Looking at health through a functional lens means you are looking for the root cause of the symptoms. It comes down to would you rather take a pharmaceutical drug (OTC or prescription) to treat a symptom or symptoms that are caused by the medication, OR look for the root cause of the symptoms? Maybe it is something you are eating? Let's just say for ease that gluten is causing brain fog or achey joints. You could take an ADHD type medication for the fog in hopes that you will get better focus or you could give up gluten. If we're talking about achey joints you could take an anti-inflammatory and risk damaging your liver over time or give up gluten.
If you have been following along, you may have many questions. Let me walk you through the process. One of the first things we will do when working together will be the intake survey to determine how best to address your individual terrain. It is good to remember we are all bio-individual, so what works for Veronica, most likely wouldn’t work for Latha and so forth. Therefore we will be looking at the biological terrain (your internal environment) for the root cause(s) of your symptoms.
Many factors can impact disease expression, such as:
So when we look at all the elements of a person’s life in that big mixing bowl of the body, then add influences and risk of life’s stressors (both internal and external) . . and just like that . . we can see aches, pains, discomfort and disease.
One of our first steps after intake will be a food, mood (i.e. energetic, sluggish, headache, etc) and poop journal. We will sit down together and review the journal to look for the holes in the roof that need plugging, i.e. what is gleaned from this journal will help us determine the next steps.
Remember many factors are important to our physical and mental health, such as how much one sleeps, the quality of sleep. What foods are eaten, time of day one eats. Even how much movement there is in a day. However I will dive into more detail about that in a later post.
Let me tell your a story of how I came to functional medicine. When my was daughter was about 3 she became extremely fearful of places and people, of being left anywhere, even acceptable places like a camp for kids or a friend's house. Case in point, I had signed her up to participate in kid's art camp, she loved to draw, paint, build anything. It appeared to be a perfect fit. First day I dropped her off there were plenty of tears. Now I'll hear you say, that's perfectly normal, however the tears didn't stop. They could not distract her enough to participate. The camp eventually called to ask me to pick up my daughter. She wasn't going to be able to attend the camp. They did give me a refund thankfully. This type of experience continued off and on for another 6 months. Then when she was 3 1/2 we went to her weekly swimming class which she adored, however it caused her to have a full on panic attack, practically strangling me. It was very overwhelming as a parent to understand what was going on. These types of incidents continued in various ways over the next 5 years. Doctors would say oh it's growing pains.
Mary is a life long advocate for helping others take control of their own health. She enjoys running, yoga, crew, SUP boarding, and hiking. She enjoys reading, and creating.