory medication. 

A functional medicine practitioner, on the other hand, wants to understand why your wrist is swollen and what’s causing the swelling. 

That example is a bit of an oversimplification, of course, but it gives you an idea of the biggest difference between the two approaches. Functional medicine recognizes that one underlying cause can trigger multiple conditions. 

Some of the factors that contribute to the success of functional medicine may surprise you. 

When you come to us for care, we see you as the individual you are, and we consider many different elements that combine to affect your health. Your unique biochemical makeup, lifestyle, and many other pieces make up the puzzle of your health. 

Preventing problems

Another key principle of functional medicine is that we work to help you reach optimal health, and not simply live without disease. If you’re sick, we want to help you heal, but we also want to prevent future sickness. 

By using low-risk interventions to make changes at the cellular level, functional medicine can often reverse the drivers of disease. These low-risk interventions are grounded in science and use tools to understand your personal, family, social, and medical history, thereby providing a comprehensive picture of your situation. 

The tools of functional medicine

We find that imbalances are often at the heart of clinical issues. Hormones, inflammation, digestion, and detoxification are a few of the areas that are commonly imbalanced. 

To address those imbalances, we may suggest nutritional changes, approaches for lowering stress, an exercise routine, or therapies to address trauma or psychosocial issues. Supplements and dietary adjustments are frequent approaches, along with modalities such as osteopathic adjustments or acupuncture. 

The specific therapies and interventions that we use in functional medicine depend on a host of factors that combine in entirely unique ways. Even if you have the same condition as someone else, the best way to address the underlying cause for each of you may be completely different. Functional medicine is patient-centered, meaning your treatment is tailored very carefully for you. 

If you’d like to learn more about functional medicine and how it can treat chronic conditions, as well as to help you live an optimally healthy life, schedule an appointment at the Osteopathic Center for Healing in Rockville, Maryland.

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