The Functional Wellness Approach
My clients have typically been struggling with chronic symptoms and often complex (undiagnosed) conditions for years. They have frequently seen practitioners of traditional medicine and complementary / alternative healthcare as well. Over the years they may have tried “fad diets”, suggestions from their neighbors, late-night info-mercials and now have a kitchen cabinet full of supplements and nutritional products that may have helped for a little while, but most likely didn’t work.
Many of my clients are frustrated and confused because they have been told that “nothing is wrong”, that their blood work or other laboratory tests “look fine”. As a last resort or garbage can diagnosis they are often told that their problems are “all in their head”.
Functional medicine gives an approach to look at these situations with a different set of eyes and more discerning criteria. We know these symptoms are real, that they are often related to each other, and stem from an underlying dysfunction and are not necessarily a “disease”.
The types of clients who do best under my care:
- don’t want to rely on unnecessary drugs and medical intervention for the rest of their lives;
- are interested in discovering the underlying cause of their problems, rather than just suppressing symptoms;
- are motivated to play an active role in their own healing process; and,
- are willing to make the necessary dietary and lifestyle changes to support health and well-being.
What to expect at Functional Wellness?
Did you know that the word doctor comes from the Latin word “docere” which means “to teach”. So, I primarily consider myself a health teacher (and I do teach Anatomy and Physiology at Colorado Mountain College). What I will “teach” you is how to distinguish the fact from fiction in all the quick-fix and media hype marketing, and how to take care of your body the way our DNA requires.
You will see from my New Client Intake Forms that I investigate deeply into your past experiences, and inquire about things that may not deal directly with your situation, and inquire about injuries and pain that may not seem related to the reason for your visit, but they help me understand the various stresses your body is dealing with, or has dealt with in the past. I use this information to help paint a picture for you and for me, about the processes and systems that might be involved in your presentation of symptoms, and determine where to work to help heal you most efficiently.
I might use a variety of tools to investigate your situation further, but I always begin with a thorough initial consultation and if available, previous lab results. We might spend 2 hours talking about your history and the progression of symptoms, things you have tried and that have worked, as well as those that have not . From there I will try to summarize “the big picture” and provide you with a review or report of findings and together we will determine a treatment plan that fits your current circumstances.
Functional medicine often centers around diet and lifestyle modifications, and when necessary the use of nutritional therapy to restore proper function. Another component of functional medicine is to prevent future illness usually by detecting dysfunction before it manifests into disease. Because Functional Medicine addresses current and potential dysfunction at its foundation it is often considered to be the medicine of the future. For more information see What is Functional Medicine.