Updated: Mar 20
Have you been wondering about natural alternative paths to take regarding your health journey? In this article, we will explore how Functional Medicine and Wellness can help you and your loved ones to fully restore and rebalance your health from a foundational level.
If you're tired of constantly feeling sick and relying on pharmaceuticals to manage your symptoms, it may be time to consider a more holistic approach to healthcare through Functional Medicine and Wellness.
Allopathic Western Medicine has been prominent since the beginning of the 19th century and began its rise after advancements in science uncovered new information about bodily function. Allopathic Medicine typically focuses on treating patient's symptoms using pharmaceutical medicines, surgeries and procedures. But does the allopathic method of healthcare actually restore true functional health? Or does it just reduce symptoms that your body is raising as a red flag notifying you that an organ system is not able to function properly. It may provide a bandaid-type of temporary relief in symptoms, but it does not focus on further prevention of illness or imbalances, or address contributing causes of symptoms.
The functional medicine model is an individualized, patient-centered, science-based approach that empowers patients and practitioners to work together to address the underlying causes of disease and promote optimal wellness. It requires a detailed understanding of each patient’s genetic, biochemical, and lifestyle factors and leverages that data to direct personalized treatment plans that lead to improved patient outcomes.
By addressing root cause, rather than symptoms, practitioners become oriented to identifying the complexity of disease. They may find one condition has many different causes and, likewise, one cause may result in many different conditions. As a result, functional medicine treatment targets the specific manifestations of disease in each individual.
Functional Medicine is the future of healthcare because it does focus on the prevention of illness through its origin to strive for permanent relief of all symptoms. Keep reading to understand more about this.
The Basics of Holistic Health
Holistic health is an all-encompassing approach to healthcare that encourages living life naturally to reach one’s healthiest and happiest well-being. This ancient approach to health considers the whole person, including their physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being. It is based on the belief that the body has the inherent and intuitive ability to heal itself, and that optimal health can be achieved by addressing the underlying dysfunctions or imbalances within the body. It emphasizes the connection of the mind, body, and spirit and heals any disconnects through natural remedies.
The importance of the holistic approach is more pertinent now than ever before; With all of the worldly and environmental factors that contribute to poor health, our society needs new, detailed methods of healing that produce advanced, long-lasting positive results.
In contrast, Traditional Western medicine is a biomedical approach to healthcare that is focused on the diagnosis and treatment of specific diseases or conditions. It is based on the scientific method and relies heavily on evidence-based practices and interventions, such as medications, procedures, and surgeries, to address specific and immediate health concerns.
Traditional Western medicine is generally more reactive, focusing on treating diseases or conditions once they have already occurred. Holistic health approaches tend to place greater emphasis on prevention and alleviation of illness and the correlated symptoms, rather than treating what has already developed. This is why we encourage the functional approach rather than the allopathic way.
Defining Functional Medicine and Functional Wellness
- The Evolution of Wellness began around 3,000 B.C. and has been developing since. In 1990, Dr. Jeffery Bland, known as the father of functional medicine, suggested the concept of integrating accepted and regular medical practices with progressive treatment modalities to address overall chronic health issues.
Through the holistic approach comes the functional modalities with which Resonance Wellness operates. Holistic health is a lifestyle choice, while functional wellness and medicine are methods of getting there.
Let us define Functional Medicine and Functional Wellness to deepen your understanding of all that we do:
Functional Medicine is a holistic and
personalized approach to healthcare that focuses on identifying and addressing the root cause of disease after understanding one’s genetics and their physical, emotional, and mental history. Similar to holistic health, functional care is based on the philosophy that within the body, each system has a natural ability to regenerate itself.
Functional medicine practitioners collaborate with their patients to co-create a comprehensive treatment plan that addresses the unique needs of each individual. This may include recommending dietary changes, lifestyle modifications, supplementation, and other natural therapies, as well as traditional medical treatments when necessary.
One of the key principles of functional medicine is the recognition of the interconnectedness of all systems within the body and the importance of considering the whole person rather than just treating individual symptoms or conditions. This approach takes into account a person’s environment, lifestyle, genetics, and other factors that may contribute to their overall health and well-being.
Functional Wellness, on the other hand, refers to a state of optimal physical, mental, emotional, and social well-being. It is not just the absence of disease, but rather a holistic state of overall vitality and good health. A practitioner practices Functional Wellness when recommending lifestyle changes, providing exercise/nutritional plans, creating stress-reduction techniques, and other similar aspects of healthcare. On the other hand, the practitioner may also use Functional Medicine to recommend supplements, order lab/blood work, perform holistic therapies and/or treatments, etc.
Functional Medicine and Wellness go hand in hand, as they both prioritize a holistic, natural approach to healthcare and aim to empower individuals to take control of their own health. By promoting healthy lifestyle habits and recommending certain treatments or therapies, the Functional approach can help any and all individuals reach the vitality they desire.
Here are some examples of methods used through the functional and holistic approach:
Nutritional therapy: Discussing with one’s functional medicine doctor potential dietary changes, such as eliminating certain foods that may trigger inflammation or other negative responses within the body. May include incorporating nutrient-rich foods that support optimal bodily function and proper balance. Lab testing may be required to determine the course of one’s ultimate health plan.
