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Valencia Medical Center Ageless Life Institute

Functional Medicine

By Dr. Thomas Polucki

Functional medicine continues to gain popularity as frustration grows with conventional medicine. Too many people fall through the gap between an immediate medical emergency and real health when using conventional medicine.

Not to mention conventional medicine’s strength of crisis management has not translated well into avoiding catastrophic costs. Yet most of the most costly chronic diseases are totally avoidable with functional medicine’s strategies for restoring normal function.

Markedly forward thinking medical doctors now work with functional colleagues
and patient satisfaction levels for these integrated practices soar.

Functional Medicine May Help

While not intended to diagnose or treat any disease functional approaches help with many co-managed conditions.

  • Back Pain
  • Weight Loss
  • Arthritis
  • Indigestion
  • Sleep Issues
  • Anxiety
  • Headaches
  • Shoulder Pain
  • Allergies
  • Knee Pain
  • Sciatica
  • Menopause
  • Fatigue
  • Libido

Certified Functional Medicine Practitioners

Only licensed physicians may become certified in functional medicine.

And by using sensitive tests to detect functional issues instead of disease,
less invasive treatments can become more effective.

For example the Wall Street Journal headline on February 13, 2017 read:

“No Drugs for Back Pain, New Guidelines Say”

“The American College of Physicians recommends natural and alternative therapies first.”

Suddenly functional medicine has mainstream credibility.

And as the opioid painkiller epidemic wreaks havoc, conventional medicine doctors become lifesavers by referring back pain patients to chiropractors.

Is Functional Medicine Chiropractic?

While doctors of chiropractic and naturopathy often employ functional methods,
without certification they should avoid making functional medicine claims.

Once the patient’s malfunction in digestion, detoxification, hormone and nerve systems gets evaluated a customized treatment plan starts evolving.

Functional Medicine Tests Treatments and Costs

First past and present stress levels are taken into consideration then a systematic review looks past the primary complaint.

While conventional blood tests offer information, more sensitive tests of saliva, urine and stool may become necessary for functional evaluation. Comparatively x-ray and MRI rule out fracture, cancer and infection but it takes physical examination to measure spinal function.

Since every person’s stress and biology is unique to them so must their treatment reflect their current health challenge. After a starting point of treatment gets established, it will most likely have several revisions along the way of restoring normal function.

In short, functional treatment plans strive for rehabilitation instead of just temporary relief and include:

  • Diet changes based on each patient’s biology instead of the latest trend.
  • Exercises to rehabilitate injury, center of balance, abnormal tensions and functional weaknesses.
  • Bio-Identical supplements to address each individual’s specific metabolic, stress, detoxification and oxidation needs.
  • Specific Chiropractic, without twisting or cracking, to restore spinal joint feedback to the brain, reducing stress.

Of course treatment plans vary in cost and duration based on the patient’s goals and health challenge. But as investments go, every dollar spent on functional instead of conventional medicine yields a twelve dollar return.

To summarize the Surgeon General’s findings after an extensive corporate healthcare study:

“one dollar of preventative health care saves three dollars in future medical costs and increases productivity by another nine dollars.”

About Santa Clarita Chiropractor Dr. Thomas Polucki

  • Board-Certified Doctor of Chiropractic
  • Certified Functional Medicine Practitioner
  • Medical Director of the Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Program
  • Certified Metabolic Typing Advisor
  • Host of “Get Better With Dr. Polucki” on KHTS

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