As you likely know, I’m 100% in service to the Functional Medicine model. I believe it’s designed to address many of the key problems we’re facing in healthcare today—problems where patients are getting sicker and sicker and chronic health challenges are not being addressed.
Functional Medicine aims to look at the whole person and move toward root cause resolution (as opposed to just symptom management). This brings more sustainable outcomes to the patient population and, ultimately, more successes for clinicians in practice.
Just this week I heard from a friend about a young woman given a diagnosis of fibromyalgia. Her doctor gave her the diagnosis and stopped there. No explanation as to what “fibromyalgia” means, what’s going on in her body that’s creating her pain, or what she can do to feel even the tiniest bit better. She was just told to “wait and watch.”
To me, this is unacceptable.
That young woman doesn’t need to suffer. And she certainly doesn’t need to wait and watch. Doing nothing simply provides further opportunity for the imbalances that led to that chronic pain to manifest elsewhere in her body (as new signs, symptoms and possibly even additional diagnoses)!
A Functional Medicine physician would likely not buy into the ‘wait and watch’ approach, and we don’t need to either. There is plenty that can be done to help this patient to identify her behaviors as they relate to her suffering, and move toward the nutrition and lifestyle modifications that will enable her to take more ownership of her daily experiences.
As it stands, not only is she at the whim of her doctor’s willingness to take some action, but she’s also at the whim of her very own body.
To her, there is no rhyme or reason for why her body is deceiving her.
And yet, there is rhyme and reason!
It’s just going to take time and patience to uncover those reasons and to educate her on how she can take back control of her own health and manage her own symptom expression.
Enter the Allied Functional Medicine Practitioner!
Functional Medicine has not only identified that diet and lifestyle modification are a top priority for patient success-stories, but it’s also recognized that patient education is essential.
And let’s face it, patient education takes time and specific skills—time and skills that the physician likely does not have. So while the concept of Functional Medicine provides a solution, the model also has a gap.
It’s a gap you can fill.
It’s time for the nutritionists, health coaches, registered nurses, physician’s assistants, dieticians, nurse practitioner, acupuncturists, massage therapists and other integrative practitioners to step up and fill the gap.
We do this by thinking Functionally.
And I can teach you the systems that will enable you to do so.
Functional Nutrition holds the keys to the Functional Medicine model’s success. And stepping into the role of Allied Functional Medicine Practitioner holds the keys to your success!#FunctionalNutrition holds the keys to the #FunctionalMedicine model’s success. Click To Tweet
Are you ready to start practicing and thinking functionally? Start here.
Functional nutritionist and educator Andrea Nakayama (FNLP, MSN, CNC, CNE, CHHC) is leading patients and practitioners around the world in a revolution to reclaim ownership over our own health. Her passion for food as personalized medicine was born from the loss of her young husband to a brain tumor in 2002. She’s now regularly consulted as the nutrition expert for the toughest clinical cases in the practices of many world-renowned doctors, and trains a thousand practitioners online each year in her methodologies at Functional Nutrition Lab. Learn more about Andrea here.