If you’ve spent some time looking into healthcare and medicine, you will know that there a wide variety of different approaches to medicine. Trying to understand the (sometimes minor) differences between all these approaches can be rather tricky. One example of this is functional medicine versus integrative medicine. So, lets break down the differences.
Functional medicine is the practice of using a variety of personalized, biology-based methods to identify and treat the root cause of chronic disease. Functional medicine recognizes that the body is a complex set of interconnected systems, so there is a strong emphasis on analyzing the entire body when treating chronic diseases. Functional medicine stands in contrast to traditional medicine in that it takes a much broader view of the human body. Traditional medicine tends to focus on a narrow, but deep study of the body. This is why when you go to the doctor for a specific problem, they will often refer you to a specialist. For example, if you have an issue with your eye that your primary care physician can’t fix, they will refer you to an optometrist, which has a very thorough understanding of how the human eye functions. So with this in mind, how does functional medicine differ from integrative medicine?
Well, they are actually quite similar! Integrative medicine is a comprehensive form of medicine that involves analyzing all potential factors that may influence a person’s health. This includes physical, emotional, mental, social, and environmental factors.
So how do we compare functional medicine
versus integrative medicine?
Functional medicine can be viewed as an applied form of integrative medicine. The key difference between the two is that functional medicine takes the same approach that integrative medicine does (i.e. looking at the whole body), but it is specifically for treating chronic disease / chronic conditions. They both involve taking the whole body into account when treating conditions, however, functional medicine specifically deals with treating chronic health conditions and diseases. So, in fact, functional medicine is just an applied form of integrative medicine.
If you are interested in seeing the benefits that functional and/or integrative medicine have to offer, consider The Mills Institute! Here at The Mills Institute, we offer a variety of services to meet your specific needs. Whether it be a chronic condition or a desire to try out a more comprehensive and personalized form of healthcare, The Mills Institute can help. Contact us today to get started!