What is Functional Medicine?

Functional medicine or personalized medicine is an approach that seeks to find the underlying cause of disease, rather than merely treating the symptoms. Functional medicine practitioners identify unhealthy body systems and right those imbalances using the latest science-based approaches and ancient healing traditions. Practitioners consider the complex web of interactions in the patient’s history, physiology, and lifestyle that can lead to illness. The unique genetic makeup of each patient is considered, along with both internal and external factors that affect total functioning. Internal factors include the strong connection between mind, body, and spiritual aspects of health. External factors, such as the physical and social environment are also considered. Functional medicine is not a one-size-fits all. Patients are partners in treatment and are recognized as having unique needs based on their genetics, environment, and personal history.

A functional medicine nutritionist uses the functional medicine framework to right pathological imbalances in the body with food and supplements. Functional medicine nutritionists believe food can be medicine, and use it as such. Additionally, functional medicine nutritionists receive extra training beyond traditional nutrition and dietetics in supplementation, biochemical analysis, therapeutic diets, lifestyle interventions, and the mind-body connection. A functional medicine nutritionist takes your whole being and lifestyle into account when creating a personalized approach to address your health concerns. Other names for these healing practices include personalized medicine, integrative medicine/nutrition, food as medicine, complementary and alternative medicine/nutrition, lifestyle medicine, holistic medicine, complementary medicine, and mind-body medicine. Julie Starkel has completed additional training in functional medicine and is a recognized functional medicine nutritionist in Seattle.

Learn more about functional medicine here.

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