Do you think doctors today are focused fully on their patients? I think it’s safe to say that the majority of people, if not everyone, would say no. Doctors commonly see people as “just another diagnosis” and not as a person with feelings. However, things are beginning to change. Integrative and functional medicine is growing in popularity. They are bringing the focus back to the patients.
This type of medicine is “treating the whole person”. It uses an evidence-based approach to treat the patient’s body, mind, and spirit. It looks at every aspect of a person’s lifestyle – from their exercise and nutrition habits, down to their spiritual beliefs. One of the most important parts of integrative medicine is the patient’s relationship with their practitioner. They must see each other as equals. The patient must also be willing to participate, and the practitioner must work with them to achieve their goal. By having this connection and communication skills, patients are able to get the best care.
Functional medicine is a little different. They focus more on lifestyle and dietary changes. They also take in hormonal changes and genetics as factors. These practitioners are focused on finding and treating the root cause of illness. Similar to integrative medicine, functional medicine practitioners individualize their treatments to each unique person. In short, functional medicine focuses on prevention and finding ways to optimize a patient’s health rather than just treating a disease.
How are they Similar?
These two forms of medicine have risen in popularity over the past 20 or so years. Practitioners are beginning to see that by individualizing their treatment and care, they are seeing better results. They both focus on the root of the issues, and take into account the individual’s lifestyles. They do this to encourage healthy lifestyle changes in their patients’ lives as opposed to giving them medications and “calling it a day”.
Written by GUADS staff member Emily, with contributions from theepochtimes.com