Functional Medicine – a paradigm shift in our approach to chronic illness!
It seems that every once in a while there is a paradigm shift in our understanding of something complex and significant. Somehow we’re trapped into thinking in certain ways about these systems, mostly because of the way they are taught to us, how our social structures work, and the top-down nature of our knowledge distribution ie. with regard to health, we bow down to the ‘experts’ like scientists, doctors and politicians – and understandably so, due to the complexity what’s involved.
Orthodox medicine runs through our society like a steel thread at its core. It has a long tradition, carrying with it strong authority – holding itself up as one of our leading social institutions. The doctor and the priest have been the leaders of our community, the source from whom we draw strength, stability and security!
However, change is inevitable – the only constant in this world is change itself. ‘Functional Medicine’ is such a change, which in itself is not a new scientific approach, but a difference in our focus – a shift from the disease-centred focus of traditional medicine, to addressing the underlying systemic causes and looking at the interactions between genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors that may influence our health and complex, chronic diseases.
Functional Medicine addresses the whole person, not just an isolated set of symptoms – like your family doctor tends to do. Unfortunately, the most prominent voices in this approach are still on the margins, working hard to spread their wake-up call, like The Institute of Functional Medicine who enlighten by bringing Functional Medicine to clinical practice, or help people help themselves like Chris Wark, who through his own experience of cancer now brings us the experiences of many others and how they changed their lives and reversed their conditions. All of these people are extraordinary because they resisted the advice of orthodoxy, and through pure determination adopted an approach that is quite simply, intuitive!