Certified Functional Medicine Practitioner (CFMP) is a post-doctoral degree and can be obtained with any of the following physician professionals: Doctor of Chiropractor, Medical Doctors, Doctor of Osteopath, Licensed Acupuncturist, Naturopath Doctor, Registered Nurse, and Pharmacist.
Functional Nutrition is patient-centered medical healing at its best. Instead of looking at and treating health problems as isolated diseases, it treats individuals who may have bodily symptoms, imbalances and dysfunctions.
As the following graphic of an iceberg shows, a named disease such as diabetes, cancer, or fibromyalgia might be visible above the surface, but according to Functional Medicine, the cause lies in the altered physiology below the surface.
"Almost always, the cause of the disease and its symptoms is an underlying dysfunction and/or an imbalance of bodily systems.”
The floating tip of the iceberg represents symptoms of the disease, and the submerged portion of the iceberg represents the underlying causes.
Very often Functional Nutrition practitioners use advanced laboratory testing such as hair and stool analysis, advanced blood testing and environmental toxin report to identify the root causes of the patient's health problem. To battle chronic health conditions, Functional Medicine uses two scientifically grounded principles:
The Two-Pronged Healing Approach of Functional Nutrition
Add what's lacking in the body to nudge its physiology back to a state of optimal functioning.
Remove anything that impedes the body from moving toward this optimal state of physiology
Plainly put, your body naturally wants to be healthy. But things needed by the body to function at its best might be missing, or something might be standing in the way of its best functioning. Functional Nutrition first identifies the factors responsible for the malfunctioning. Then it deals with those factors in a way appropriate to the patient's particular situation.
For treatment, Functional Nutrition practitioners use a combination of natural agents (supplements, herbs, nutraceuticals and homeopathics), nutritional and lifestyle changes, spiritual/emotional counseling, and pharmaceuticals, if necessary to prod a patient's physiology back to an optimal state. In addition, educating the patient about their condition empowers them to take charge of their own health, ultimately leading to greater success in treatment.