What distinguishes functional medicine from holistic medicine?
Healthcare and medicine are undergoing drastic changes in the recent few years. Many people find the Conventional/Wetsern medicine not natural and too impersonal. People started to look for other options. With this demand several alternative solutions to Western Medicine have been developed dynamically during the last few years. They are as follows: Functional medicine, Holistic medicine and Integrative medicine. There are several characteristics to these different approaches. To distinguish them well we are going to go deep into the topic: what is Holistic and What Is Functional Medicine?
What is the difference from The Traditional Approach?
To start out I want to mention that these functional, holistic, integrative approaches are essentially different from the traditional/western medical approach. The core reason is that Westerners focus on healing separate and independent organs and systems of the body. Treatment relies mainly on the use of synthetic medications, invasive procedures and surgery. Western method usually doesn’t consider the body as an interconnected system.
Functional medicine is one of the most effective approaches of the 21st century and reflects the cultural knowledge of millennia. This a very personalized approach which involves a deep understanding of the root causes of the disease. Functional medicine builds the relationship with the patient who has disease and not examining the disease that the patient has. They go deep into genetics, environment and the lifestyle to diagnose and treat the disease. It works perfectly for the chronic complex medical issues as each person has its own biological complex and the root reason for the chronic illness should be detected specifically for each patient.
Current science constantly shows us that a number of factors are risky for our health, this includes the cigarettes, the water we drink, food we eat, the air we breath and the lifestyle we keep. Biologic systems are out of balance, lacking essential fats, minerals, nutrients or chemicals. Considering all these, our body fails to function in order and that is an open door for the disease. Functional medicine utilizes the foundation of conventional medicine with the holistic approach. It uses the core concepts of naturopathic medicine with the alternative approaches to create the most effective medical system.
What Does a Functional Medicine Doctor Do?
The doctors will look at your full history and identify the root causes of your illness. They will check the impact of genetics and your mental health condition. They will collect detailed information about your lifestyle and daily activities. They may ask additionally
- symptoms timeline
- sleep condition
- physical activities (exercise habits)
- personal relationships
- emotional wellbeing
Holistic medicine treats the body as a one inseparable system that consists of mind, soul and the body. Clinical holistic medicine has its roots in the medicine back to Hippocrates. This approach considers mentioned aspects as the crucial points for your health. The goal is to bring your mind, body and soul in perfect coherence . Usually the doctor with a holistic approach will talk to you for at least 30 minutes to understand your stress level, feelings and the symptoms you are suffering from. This concept can not work to treat complex conditions independently but is a perfect combination to exist with Functional, Integrative or Western medicine.
Holistic has now become more of a description of the practitioner’s vision rather than a distinct approach to healthcare.
Holistic Medicine Treatments
The treatment includes following factors:
Education-doctors will teach you what kind of lifestyle changes you need to undergo to reach better results to improve your health condition. This includes different self-care techniques you need to practice and convert into a habit. They are:
- thai chi
- dietary supplements
Holistic therapy session- it can vary due to the fact that there are several common activities that have a holistic approach. Holistic therapy improves spiritual, physical, mental and emotional well-being. The aim of the therapy is to develop a deeper understanding of yourself and your condition. To see the core problem from their roots and understand when and why they appeared. Holistic therapy includes:
- Acupuncture or acupressure
- Reiki (form of energy work)
- Aromatherapy or sound therapy
- Exercises based on CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy)
- Psychodynamic therapy
Holistic therapy can help to reduce and calm symptoms of anxiety, depression, stress and existential crisis, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PDSD). Also it can cure medical conditions that have psychological roots such as digestive problems, insomnia or tension.
Human beings are complex creations. There is a web inside our body that ensures our health system works properly. Especially nowadays it’s very easy to ruin the balance. Choosing the healthcare approach is very personal, there is no rule. But anyway, you need to take as natural treatment as possible. It’s important to know there are several options available rather than only Western medicine. Do your steps to a healthy life daily, not to turn to drugs and surgery. Stay safe and hydrated!