What is Functional Medicine?

Functional medicine is a well-documented approach that focuses on identifying and addressing the root cause of disease.

A diagnosis can be the result of more than one cause. For example, depression can be caused by many different factors, including inflammation. Likewise, a cause such as inflammation may lead to a number of different diagnoses, including depression.

How the cause is going to manifest varies from person to person, based on their genes, environment, and lifestyle.

Only approaches that address the right cause will have lasting benefit beyond symptom suppression.

So this means that to be effective, any health improvement approach needs to be individualised, to take into account the multitude of factors involved. A matrix is used to organise and prioritize the patient’s health issues, via a thorough personal, family, social, and medical history.

The result is a complete story to help the clinician gain a comprehensive perspective of the patient and subsequently facilitate discussion of complex, chronic disease with the patient.

All clinicians take patient history, but what makes the matrix approach so different is that it helps give the patient insight into previous life events to motivate them to change and participate in treatment. This participation and collaboration in their own healing is key for long term change and health improvement.

In addition to the matrix, clinicians also organise the patient’s history into a timeline. It’s a graphical representation that allows them to identify factors that predispose, trigger, and contribute to pathological changes and dysfunctional responses in the patient. It reveals temporal relationships among events that might otherwise go unnoticed – the timeline reflects the connection between the whole lifespan and one’s current health.