How to recognize a functional medicine practitioner

 

A functional medicine doctor can be one of many different medical professionals that focuses on the root cause of health concerns. Overall, they provide individualized treatment plans with the goal to restore health, increase health and maintain health. They consider interactions between body systems and the body as a whole. These medical professionals take time to get to know you as a whole person and how you interact with your environment and with  this recognize factors that influence health and complex chronic illness such as lifestyle, genetics, environmental impact and health of the microbiome. Responsibility for your health is shared in a patient-practitioner therapeutic partnership. You know you have a good fit when you feel safe and empowered by the interaction. This description classically describes the principles of naturopathic medicine:


First, to do no harm.

To co-operate with the healing powers of nature.

To address the fundamental causes of disease.

To heal the whole person through individualized treatment.

To teach the principles of healthy living and preventative medicine.


With Dr. Laura M. Brown, ND, your intake and initial assessment will include a diverse set of questions that may explore many factors in your health such as:

  • Lifestyle: Diet, activity level, sleep hygiene, work life, hobbies and stressors.

  • Genetics: Including your family history of physical and mental conditions.

  • Environment: Including your exposure to toxins and allergens.

  • Microbiome: the bacteria living on and in your body


In addition, your experience has the potential to:

  • Use of evidence-based science and time-honoured therapies

  • Review a timeline of your health history

  • Include a pertinent physical exam

  • Order and interpret lab tests and perform specialized blood, stool, urine, skin hair or nail tests – only as needed.

  • Introduce you to the “food as medicine” philosophy

  • Review/suggest possible supplements and ensure they are safe with any existing medications.

  • Incorporate sleep hygiene

  • Suggest stress management techniques

  • Identify appropriate physical activities

  • Teach you how to support your organs of detoxification

  • Clarify your health goals

  • Refer to you other qualified professionals for specific needs

  • Discuss treatments and follow-up care

For more information about the services available from Dr. Laura M. Brown, ND, feel free to explore the blog posts below. Because every experience is unique to each individual, not all therapies or services are listed here. Your physical, emotional, cognitive and spiritual well-being are all taken into account. There are many ways to "climb the mountain" and we peel off the layers, one at at time, like you would the skin off an onion. We are all ever-evolving and different therapies may be more welcomed at different times. The aim is to meet the body where it is at and provide what it needs to restore, increase and maintain health.