If you've been around Align Brooklyn or my office for even a short while, you've probably heard the word "functional" used a lot. At Align BK we talk about "functional fitness," which really just means exercising the body to move naturally and efficiently. Functional movement (i.e. yoga, Pilates, barre & functional fitness moves) helps us to continue to remain able to move efficiently across all planes of movement and maintain healthy movement patterns as we age.
Functional nutrition is similar. Functional nutrition (sometimes referred to as medicine) simply means using all natural, scientific methods to support the innate healing intelligence of the human body to decrease the signs and symptoms of disease and declining health. Functional healthcare examines any symptom you may experience, and uses all natural methods to facilitate healing.
If you look up most diseases in a medical text, you will find that the causes are largely unknown. Traditional medicine typically focuses on treating the signs and symptoms of illness without much regard to their root cause. As a result, traditional medicine focuses on treatment protocols that minimize uncomfortable symptoms.
Functional healthcare views symptoms as the body's way of letting us know that something is amiss. In the functional model, symptoms are purposeful indicators, and not random occurrences. Functional medicine attempts to remove stressors that cause the body to signal that something is wrong, and also offers support to weak areas. Functional medicine views signs and symptoms as important messengers that will lessen and disappear when their cause is alleviated.
The primary tenet of functional healthcare is that the human body will always heal itself, if properly supported. It is only when the body is overloaded with stressors that it is prevented from healing on its own. If we examine the function of the body on the cellular level, and enable the body to access its creative healing potential, the body will naturally return to a state of homeostasis, and any signs and symptoms will lessen or disappear.
Functional healthcare uses science and technology to determine where there is weakness, and prescribes scientifically tested protocols to both support the body's internal resistance and lessen stressors. In my practice I mostly use simple tools such as questionnaires and non-invasive tests like the BIA to determine nutritional status and cellular health.
We have so much more control over our over health than we are typically led to believe. Even traditional medicine is beginning to take seriously the connection between our minds and bodies. If we think about the pie chart below, we can consider how we can work on the areas in our control each week. With the right information and tools we can make a difference for ourselves and others.
As an integrated wellness studio, our goal is to empower you toward total wellness. If you have any concerns about your health or would simply like information on maintenance for your unique biochemical needs, please schedule an appointment with me for a Functional Nutrition Consultation.