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Did you know there are two basic schools of thought when it comes to our medical care? The definition of each and how we are treated by the practitioners of each school when we have a health issue is important for us to understand.
Our typical health care system is based on allopathic medicine. Allopathic medicine is defined as, “a system of medical practice that aims to combat disease by use of remedies (such as drugs or surgery) producing effects different from or incompatible with those produced by the disease being treated.” I frankly think of it as sickness care more than I think of it as health care. With allopathic medicine, you pretty much do whatever you want to do and eat whatever you want to eat until you get sick. Then you go to the doctor for “health care”. It doesn’t make any sense to me, because this approach treats the symptoms of illness, not the cause of illness.
The definition of functional medicine, on the other hand, is “medical practice or treatments that focus on optimal functioning of the body and its organs, usually involving systems of holistic or alternative medicine”. Contrary to allopathic medicine, this approach searches for the cause of the illness rather than simply suppressing the symptoms the patient is experiencing.
Allopathic medicine is based on treatment or suppression of symptoms, often using prescription drugs and by specialists, while functional medicine questions everything. Ask yourself what might be causing the symptoms that sent you to the doctor? How are your organs working (or not working) in harmony to cause your symptoms?
Where Allopathic Medicine works to suppress symptoms of illness, Functional Medicine seeks to discover the cause of the disease or condition rather than to suppress the symptoms of the disease or condition. Functional Medicine looks at the body as a whole and tries to get to the root of the disease or condition, often times with diet. For example, if the condition is joint pain, the functional medicine practitioner will look at the patient’s diet to determine what foods might be causing the symptoms of joint pain. If the condition is depression, the functional medicine practitioner will look at diet, surroundings, environmental toxins, etc. to which the patient is exposed to determine what might be causing the depression in the first place. The unbelievable upside to this is that rather than continuing to live with depression symptoms that are just dulled by anti-depressant drugs, the root cause can many times be uncovered, managed or eliminated, and the result can be relief from the debilitating symptoms of depression.
When you approach any disease or condition with Functional Medicine, the odds are great that other benefits will be enjoyed. Looking at the body as a whole gives you tremendous power and control over how you feel both mentally and physically as well as control over your weight!
This article was originally published on my site at http://thinstronghealthy.com/allopathic-or-functional/
Helping You Achieve Major Wellness in Your Life!
Cheryl A Major, CNWC
Cheryl A Major lives in Westford and is a Certified Nutrition and Wellness Consultant. Her TV show, Thin Strong Healthy, airs on WestfordCat and is an offshoot of her blog http://ThinStrongHealthy.com Cheryl offers ongoing information and personal health coaching to help you feel better and be healthier. Follow Cheryl on Twitter @CherylAMajor. She is also a full time residential Realtor with Coldwell Banker with more than 25 years experience.