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Functional Medicine, Functional Labs, and Integrative Health Practitioners... What exactly are they?

What is Functional Medicine?


"Functional medicine is a science-based, personalized healthcare approach that assesses and treats underlying cause of illness through individually-tailored therapies to restore health and improve function. It treats the whole system, not just the symptoms." - Dr. Mark Hyman


What makes it different from conventional medicine? Conventional medicine is disease oriented, doctor centered, cookie cutter approach, reactive approach, medicine over lifestyle, and short term. Functional medicine is patient or client centered, health oriented, holistic, looks at underlying causes, preventative, individual and unique to that person.


"Functional Medicine is an ecological view of the body where all the networks of our biology intersect and interact in a dynamic process. When out of balance, this process creates disease, and when in balance, it creates health. Functional Medicine takes all the component parts of science, all the puzzle pieces, all the data about how we get sick and what makes us well and reorganizes it in a story that makes sense, a story that has the capacity to solve our health care crisis nearly overnight if it was understood and applied widely." - Dr. Stephen Cabral


What are Functional Medical Labs?


With Functional Medical Labs, we are able to discover our underlying imbalances such as our deficiencies as well as our toxicities. Maybe you have been told that your blood work looks "normal" or doesn't show anything of concern. Functional labs can reveal what the real issues are such as heavy metal toxicities, mold, parasites, Lyme, etc.


Lab tests include:


  • Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis (HTMA)

  • Organic Acids Test (OAT)

  • Food Sensitivities

  • Thyroid + Adrenal Hormone

  • Omega 3 + Inflammation

  • Gut Bacteria + Parasites

  • Mold Toxicity

These are just some of the foundational labs available. There are many more, however, these are excellent ones to start with.


What is an IHP (Integrative Health Practitioner) and why use one?


An IHP...


  • Provides health education and coaching on an overall healthy lifestyle using a holistic/functional approach to health by integrating knowledge from the 7 disciplines of IHP for general health and wellness

  • Works with clients to address all aspects of the DESTRESS (diet, exercise, stress, toxins, rest, emotions, supplements, and success mindset) Protocol to help teach others how to provide themselves with the tools to allow the body to heal itself naturally

  • Helps clients identify roadblocks that may be in the way of healing and empowers clients to take action on their own health journey by building new habits and creating long-term changes

  • Takes into account the complete health history, emotional state, and lifestyle habits of each person to assist in discovering the root cause of his or her health issues and create action plans to assist in goals for overcoming health challenges

  • Often works in conjunction with other health practitioners to support the client

  • Combines the best of all healing health modalities into one comprehensive client-centered practice


The 7 different integrative healing disciplines or branches that an IHP utilizes are...



  1. Ayurvedic Medicine – The Science of Life.

  2. Bioregulatory Medicine – The Science of Self-Healing.

  3. Traditional Chinese Medicine & Herbalism – Using the power of herbs and energy practice to enhance overall wellness.

  4. Eastern Philosophy – Using the Mind to Heal the Body.

  5. Traditional Naturopathy – Using “Right Living” to Rebalance the Body.

  6. Orthomolecular Medicine – The Right molecules in the right amounts.

  7. Functional Medicine – Helping people at a functional – not disease level.







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