It can be confusing! So let’s define some terms…at Third Stone Integrative Health Center, we practice functional medicine, and integrate our approach with other specialists.
Functional medicine means asking, “Why is this symptom happening?” When the doctor asks, “why?” instead of just treating the symptom, the underlying cause of the symptom can be determined. Knowing the underlying cause guides us to the treatments that work more deeply and more completely because they address the root of the problem.
For example, if you have high blood pressure, a conventional doctor will typically prescribe a medication to lower the blood pressure, and then have you return in several weeks to check its efficacy. But the doctors at Third Stone Health will examine all the physiologic factors that regulate your blood pressure, and determine why your blood pressure is high. Treating these factors can restore normal blood pressure without the need for medication. This approach is the functional medicine approach.
A critical principle of functional medicine is that every human is a unique individual. Even people who suffer from the same diagnosis have different combinations of causes for their symptoms. Because treatment is based on the underlying causes, different people will need different treatments, even for the same disease.
The Functional Medicine Approach Applies to All Conditions
The functional medicine approach can be applied to any and every medical condition. No matter how complex, or how long it has been happening, the functional medicine approach can help you figure out the underlying reasons for your symptoms.
Integrative medicine means bringing the best of all approaches to medicine together. The human body is so complex that no one person can be an expert in every organ system. Most people will need the specific expertise of a specialist at some point in their life. That expertise is most effective when integrated with the expertise of other specialists and applied within the functional medicine approach.
At Third Stone Health, we work with you to understand all the different factors creating your symptoms. We help you address those issues with the most effective therapies. This approach includes working with a range of specialists when necessary, from cardiologists to acupuncturists to mind-body experts.
Naturopathic Medicine, Conventional Medicine, Alternative Medicine, Complementary Medicine
Dr. Anne Procyk and Dr. Gwenn Rosenberg both trained as naturopathic physicians. Many, though not all, naturopaths practice functional medicine. Some MD’s and DO’s also practice functional medicine, after taking post-graduate courses to augment their training.
While functional medicine, or naturopathic medicine is sometimes referred to as “complementary” medicine, or “alternative” medicine (CAM for short) those terms sometimes imply an “either-or” approach: someone might try an “alternative” therapy when a medication does not work the way he/she hoped. At Third Stone Health we use an integrative approach and we believe that all evidence-based therapies have value when used correctly. We do not support dogma that any form of medicine is better or worse. We believe that the key to good medicine is applying the right therapy to the right situation.
Contact our office to learn more about the integrative approach at Third Stone Health.
Dr. Anne Procyk