What I do – Part 1
What is Functional Medicine?
by Melanie Dorion
Given that I get this question often, I will dedicate this post to a brief discussion of my approach to health and medicine.
I took a long route to coming to this approach via my previous career as a professional cyclist and my own health challenges post career that had me exhausted, confused and frustrated for about 4 years. I clearly remember feeling very “sub-optimal” as an athlete on many occasions and feeling that my recovery from hard races or crashes (mountain biking inevitably means crashing on a regular basis!) were impacting not only my performances but health in general. I searched for years for someone who could truly help optimize no just my performance but my overall health. It was when I finally saw a Naturopathic1 and Functional Medicine2 provider who listened to my story and utilized a variety of natural approaches that significantly improved my health that I knew I wanted to study this type of medicine – this was in the late 1990s and I have never looked back since!
My approach is grounded in the Naturopatic philosophy and uses Functional Medicine principles thus is preventive, patient-centered and promotes the body’s ability for healing by using traditional and natural therapies. Functional Medicine strives to address and reverse (or at least improve) the underlying causes of disease and promote healing. This approach goes beyond relieving symptoms and attempts to facilitate the body’s innate healing processes. I take into account that individuals are just that – individuals and therefore unique in who they are and in what may have contributed to their health condition(s). I will look into the interactions between genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors that influence health and disease. The initial Functional Medicine visit is often 45min which allows time to discuss the full picture, review/order labs and set an initial plan. Follow-ups are 30min for a few visits until we come to a good plan and at that point we can do quick 15min check-ins every few months. During these visits, I teach, coach and encourage patients to make changes that have long-lasting and beneficial effects.
Call our office to make your first Functional Medicine consult!
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