I once heard a colleague tell a patient when speaking of traditional western care, “They call it the practice of medicine because we are simply practicing; there is no one-way or final solution for a health problem.” Functional Medicine believes differently. It centers on you and how you are dealing with your symptoms, what foods you eat, your mental outlook, physical activities, and what therapies work best for you.
Functional Medicine Is Patient-Centered
It is the practice of patient-centered care, not disease-centered care. It is listening more to what the patient says to the practitioner. It is what health coaches especially those certified through IIN™ provide as mentors. Many Functional Medical Doctors prefer working with an IIN™ health coach because we are like-minded and understand the primary areas that changes sick patients into healthy people.
As an acupuncturist, I also have training as a Functional practitioner. For nearly 30 years, American medicine took on a new undertaking to move back to a more holistic approach.
The movement began for me back in 1998 when I met Jeffery Bland, MD said to be the father of Functional Medicine. Jeffery was doing educational seminars for health providers who would attend. He realized the thing missing in western medicine was that patients’ aren’t a disease, and the disease isn’t a patient.
I believe he also saw the faulty mechanism of mainstream care where the doctor only gets 5 minutes to listen to the patients’ life story and illness record. Health insurance doesn’t cover patient-centered care. It takes time and using your health insurance is for the quick stuff generally. That’s why western practitioners are slow to embrace the idea of hearing what a patient has to say about their own body.
The Whole Person is Patient Centered Wellness
Patient-centered wellness is at the heart of both health coaching and functional treatment. We see you as a whole person; helping you with the symptoms, you experience not the disease or illness. Often we integrate the two because the coaching is about helping you with weight loss, more energy, less pain, and being healthy. We respect your culture, your current lifestyle, and empower you to regain control of your wellness future.
Functional medicine is about finding out through listening to what your symptoms are and doing tests to confirm which supplements and drugs you need. In my practice, the emphasis is on your symptoms, problems, and roadblocks and less on laboratory testing.
It centers on you but still doesn’t give you ways to change your future through personal growth in nutrition, fitness, activity, relationships, career, and mindset like health coaching does.
That is why these two methods integrate for the patient’s success. I don’t recommend functional care without health coaching. Leaders in the functional medicine field agree, you also need a coach or it’s just fancy western medicine.
The Cost Of Functional Medicine Vs. Health Coaching
Without a doubt, working with a mentor is less expensive and you don’t need to have functional medicine laboratory testing. If you have had your yearly tests and you want to change your health naturally, regain health or avoid a future of sickness look into working with me as a health coach first.
This may sound strange that I would suggest you try the least expensive method for wellness, but that’s how I practice alternative care.
If you feel financially confident, bring in functional medicine for a more concise picture that can guide the process for you regarding your health. The central point is you have one body and mind. Investing in your health now is always less expensive than paying for illness or sickness care later.