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“Why Don’t I Feel Good?” Functional Medicine Goes Beyond Only Ensuring the Absence of Disease

by: Mel Schottenstein, NMD, MBD, FICT

More people are looking for Functional Medicine Practitioners because conventional medicine leaves many patients looking for answers and relief.

Even after multiple prescriptions, several tests, and many of those 8–10 minute doctor visits, someone suffering an ailment can be left asking themselves, “Why don’t I feel good?”

If a patient complains long enough, they may receive a psychiatrist referral from their doctor.

This is not a critique of conventional Western medicine, which is responsible for saving thousands of lives on a daily basis. Instead, I want to focus on the patients for whom conventional medicine hasn’t provided the answers or relief they were expecting.

For that sizable group of patients, finding a practitioner of functional medicine can be invaluable. Functional medicine is a personalized and integrative approach to health care that involves understanding the prevention, management, and root causes of complex chronic disease.

Dr. Mel Schottenstein discusses the additional certifications and education that is required of functional medicine practitioners.

By taking the best aspects from conventional medicine, naturopathic, genomic, integrative, and various other modalities, it offers one of the most comprehensive and effective approaches to health care in the 21st century.

The focus is the patient and their unique presentation and response. Practitioners of functional medicine are flexible and results-driven, using whichever medical approach suits the personalized needs of the patient and addresses the cause of their problem.

Some critics who don’t understand functional medicine say it rejects conventional medicine, but that is untrue for the majority of practitioners. According to the Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM), the leading provider for functional medicine education to health care practitioners in the world, more than 75 percent of their current trainee’s have an underlying training in conventional medicine as a medical doctor, doctor of osteopathy, nurse practitioner, or physician’s assistant. They don’t throw a way those years of conventional medical training, rather, they educate themselves further in order to add more tools to their toolbox when evaluating and treating their patients.