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The Difference Between Functional Medicine and Integrative Medicine

Do you know the real difference between functional medicine and integrative medicine? Practitioners on both sides of this are all aiming for the same outcome for their patients. They want them to experience a healthy and fulfilling lifestyle. Neither one is necessarily better than the other, but they do have a couple of fundamental differences in how they approach patient care. Everyone will have to decide for themselves whether functional medicine or integrative medicine is going to be the best choice.

If you’re ready to find out more about the difference between functional and integrative medicine, let’s take a look at what each one offers. Then you can have all the information you need to make a wise decision about your own care.

What is Functional Medicine?

Functional medicine involves seeing a patient for a specific health issue and treating it based on the results of lab work. This might mean physical examinations, routine bloodwork, or further testing. Once the health problem has been properly identified, the doctor strives to bring it under control using supplements or medication. These are the first two approaches that most clinicians will take with functional medicine.

However, they do slowly branch out into lifestyle changes that can keep health issues from arising in the future. Your doctor might recommend changing your sleep habits, exercising more, eating better, or finding ways to lower your stress levels. All of these things can fall into a functional medicine approach.

What is Integrative Medicine?

Integrative medicine tends to pick up right where functional medicine leaves off. This type of practice is concerned with your body, mind, and spirit. While your practitioner may still recommend many of the same medications and supplements, there is a better chance that they will take a more in-depth look at lifestyle choices. They might suggest treatments with a chiropractor, more intense nutritional changes, and even massage. Yoga and acupuncture are also likely to find their way into your treatment plan with integrative medicine.

It should come as no surprise that there is an entire branch of medicine devoted to alternative types of treatments. In a recent survey, more than half of all participants reported using alternative medicine, even if they didn’t discuss it with their provider.

What is the Difference?

Now that you have a great synopsis of what each branch does, you should know how they differ. Functional medicine takes a much more in-depth look at the root cause of the issue, including genetic makeup. Integrative medicine also looks at the root cause of things, but it focuses much more on what could be causing the issue here and now. It also tends to focus more on alternative treatments for medical conditions instead of medications.

You should know the clear difference between functional medicine and integrative medicine before you choose a clinic. This can help you to get the exact type of treatment you are looking for right away. If you want the best clinic for functional medicine, you should contact Imagine Wellness Centre to learn more about our lifestyle program and services!

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