Lifestyle modification: Includes recommendations for detoxification protocols, stress management/reduction techniques, exercise/stretching regimes, and other habits that support overall physical and mental well-being.
Natural remedies: May include herbs, supplements, and other natural substances that can help to support the body’s natural defenses and healing processes.
Holistic Health Plan: Discussing symptoms with patients, reviewing health history and genetics, pinpointing root dysfunction and/or imbalances, and constructing a personalized healthcare plan with numerous phases to begin the healing journey that includes future follow-up appointments and checkpoints.
New and improved healthcare--the natural way--is the future. Every person who plays a role in holistic health is passionate about what they do, because they know it can always accomplish what traditional medicine cannot.
Understanding the basics of natural medicine is the first step. Next, we will explain the great benefits of the modalities in which we practice. Get ready to be truly INSPIRED!
5 Surprising Benefits of Natural Medicine
The benefits of a natural lifestyle are countless and extraordinary. Let’s expound upon what the holistic approach can do for YOU.
The most important aspects of choosing the natural life are improved physical health, mental clarity, emotional well-being, and a reduced environmental impact.
Although the various benefits outweigh the few potential drawbacks, it is important to mention that one might feel a lack of convenience for the natural approach because of the need to be more mindful of one’s choices. This might be the case for some, but it is important to remember that health is always worth putting forth more effort, finances, and time into choosing to live naturally; Health ultimately comes at no cost.
Natural & Non-invasive: Holistic medicine offers natural and non-invasive solutions rather than relying on pharmaceuticals or invasive procedures.
Individualized Care: Functional medicine practitioners take the time to understand each individual’s unique health history, genetics, and current health status to create a personalized treatment plan that addresses their specific needs.
Prevention: By identifying and addressed the root causes of illness and imbalances, Functional Medicine and Wellness can help prevent the onset of chronic diseases and promote long-term health
Improved quality of life: Holistic healthcare helps patients feel their best and improve their overall quality of life. When one feels healthy, happiness follows, and life takes on new meaning. Every day is a new opportunity to learn, grow, and thrive.
Empowerment: The Functional Wellness approach encourages patients to learn the reason behind all recommendations of supplements, labs, protocols, or lifestyle changes and the science/explanation for all bodily functions or dysfunctions. It empowers them to make informed decisions about their own care, letting them choose their healthcare path rather than a doctor who doesn’t have their best interests in mind. Natural healing practitioners, like Dr. Doolittle with Resonance Wellness, have pure intentions in their hearts and support the patient in their every need.
Practices to Consider for A Vibrant Life
There are many alternative and complementary healthcare practices that are grounded in natural principles. This includes herbal medicine, acupuncture, reiki, massage, naturopathy, and much more. There are also practices like meditation, yoga, mindfulness, breathwork, and exercise which help improve overall health and increase a positive state of mind.
In order to benefit fully from natural living practices, one should also focus on ways to incorporate living naturally into daily life. This could happen by choosing natural, non-toxic products for personal care and cleaning, supporting local and organic agriculture, and reducing waste and consumption.
We have many patients who visit our clinic that are walking examples of how natural medicine saves lives. Not only are patients returning monthly for follow-up appointments, but they suggest holistic healthcare to their friends and family too. At Resonance Wellness, we have the privilege of witnessing complete health turnarounds within months of the first Initial Evaluation visit.
Embracing a holistic mindset is a healthy basis for these techniques and practices. The mindset is crucial; when one’s energy drains and motivation is lost, embodying the image of health through mind and spirit revitalizes! Perseverance then helps one continue toward the ultimate goal: Vibrant Health and Happiness! We encourage you to adopt the mental fortitude needed to be proactive in your own health. This positive mindset can help you recognize the interconnectedness of all aspects of life.
If extra help is needed, we also encourage you to seek out resources and support to through our website help you live the natural lifestyle: drleiladoolittle.com
Dr. Doolittle offers tutorials on her YouTube channel for exercises and stretches to inspire you to begin the healing journey! Also posted on her channel are testimonials and other modalities/practices she specializes in, including Functional Chiropractic and Pediatric Chiropractic.
We are excited to offer a new Functional Medicine Program: Foundational Health Course in Functional Medicine. This will be a course available on our Kajabi University site, and will be a self-paced course starting February 1st, 2023. During this Foundation Health Course in Functional Medicine, we will teach you the foundational tools you need to achieve your truest definition of health - to thrive and feel abundance and vibrantly alive every day of your life.
Join Us: Adventure to Optimal Health & Wellbeing
To conclude, we have discussed what holistic health means, defined Functional Medicine and Functional Wellness, explained the methods and modalities of natural medicine, described the numerous benefits of this type of healthcare, and given examples of key practices for a natural lifestyle. We hope you finish this blog feeling inspired to take control of your health and begin the adventure toward optimal health and a vibrant life.
Continue to learn about ways to live naturally and implement the practices we've talked about. Each day we discover more about how living holistically can benefit us greatly.
At Resonance Wellness, we are always teaching our patients about the functional health approach and all the science behind it. We offer various resources to encourage learning and the application of knowledge into one’s daily life.
If you enjoyed this article, leave a comment below! On our website are other blog posts with relevant health information that you might be interested in, so check them out!
Visit our website to learn more about Functional Medicine or to schedule an appointment today to begin creating your personalized holistic healthcare plan.