Functional Medicine: Is It the Same as Integrative Medicine?

Functional Medicine
July 29, 2020 0 Comments

You may have noticed we do things a little bit differently here at Living Well Dallas. In 2005, we boldly set out to be the first facility in Dallas to combine multiple specialties with mind-body medicine under one roof.

Our Functional Medicine approach was unique at the time. However, functional and integrative medicine models are becoming more accepted by mainstream medicine.

Because Functional Medicine and Integrative Medicine are so closely related, we often field the question, “What is integrative medicine, and how is it different?” It’s a great question, and we’re happy to answer it!

In this post, we will:

  • Cover the basics of Integrative Medicine
  • Delineate the difference between Integrative Medicine and Functional Medicine

So, What Is Integrative Medicine?

At its simplest, Integrative Medicine:

  • Focuses on the relationship between practitioner and patient
  • Is informed by evidence
  • Uses all appropriate therapies to treat the whole patient

The World Health Organization defines health as,

“a state of complete physical, mental, and social wellbeing and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”

To restore a patient’s health, Integrative Medicine attempts to address the full range of:

  • Physical
  • Mental
  • Emotional
  • Social
  • Environmental
  • Spiritual influences

And, rather than just treating the disease, Integrative Medicine personalizes care and addresses all the causes of the disease.

In this way, the individual’s immediate health needs are treated as are the effects of the long-term, complex interplay between behavioral, biological, environmental, and psychosocial influences.

Integrative Medicine Principles

  1. Patient and practitioner are partners in the healing process.
  2. All factors that influence health, wellness, and disease are taken into consideration.
  3. Appropriate use of both conventional and alternative methods facilitates the body’s innate healing response.
  4. Effective interventions are natural and less invasive should be used whenever possible.
  5. Integrative Medicine neither rejects conventional medicine nor accepts alternative therapies uncritically.
  6. Good medicine is based on good science. It is inquiry-driven and open to new paradigms.
  7. Alongside the concept of treatment, the broader concepts of health promotion and the prevention of illness are paramount.
  8. Practitioners of integrative medicine should exemplify its principles and commit themselves to self-exploration and self-development.

Why Are Patients Moving From the Traditional Model?

Our healthcare system has been through so many changes over the last few decades. And frankly, it seems the human element is becoming increasingly lost in the shuffle too.

Care Model

The care model has shifted from a model where the patient is at the center to a model based on systems. And it has been increasingly difficult for the average American to navigate their way through the process to get what they need.

Americans are left:

  • Feeling lost
  • Confused about whether they are getting the care they need
  • Wondering whether their specialists communicate with one another

Feeling Connected

For instance, in a healthy practice, the whole team works together for the patient. We see the shift toward the Integrative Medicine model happening around us every day.

That is to say, our hope is the mainstream model will continue to see the benefits and continue to:

  • Improve patient outcomes
  • Improve safety
  • Increase patient satisfaction

Could This Be the Solution?

Most importantly, many experts predict Integrative Medicine may be the solution to the healthcare crisis that Americans currently face. Medical costs have skyrocketed as has the prevalence of chronic diseases.

For instance, Integrative Medicine focuses on understanding the person as a whole and supports lifestyle change as part of treatment. Therefore, it’s now being recognized as a strategy to address the epidemic of chronic diseases currently bankrupting our economy.

Are They Not The Same Thing?

Functional Medicine follows Integrative Medicine Principles. And it’s true, they are closely related. However, they have one significant difference. Integrative Medicine looks at what and how; Functional Medicine also asks why, and:

  • Goes beyond making a diagnosis
  • Doesn’t prescribe drugs or surgery only to treat the condition
  • Takes a deep dive into the patient’s history
  • Studies the patient’s biochemistry
  • Prioritizes research into the patient’s background
  • Includes an analysis of the patient’s genetics

Functional Medicine is Our Specialty

Living Well Dallas is a Functional Medical Center with over a decade of experience. Our story began with a single clinic in 2005. And over the years, we have added new services, a wider variety of specialists.

We’ve grown our offerings so we can better support our patients. Through a variety of treatment plans and expert guidance, we bring together the supportive mind-body medicine specialists including:

Most importantly, we are your partner in health. We believe the path to wellness is a conversation between patient and practitioner. We do not prescribe quick fixes and will always work to uncover the root cause of your health concerns.

Living Well Dallas has a wide set of skills under the same roof. We will collaborate with you to find the best treatment plan. For instance, we offer patients a strong support system because implementing a wellness plan can be challenging without proper support.

We Take Care of the Whole Person

Our team of specialists will work closely with you. At Living Well Dallas, our goal is to uncover the root cause of your health concern.

Lastly, YOU are not alone in your journey! That is to say, we want you to live your best life! So, learn about our story and how we can guide you to better health!

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