Functional medicine is popular right now. Chiropractors took the lead in this area, and now Western medicine doctors are following suit. They are tackling stubborn, poorly understood health conditions like autoimmune diseases. Their message is quite different from modern medicine’s focus on reducing symptoms. Functional medicine comes from Chinese medicine principles, addressing the root cause of disease.
Functional Medicine Comes From Chinese Medicine
Chinese medicine has been preaching the benefits of addressing the root for the past two thousand years. Our diagnostic technique evaluates a patient’s symptoms, tongue and pulse and then derives a Chinese medicine diagnosis. Acupuncture and Chinese herbs are used to correct the underlying imbalances responsible for the condition. Results are impressive. In most cases the patient’s health is improved.
Functional medicine relies on either Western medicine diagnostic techniques or more esoteric methods (energy testing) to determine a diagnosis. Then supplements are given to correct the underlying problem. Little research has been done evaluating the efficacy of functional medicine. Most patients try functional medicine either because it has helped a friend or loved one, or they are desperate.
There are dozens of books on the market describing functional medicine protocols for treating complex health conditions like Lyme and Hashimoto’s disease. They involve dietary and lifestyle changes, taking specific supplements and reducing stress. We have no doubt that some of these techniques work. It’s just hard to know which protocol will work for which person, and for how long.
At the same time, modern medicine is working diligently to find answers to these thorny health issues. New medicines are being tested, like immunoglobulin therapy, to alter the way our immune system responds to disease. New tests are providing more accurate information in the diagnostic process. They are probably working on immunizations as well.
Addressing The Root Cause of Disease
The common thread of all these developments is that medicine is starting to realize the importance of addressing the root cause, and not just focus on suppressing symptoms. Reducing symptoms is good. Pain is debilitating. But we want more. We want a more holistic approach. Chinese medicine and acupuncture have been providing this approach for a long time. We now have new friends joining the party.
Many of our patients with complex health conditions also see functional medicine practitioners. We support this. Chinese medicine and acupuncture cannot solve these problems alone. We do our part to strengthen the body, restore balance and reduce symptoms like pain, fatigue, digestive and bowel distress.
At the same time, new testing techniques by modern and functional medicine practitioners can give more detailed information about the nature of these diseases. What type of infection is at the root of Lyme disease? And what supplements are effective for killing off these pernicious infections?
We are all in this fight together. As consumers of health care, patients need to ask the right questions before diving in to alternative treatment. Make sure the supplements you are taking are safe. Make sure the provider you are seeing is properly trained and that there is substance behind their approach to helping you. Functional medicine comes from Chinese medicine, in the sense that they focus on addressing the root cause of disease.
If you want to add Chinese medicine into your health care regime, make an appointment. We will conduct an intake exam and explain our approach to improving your health. We cannot solve every health condition, but we resolve a great number of them. And where we cannot resolve a condition completely, we can improve your health and quality of life. So many health conditions these days require a multi-pronged approach to care. There is not just one simple solution. Chinese medicine is a good tool to have in your toolbox of health care.
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Functional medicine comes from Chinese medicine.