What Is Functional Medicine? An Easy-To-Understand Explanation for Medical Consumers

Ever been told by your doctor that there’s nothing wrong with you, even though you have distinct, bothersome symptoms that won’t go away? Chances are, you felt discounted and bewildered, with little or no idea of where to go next for help.What your doctor undoubtedly meant was, “Given my training, I can’t find a specific disease or condition that you have and that I can prescribe for.” Fortunately, there is another kind of medical training that tracks down the causes of your health issues and offers treatments that may resolve your issue without surgery or drugs.Functional Medicine Offers a Powerful Alternative ApproachIn conventional medicine, a practitioner examines you, performs tests and attempts to match your symptoms to a named disease or condition, then follows the latest medical guidelines on what to prescribe for that disease or condition. Functional Medicine, however, regards each patient as a unique individual, runs laboratory tests and looks for the biochemical, lifestyle and environmental causes of that individual’s health problems. The treatment then proceeds according to the specific causes that were identified.In Functional Medicine, two patients who have the same outward symptoms may be discovered to have completely different causes for their symptoms and therefore completely different treatments. The great strength of this approach is in helping patients who have complicated, chronic health problems that do not get identified or improved from “cookbook” treatment.The Healing Approach of Functional MedicineTo restore you to good health, Functional Medicine uses two scientifically grounded principles:1. Add what’s lacking in your body to nudge your physiology back to a state of optimal functioning.
2. Remove anything that impedes your body from moving toward this optimal state of physiology.Plainly put, your body naturally wants to be healthy. But essential nutrients might be needed for your body to function at its best, or toxins such as pollutants might be standing in the way of its best functioning. Functional Medicine first identifies the factors responsible for the malfunctioning. Then it deals with those factors in a way appropriate to your particular situation.For treatment, your Functional Medicine practitioner will call upon natural agents such as supplements, herbs, nutraceuticals and homeopathics, recommend and support you in making nutritional and lifestyle changes, provide spiritual or emotional counseling, and if absolutely necessary to prod your physiology back to an optimal state, prescribe drugs. In addition, educating you about your health problem and its causes empowers you to take charge of their own health, leading to more successful treatment.How to Find a PractitionerIf you’re interested in consulting a Functional Medicine practitioner, simply go to the directory of medical doctors, chiropractors, naturopaths and other health care professionals worldwide who have been trained and certified in Functional Medicine at: http://www.functionalmedicinedoctors.com.

Hold on a Second What About My Health?

