Integrative/ Functional Medicine
Natural therapies have advanced to the point where we can now blend science and nature to create lab guided, doctor recommended supplement programs. This can be done by using our clinical laboratory testing to create individualized nutrient programs. Lab testing results can be applied to a wide range of health concerns, from weight loss to hormone balancing. Using the latest technology, we can now accurately assess specific nutrient deficiencies, measure hormone levels and determine the best therapeutic protocol for correcting many chronic health conditions. This can also be used on a preventive basis, to maintain healthy functioning in those without any current health problems.
Based around the four basic body systems – Hormonal, Digestive, Immune and Detoxification – Functional Medicine offers a comprehensive plan to improve all four of these systems simultaneously using a nutrition plan, exercise, laboratory analysis, and supplements. Find out if you can benefit from a professionally developed plan.
Beyond acupuncture and herbal medicine, we offer the following functional medicine services, which when integrated serve to support healing and ongoing wellness:
• Laboratory -based assessments
• Nutritional supplement programs
• Diet and lifestyle counseling
• Rehabilitation and weight loss programs
The four basic body systems
Basing health programs on lab tests which assess the function of four basic body systems: hormonal, immune, digestive and detoxification.
Hormones act as the command and control system of the body and regulate energy production, fat burning and mood. Hormonal imbalances are common among people suffering from weight issues, fatigue and depression.
The immune system regulates the body’s ability to fight chronic or recurrent infections and the ability to repair cells (e.g., the immune system is addressed when an athlete wants to speed repair of muscle tissue to improve performance, and also when a person desires to prevent cancer, heart disease or diabetes.)
The digestive tract is responsible for our vitality via the breakdown and absorption of every nutrient that fuels our cells. Problems with the digestive system are typically experienced as bloating, indigestion, gas, constipation or diarrhea. Many people have experienced gastrointestinal discomfort for so long that they have adjusted to it and think that their system’s poor function is normal. With healthy digestive function a person will feel energized and revitalized after a meal for 4-6 hours and will not experience any cravings for sweets.
The detoxification system refers to the body’s pathways for eliminating harmful toxins such as mercury, various chemicals and the products that result from the breakdown of alcohol or medications. The modern world is creating a level of chemical and heavy metal exposure that is taxing our detoxification system.
These four body systems all interact with one another. For example, certain foods you are reactive will cause inflammation in the GI tract which impacts normal digestion and absorption of nutrients. This inflammation generates a hormonal response and as the anti-inflammatory hormone cortisol rises, immune function lowers and your sex hormone levels drop.
This can happen because you had a pancake breakfast and a large glass of orange juice!
The role of diet and exercise
In many cases, depression, fatigue and weight gain (the three most common complaints at the clinic) can be relieved by exercise and diet changes and proper nutritional supplements along with lab assessments.
Aside from the natural hormonal decline from the aging process, hormonal imbalance can be a secondary response to a primary stress, whether it is emotional stress, physiological stress due to pain and inflammation, or dietary stress. In general, if the stress can be addressed with diet changes, correction of chronic inflammatory conditions and support for emotional health, the need for continued hormonal support is eliminated.
Chronic health problems
Some common problems diagnosed in our clinic is infection – low grade, chronic infection caused by such things as parasites, bacterial infection and food intolerance – that over time wear people down physically and emotionally. In my experience, 90% of people bounce back health-wise within a year or so of starting treatment for chronic infections.
The tools used to create your wellness plan
1.) Diet: Making changes to what foods to eat and what foods you need to avoid, times of day and portion sizing in order to maximize the efficiency of your unique biochemistry. Recommending food allergy testing, hormone assessments and learning what your metabolic type is enable us to discern how to meet your health needs
2.) Supplementation: Assessing nutrient deficiency (via lab testing and signs and symptoms), recommending supplements that will have a therapeutic benefit for you to a healthier body.
3.) Exercise, lifestyle and stress management guidance: Directing you towards establishing an appropriate exercise program combining strength training, stretching and cardiovascular exercise. Suggesting lifestyle modifications: such as sleep patterns, work schedule and water intake. Relaxation techniques such as yoga, meditation, talk therapy will be discussed
As part of your program I may recommend that you purchase nutritional supplements. These may include specific vitamins, minerals, herbs, natural plant based hormones and many other products. All of the supplements I recommend are from nutrition companies that only sell their products to physicians. These are the highest quality products available. They contain only the purest pharmaceutical grade nutrients (nutraceuticals) and the potency of each product is guaranteed by the company.