Integrative and Functional Medicine

 

The Cleveland clinic will be introducing a "functional medicine" department soon and investing million of dollars into this endeavor. This is because modern medicine has little to offer to treat the growing number of chronic diseases in our population and has little understanding as to why this increasingly occurs. A practitioner trained Integrative and functional medicine learns how our bodies organ, endocrine (hormonal), neurological and immune systems interact and influence each other. We are learning that many chronic diseases and symptoms are related to imbalances between these systems and can me cured or improved by addressing these interactions. Because these symptoms are often "dysfunctioning" but not fully diseased the clinician has to listen carefully to the patients symptoms and lifestyle and possibly integrate specialized testing into the function of different bodily systems including hormones, nutritional/gut analysis, genetic/metabolic and immunological systems. 

Often a person is sick because they are lacking certain nutrients, vitamins, hormones or enzymes or they can not eliminate metabolic by-products which become toxins in the body. Often environmental triggers such as mold, allergies, food sensitivities, disturbance of the gut micro-biome, parasites, candida, lyme or other co-infections are also contributing to unusual symptoms, chronic problems and lack or response to conventional testing and treatment. 

Sometimes the diet or personal stresses or trauma are affecting a person or the autonomic nervous system balance is effected preventing proper regulation of our bodily systems via the nervous system. 

Functional and Integrative Medicine allows a new and insightful perspective to these issues and our knowledge base is growing rapidly, especially in the field of genetics, the gut micro-biome, allergy,infection,detoxification  nutrition and psychoneuroimmunology. 

The clinicians at the Evergreen Medical Centre are constantly training to improve and  extend there extensive medical training in these areas and offer the best testing and treatments possible. Dr. Johnson has been an educator and teacher in this field long before it became popular and extended into other healing traditions beyond physicians.  Issues like gut biology, dental diseases, , allergy, detoxification are now becoming common knowledge in medicine after being criticized for many , many years. It is exciting to see this filed emerging and rejoining the medical profession and our knowledge base is likely to grow very rapidly over the next decade. 

Integrative medicine also means working with other practitioners and therapists who study extended fields of healing such as massage, PT, OT, chinese medicine,accupuncture, eurythmy,  chiropractic, dentists, myofascial release, art therapy, counseling and etc. We will often refer pt's to these practitioners if we believe it will help them. 

Integrative and Functional Medicine are a core of our philosophy. Through education and understanding these connections patients also become better able to help themselves and stay healthy.

We like the word Salutogenesis. This means the origin of health. This is an area of medicine that needs ot be pursued and funded to a greater extent. Integrative and Functional Medicine represents a search to discover how to support salutogenesis in our bodies, mind and hopefully creative individual spirit. Anthroposophic Medicine is a further extension of this salutogenic principle and there are several articles on this website to review about this topic.