What is the difference between integrative medicine, functional medicine and naturopathy?

Posted by Medical Board on May 16, 2018 in Nutrition Question and Answer

What is the difference between integrative medicine, functional medicine and naturopathy?

Functional medicine takes a whole body approach to health that incorporates lifestyle and choices, disease prevention, and patient-centered treatment. It essentially puts the individual in the driver’s seat, not the healthcare system.

The functional medicine model for health and healthcare focuses on the various systems within the body and partners patients with practitioners in efforts to bring about balance and an overall state of well-being. It encourages and empowers the individual to take an active role in his or her health by preventative practices and choices.

Integrative medicine emphasizes many different approaches to healing and combines them together to create the best possible treatment plan for a given individual. Conventional medicine is included in integrative medicine.

Naturopathy consists of a myriad of natural treatment options that do not involve conventional pharmaceuticals, procedures or practices. These may include one or more of the following:

Dietary/lifestyle changes
Reduction of stress
Nutrition support/herbal therapies
Homeopathy
Manipulative therapies such as chiropractic
Exercise therapy
Detoxification
Psychotherapy

The model for functional medicine and systemic wellness continues to be met with some resistance in the U.S. from both the medical sector and health insurance companies as well. As with many health-related reforms, it takes time and information to create the kind of change necessary for a shift in thinking and policy over how we treat illness and injury in the U.S.

Finding a functional medicine practitioner who integrates and understands your individual health history and how it impacts your current state of wellness can take time. Interviewing more than one provider may be necessary to get the kind of treatment and care you deserve.

Contact us for a free consultation or for help finding a practitioner in your area.

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