Functional Medicine is an integrative, science-based healthcare approach that medical doctors, doctors of chiropractic, osteopathic doctors, nurse practitioners, and nutritionists use to treat illness and promotes wellness by focusing on the bio-chemically unique aspects of each patient, and then individually tailoring interventions to restore physiological, psychological, and structural balance.
Although, functional nutrition seems to be more accurate as everything is food. Our primary foods are what we put in our mouths and our secondary foods are how we nourish our bodies. A balance of primary and secondary foods is imperative for optimal whole-body function.
Most likely functional practitioners will use lab testing such as blood, stool, saliva, and/or hair to help determine what is causing a particular health concern. One of the most common approaches is to bring lab values into a “functional” range vs. what is typically considered a “normal” range. These values tend to be narrower than the widely accepted ranges to promote and support the innate body functions and also as a preventative factor. A functional practitioner can crack a case that no other practitioner has been able to handle because of this method. While labs are very important for understanding what’s happening in the blood there are a few other ways to address your health concerns.
Nutrition is a Pillar of Functional Medicine
Knowing your food/chemical sensitivities is paramount to an effective eating plan. Knowing which test to run is equally as important. The lymphocyte response assay is the gold standard in delayed sensitivity testing. Simply put, the blood cannot lie. Your white blood cells can paint a picture that will help your practitioner to make recommendations for your specific health needs and concerns.
But, what if we’re eating the right foods and exercising but still not absorbing the nutrients in our food or supplements? This is where chiropractic would come into play. Most people seek chiropractic or think of chiropractic care as a relief of back pain. While chiropractic can be helpful for back pain, it is actually so much more than that. Our nervous system dictates every move we make: everything from our heart beating to eyes blinking to breathing. Our nerves that send these messages are housed in our spinal column. If your messaging system is impaired all the nutrition in the world won’t make you feel better. When the communication system isn’t working properly neither is your digestive system. Your ability to digest and assimilate can be compromised. Your lower back is the home of spinal nerves that communicate to your pancreas, digestive tract, stomach, and colon.
There are many reasons for “congestion” of the nerves in your back. Anything from car accidents, trauma, and structural abnormalities to negative thoughts, depression, and anxiety can result in less than stellar function. When you have this type of congestion your nervous system is not sending the appropriate signals to the rest of your body systems, including your digestive system. A weakened digestive system means a weakened immune system. A weakened immune system can result in many health issues: thyroid issues, glucose regulation is impaired, reduced weight loss ability, bowel problems, hormone imbalance, chronic fatigue, just to name a few. In short the status of your spine dictates how your nervous system is functioning. When your spine is out of alignment your messaging system is not effective.
“It is important to note that only 10% of your nervous system is dedicated to signaling pain. The other 90% is strictly for function.”— Dr. Lisette MillerThe converse is also true. When looking at chiropractic care and the same thing is being done over and over and the treatment is not effective, then it’s time to look at the body more systematically. Magnesium along with vitamins C and D are important for maintaining a chiropractic adjustment by reducing inflammation and nourishing cartilage. The adjustment is a tool in all of this. Assessing your adrenal status is also important to consider. Focus on eating enzyme rich, nutrient dense, non-GMO, and organic foods as well to insure that your nervous system is sending and receiving the appropriate messages. Chiropractic helps your body to be able to breakdown food, absorb nutrients, use our innate detox ability, and effectively heal. A strong nutrition plan will support your chiropractic care. A truly integrative practice cannot separate nutrition and chiropractic – they go hand in hand as part of the whole plan. True health is how your body functions! For more information Please contact First State Health and Wellness