What is Functional Medicine?
Functional medicine is a biology-based, scientific medical approach that focuses on identifying and addressing the root cause disease. Functional medicine uses the latest technology and tests available to allow practitioners to uncover the true cause of a patient's symptoms. Naturopaths take the data from these tests and use natural supplements and functional lifestyle changes to address the root cause. These practices reduce and reverse symptoms in a sustainable manner to increase the longevity and quality of life.
Symptoms vs Causes
A symptom is any subjective evidence of disease. This could include pain, fatigue, anxiety, etc.
Causes are the region or origin of something. They are the root from which the symptoms stem from.
Oftentimes symptoms and causes get mixed up with one another. Traditionally, a patient's symptoms are treated rather than the cause of those symptoms.
The fundamental methods of functional medicine can be visualized through the functional medicine tree, pictured above. This diagram provides a visual representation to how signs and symptoms stem from root causes including genetics, environment and lifestyle. Based on the signs and symptoms that the patient shares, naturopathic doctors are then able look at the core clinical imbalances through blood work to develop a treatment plan that targets the root cause.
At Our Core
Naturopathic medicine is a wholistic approach to maintaining one's well being, Rather than looking and treating one part of the problem (a symptom), we look at the whole picture (the whole person) to uncover where these symptoms stem from. If you only looked at the leaves on the Functional Medicine Tree, you would end up treating a symptom without fully understanding which root it stems from. Just like the leaves in our Functional Medicine Tree are connected to the branches and root system, the symptoms your body displays stem from imbalances in genetics, hormones, and environmental sensitivities.
At our core, Avena is a wholistic medical practice focused on improving health and preventing disease through the practice of naturopathic medicine. We practice a model of medicine that combines the diagnostic tools and technologies from conventional medicine as well as emerging tests and tools that help us to identify the critical imbalances that are the root of all illness. We take focus away from the disease-centered medical model and practice patient-centered medicine. Functional medicine is not just deeply rooted in our practice, it is the root of our practice and we are eagerly looking towards 2020 to continue optimizing wellness with functional medicine.
Cherish the Pause
If you’re looking for a quick self care fix to de-stress + find meaning all you need to do is PAUSE. I know it seems unfathomable yet here’s the spoiler alert it’s true!
What I adore about the ancient yogi’s is their stellar realization that subtle practices have the most profound effect. In other words you don’t have to stand on your head to feel better – what a relief!
In between phases of movement there is a subtle PAUSE that is pregnant (expectant + teeming) with meaningful possibilities. Inherent in the PAUSE is the still point, which just happens to be an entry point to relaxation, meditation + your deeper inner nature.
Surprisingly this pregnant PAUSE experience is so present that it’s readily available to you in ordinary life circumstances
· between sleep + waking states
· right before a sneeze
· the high point of a yawn
· space between thoughts
· space between breaths
The most easy entry point is the Space Between Breath – between the inhalation + the exhalation. The secret is to consciously focus awareness in this fractional gap. Below is a short-guided exercise to finding the magic of the inner breath PAUSE.
I find repeated PAUSE drop-ins during the day act like short doses of affordable mini- meditations. They free my body from the compulsion to move, quell the laboring mind + give permission to cease living on the surface. Instead I get to tangibly experience my deeper conscious nature over + over. Teaching me how to live more from this inborn source of stillness, peace + purpose. Cherish the PAUSE!
- Tish Roy, owner of Ananda Mind-Body Therapies