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.