Let’s say you walk into a doctor’s office seeking help with chronic discomfort. If the doctor is good, they will ask about your medical history, genetics, diet, lifestyle, take your vital signs and body composition into consideration and possibly run some tests. Superior doctors will ask you many thoughtful follow-up questions, listen intently, and explain their ideas for treatment in a clear and caring manner. Sadly, this is not always the case; most conventional medicine practitioners are disease and symptom-focused. The doctor may likely use a “band-aid” approach, prescribing medications without offering a solution.
Functional Medicine (FM) is an alternative approach that systemically digs into the root cause of your problem. It focuses on addressing diet, exercise, emotional & physical well-being, stress management, relationships, sleep patterns, hormones, and toxin exposure. Functional Medicine doctors ask why discomfort is there and how to properly restore the imbalance. Two different patients may be experiencing the same symptom in the same part of the body but with two entirely different root causes that need to be addressed in altogether different ways. With Functional Medicine, it’s all about engaging the patient as an active participant in changing their health for the better.
According to Mark Hyman, MD, functional medicine is a science-based approach. It views and treats the body as one whole system, rather than the outdated idea that our bodies have separate systems that work independently of each other.
As an exercise for self-examination, or to prepare to share with your Functional Medicine doctor, first write down what is ailing you physically, mentally, and emotionally. Next, consider the factors below and use this basic guide to check off the things you are doing. Perhaps you will be able to draw some connections, course correct, and experience relief and vitality. You may not be able to do everything on the list, but every step that works for you is one step closer to good health!
- Avoid processed foods and focus on eating whole foods,
- Consume only wild and pastured animal products.
- Decrease added sugar consumption to under 30 grams
- Eliminate all forms of soda.
- Decrease or eliminate dairy products, especially overly
- Decrease or eliminate grains and gluten, especially
wheat. Only consume whole grains.
- Eat foods that contain good saturated fats, avoiding
- Eat organic as often as possible.
- Consume 25-35+ grams of fiber daily.
- Consume naturally fermented foods.
- Avoid cooking with Teflon or other non-stick products.
- Add anti-inflammatory herbs and spices to your diet.
- Incorporate intermittent fasting into your weekly
- Practice deep breathing techniques for more oxygen,
see the Wim Hof method.
- Maintain a healthy body weight for your genes and
- Get 10-15 minutes of sunlight 3-5 times weekly.
- Get 30 to 60 minutes of physical activity at least five
days per week.
- Strength train 3 times weekly.
- Use ClearLungs Sport® for endurance and PhysiQOL™
to support your body’s healthy inflammatory response.
- Practice prayer or meditation daily.
- Learn a new language.
- Build a Rube Goldberg invention.
- Solve a complex problem.
- Take a break from social media.
- Say and write down 5 affirmations.
- Play board games, puzzles, and crosswords.
- Spend time with friends and family.
- Journal to release your emotions.
- Treat others with forgiveness and kindness.
- Keep your mind active by reading quality books,
engaging in hobbies, etc.
- Set aside time to rest and nurture yourself.
- Walk barefoot on the grass to ground yourself.
- Use our Anxiety Free™ to chill out.
- Use Cold Water Therapy to improve your health.
- Use a filter to purify your drinking water, shower, and
- Dry brush the skin and sweat regularly.
- Use all-natural skincare and cleaning products.
- Avoid toxic sunscreens.
- Replace metal dental fillings or amalgams with safer
- Brush at least twice a day and floss once daily.
- Volunteer and get involved.
- Get 7-9 hours of sleep at night; restorative hours happen
between 10pm-2 am.
- No electronics 30-60 min before bed.
- Write down your tasks and worries before bed to clear
- Sleep on a natural, non-toxic mattress and pillow and
use chemical-free bedding.
- Take our DreamOn Zen™ for deep, restful sleep.
Feeling good every day requires persistence, patience, and a positive mindset. Little wins will continue to motivate you to take charge of your wellness journey. Being physically and mentally fit sets you up in life to tackle obstacles, break down barriers, achieve your dreams, and be prepared when life takes unexpected turns. Are you going to make the choices to lead to a life of fullness?