There has been a movement within allopathic medicine to adopt a holistic model in their paradigm. This gave rise to functional medicine, practiced by a new generation of integrative physicians, having great success in esteemed medical centers such as Cleveland Clinic.
Similar to traditional medicine, modalities such as naturopathy and Chinese medicine, functional medicine seeks to address the root cause, or causes, of a patient’s illness. In turn, a thorough evaluation by an integrative physician includes a detailed case history, comprehensive lab testing, and extensive deliberation on how seemingly unrelated symptoms form a pattern. It is an exercise in relationship.
This stands in stark contrast to the compartmentalization of allopathic medicine: a specialist for every organ, yet lacking an appreciation for the functional relationship between different but interconnected systems of the body. Synergy suffers as an endemic and emergent phenomenon of excessive organization.
Picture a home where items are grouped together into individual rooms—all chairs are in one room, every table in another, books in one room and bookcases in a different room. Everything is highly organized, but nothing is functional. This is the potential consequence of increasing specialization.
As a practitioner of traditional medicine, I stand in support of physicians who choose to opt out of corporate medicine and bravely wade into the waters of functional medicine. We stand, arms interlocked, under the umbrella of holistic medicine. The modalities are different, but the commitment to total wellness of the patient: to seek balance within relationships and harmony with nature is our common ground.