A variety of approaches are available to treat patients with health problems. Without understanding exactly what each approach is, they are easy to confuse. It’s common for people to not know the difference between integrative medicine and functional medicine. They are actually two different approaches to treating health problems that have some overlap.
Integrative medicine is the combination of traditional treatments and alternative therapies to treat the body with a holistic approach. Integrative medicine does not focus on just one physical health problem a patient has – it works to correct the mind, body, and spirit so the entire body heals. This broad approach to healing the entire person rather than just a single condition aims to make patients healthier and happier overall.
Integrative medicine addresses different aspects of a patient’s life such as physical, mental, social, emotional, and environmental influences that work together. When there are issues in one or more of these areas, health problems begin to happen. By approaching a person’s health problems through this lens, integrative medicine heals the whole body rather than just symptoms associated with a single health problem.
Examples of integrative medicine include detoxification therapies, medication reduction therapy, nutritional therapy (supplements, herbal medicines, naturopathic medicines), and regenerative medicine. These treatments work together with some traditional treatments to effectively treat a patient in a faster, more effective way.
Functional medicine is an approach that focuses on optimal function of the body. This means helping the body function in the best way possible by focusing on efficiency in each organ of the body. Functional medicine understands that every individual is different – from genetics to biochemical makeup. Because of this, functional medicine has a personalized approach for each patient – with both diagnostics and treatment. This approach relies heavily on science-based research and testing to understand a patient’s unique needs.
Functional medicine works to correct problems in organs and the rest of the body using natural supplements wherever possible. While it does incorporate traditional medicine when necessary, functional medicine strives to use natural ways to fix health problems.
Functional medicine also heavily emphasizes lifestyle changes to fix health problems, such as diet, exercise, sleep patterns, stress levels, and other aspects of life. Examples of functional medicine include acupuncture, naturopathy, massage, chiropractic medicine, osteopathic medicine, body movement therapies, tai chi, and yoga.
Holistic Treatment in Minnesota and South Carolina
If you’re searching for a health care center that provides top-notch, customized, and patient-focused care for your health needs, visit Between the Bridges Healing Center. We offer both integrative and functional medicine for your optimal health.
Call (507) 388-7488 to make an appointment today. You can also request an appointment online.