In today’s bustling world of high speed rail, light-speed communication and round the clock world-wide trading there is little time for dabbling with anything ineffective. When our world is progressing at an exponential rate it is no wonder that we don’t want to waste time with something that hasn’t been proven, and less surprising that our measure of truth is efficacy. This is the world which modern allopathic medicine aims to serve. They are born of the same principles which require that methods be proven effective and that they work in time, and in a time which is growing smaller by the day. Although the advances of modern medicine have no doubt proved very effective, having eliminated a number of horrible diseases that once unrelentingly plagued mankind and pioneered new and innovative surgeries and treatments, one is likely to ask, “is it bringing complete health to the individual?”The successes of modern medicine are extensive, whether you consider the numerous diseases conquered, or on the way to being conquered, ailments greatly relieved, potent pain-relieving or performance enhancing drugs that push us beyond our hitherto perceived limitations, and for the most part all provided with the easy administration of an IV shot or a pill. The effectiveness of these methods is indubitable, but perhaps we should ask a more basic question, are they providing the effects what we truly want?The answer seems to be both yes and no. Yes, they treat the ailments, kill infections, destroy disease, relieve pain, provide energy etc., but no, they each have a list of side effects which is often too long to recount and more than slightly disturbing. Taking into consideration these counter-effects inherent in the treatments of allopathic medicine, the rise of immune deficient and cancerous conditions might not seem surprising. This method of treatment coupled with the high-paced and arguably unnatural, or at the very least unconventional, modern life style is perhaps a recipe for death which we are just beginning to taste. However, even if this method of medical treatment isn’t ideal, is there really a viable alternative?In medicine, as with anything, form follows function. If quick and indubitable, albeit dangerous, effectiveness is desired, there are few real competitors to the products of the modern pharmaceutical industry. However, if health, i.e. having proper functioning of the body and its processes and the free use of its faculties, is what is desired, then the purpose of medicine is not simply to conquer a single disease or ailment but to restore balance to the whole person and to recover the freedom which is natural to a human being. Such a medicine will take form according to this function, and it is in this way that Ayurveda, the science of life, differs from allopathic medicine of the modern age.is a holistic and natural medicine which utilizes the bounty of the earth and our inter-personal relationships to treat the individual as a whole, and not simply as a collection of organs and parts. Much as modern medicine draws from the amazing photo-chemical factories of plants, Ayurveda draws from the plants of the world. However, unlike modern pharmacology, ayurvedic medicine does not seek to re-synthesize or isolate particular constituents, but to utilize the plants in their rich diversity and effectiveness. Where the two-dimensionality and myopia of synthetic treatment fails, with its long list of often alarmingly dangerous side-effects, ayurveda’s holistic treatments pervade the body treating it in subtle and powerful manners.Ayurvedic medicine has its roots deep in ancient history, reaching back nearly four millennia. It has taken as long to continually establish and develop itself not only as a science of life, but as a living science. It has not only developed cannons of diagnoses and decoctions for all types of ailments affecting every part of the human person, but also a holistic methodology and perspective which views the person as a whole being, and not simply a co-ordination of chemical reactions. Catalogues of formulations and prescriptions are not enough, however extensive they may be. Ayurvedic medicine holds this as a central principle and views the person as the individual which they are, not simply as a manifestation of a particular disease. It treats the person as a whole, addressing all aspects of their life as potential or actual causes of disease and imbalance. Ayurveda is a living tradition for the betterment of our tradition of living.Being a living tradition functioning to treat living and dynamic human beings, Ayurveda takes all aspects of human existence into account. Ayurvedic treatments are specially adapted to treat each particular situation, and no two are the same. However, treatments fall into two general categories, there are the cleansing actions of panchakarma which aim to open up the blocked and constricted passageways and allow the body to expel toxins which harbor and complicate disease. Second there are balancing treatments, which aim to restore balance an individual’s constitution. These treatments are administered in this order depending upon the necessity of the individual. Taking the simple analogy of a bicycle as an example, one can see it is necessary to first clean the gears and the bearings before tuning and balancing the bicycle.A wise man once said, “life is like riding a bicycle, in order to keep your balance, you’ve got to keep moving.”, but it’s also true that you can’t go too fast or you’ll lose your balance all the same. Ayurvedic medicine does not administer morphine or penicillin, but there is wisdom in this. Life takes time, and one cannot expect to find true health immediately. Health is not cheap or easy, and patience is a virtue. These are some of the many things which Ayurveda has to teach us.

How to Overcome Medical Challenges With Tele-Medicine?

What is Tele-medicine?It is defined as “the use of medical information exchanged via electronic communications to diagnose or improve a person’s health status. The transmission of information may happen over the internet via video chat, web chat or telephone routed through call centers. Patient queries are attended by qualified medical practitioners and information is protected by the same laws that protect in-person doctor-patient consultations.Benefits of tele-medicine for patientsPerhaps the greatest benefits of tele-medicine or tele-health are cost efficiency and convenience. People in rural areas and who are traveling a lot and are away from home and their doctor will find virtual doctor consultations or tele-medicine useful. It also serves as a platform to learn and share information ranging from primary health care to specialist health care issues. This means that people who consult tele-health practitioners can expect more than just a physical exam. They will end their session with information about whatever ails them, prescribed and detailed information about how to deal with their condition and what measures they need to take to prevent recurrence. Patients can access laboratory results and electronic health records which they can use to seek second opinions. Patients get as much time as they need to understand more about their health because most online consultations aren’t timed and therefore they can ask as many questions as they want and have lengthy discussions with the online medical practitioner. In short, tele-medicine has made our lives easier by providing more facilities in a very limited cost.Benefits that Tele-medicine offer to medical practitionersBy doing things electronically, tele-health service providers are able to manage and organize information efficiently. Keeping electronic patients’ records allow service providers to share information easily when they need second opinions from other doctors who either specialize in a particular field of medicine. Information can also be easily shared for research purposes or for in-depth discussions on medical forums. In this way, whole of the activity is done efficiently and effectively.How Tele-medicine empowers patients?The increase in the number of patients who spend a great deal of their time online has prompted medical service providers to improve their own accessibility online. Information is now more easily available online. Tele-medicine providers foster personal relationships with patients and help them feel more empowered because they get information they wouldn’t normally get in one-on-one consultations. Doctors can subscribe to tele-health network providers to offer their services to more people. Even though the interaction between patient and doctor happens on a virtual platform, it can be more personal than an actual in-person relationship.Cost efficiency and convenience are two important issues that are addressed by tele-health but besides those, tele-medicine fosters closer relationships between doctors and patients. It is also a great information-sharing portal for patients, doctors and researchers.