So What Is Functional Medicine?


So What Is Functional Medicine?


I like to think of the human body as a highly competent orchestra. The orchestra is made up of instruments and musicians that are all awesome at what they do. Just like the body with all its many functions and organs.

Imagine if you had a specialist walk into the orchestra and check each instrument and musician individually to fix and tune and polish in order to declare each individual instrument in perfect condition. In modern times in wouldn’t be unusual to have a different specialist for each instrument.

Now imagine that once each instrument has been checked, the conductor stands in front and instructs each of these brilliant musicians to play their favourite piece of music to the best of their ability.

And GO….!!! It wouldn’t sound very good would it? Until each instrument is tuned and each musician is playing off the same music sheet, we just will not achieve anything worth hearing.

In fact it is the conductors job to not only know the music but also to feel the music. Often he will close his eyes and listen to make sure each instrument is playing perfectly.

In fact until everyone is playing the same tune, he can’t hear which of the instruments is playing out of time or tune. Each instrument has to play, or not play, at exactly the correct time to create music that is pleasant to listen to.

The sounds, and the gaps in the sound, make the music. If the music is not in time it can happen that the louder instruments get more blame because they stand out in the performance.

Sometimes you get lucky and that is the problem. Sometimes you can fix it, but sometimes the easiest fix may seem to be to simply remove the noisy instrument from the orchestra. But what if the Tuba kept coming in at the wrong time because the drums, that were supposed to be keeping the time, were throwing him off?

This is exactly how your body works.

Modern, or conventional medicine, makes the mistake of doing tests that look at individual organ function and often end up declaring sick people well. We have all had the experience of feeling unwell but the doctor telling us that everything “looks OK”.

We tend to have specialists that focus so much on their area of expertise that they forget that the body has to play a melody with all the other organs and chemicals. We forget that just removing an organ or doing an operation doesn’t solve the problem, but merely solves the symptom. Even the best doctor cannot use the tests they do to diagnose the problem you have. The tests are simply a guide.

Sometimes to find the problem the doctor, just like the conductor, must listen, think, even close his eyes and feel where the problem lies. The secret to the diagnosis lies in the integration of all the information available, both that which is offered and, that which is not. The music of the body cannot be ignored. The body must be seen as a whole, in which each small component plays a vital role and in which an organ, or imbalance, may sometimes falsely receive blame for malfunctioning because it was protecting a different part.

Feeling better is not the same as being better. The site of the pain or the problem is seldom the site of the primary problem, but rather the point of breakdown. Functional medicine is the medicine of listening.

Listening to you, and listening to your body – because we know, that’s the only place that knows the answers to everything about you!

Each has to play off the same music sheet at the same rythm and in the same key or the music would sound terrible.

In short, functional medicine is a healthy dose of lifestyle adjustment, less quick fixes and less pills - just what this doctor ordered! Still not sure?

We need to nourish, treat and protect our organs daily so we can look great, feel great and deliver at peak performance. Balance is key.

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