Why Functional Medicine is the Medicine of the Future

When people visit a doctor’s office these days, one of the first things that some patients may notice is the need for doctors to prescribe medicine and rarely reach the root a patient’s illness. Functional medicine intends to find the root causes of people’s illnesses. Functional medicine asks the question of why is this person sick, instead of only treating the symptoms.

How does this work? How does functional medicine differ from our day to day doctors’ visits? Simply by seeing the human body as a system rather than individual parts. When a patient is being treated with the use of functional medicine, the practitioner views the symptoms as part of the problem but not the root of the illness. A functional medicine practitioner will consider a patient’s genetics, patient history, body function, and lifestyle to find the root of the illness instead of focusing on the symptoms.

www.mindbodygreen.com provides Five Basic Principles that Define Functional Medicine:

  1. Functional Medicine sees every human body as different. Since every human body is different, this type of care treats the person individually; it does not focus on the illness.
  2. Functional Medicine is science-based and is rooted in understanding that our bodies work in one intricate system.
  3. Our body is intelligent and it tries to always maintain a balanced system.
  4. Our bodies are made to heal and prevent almost all diseases from growing.
  5. When our bodies are healthy, it is a sign of strength.

These basic principles help a healthcare practitioner focus on the patient rather than focusing on one portion of a patient’s illness. A functional medicine practitioner will sit down and get to know a patient’s lifestyle and background to choose a treatment plan that fits that individual’s needs. Through this practice, a patient can alter their lifestyle and change what may be the root of their illness to heal their body, instead of treating one symptom.


  • Cole, D.C. William. “The 5 Principles of Functional Medicine.” Mindbodygreen, 5 Sept. 2012, www.mindbodygreen.com/0-6014/The-5-Principles-of-Functional-Medicine.html.
  • Hyman, Mark. “About Functional Medicine.” Dr. Mark Hyman, drhyman.com/about-2/about-functional-medicine/.
  • “What Is Functional Medicine?” The Institute for Functional Medicine, www.ifm.org/functional-medicine/what-is-functional-medicine/.

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