What is Functional Medicine?
When compared to tradition 'conventional medicine', it comes down to a core different approach.
The two use many of the same tools, but functional medicine is about optimizing your health and quality of life in ways you never knew were possible. Conventional medicine is about treating disease once it has already appeared. When I went to medical school I knew there had to be a better way than the “pill for every ill” style medicine I was being taught. I also knew “integrative medicine” meant a more holistic, whole person approach. But when I learned about functional medicine - which is an evidence-based high tech science driven approach to holistic medicine - I fell in love, and knew that there was no going back. Now my mission at Parsley Health is to make functional medicine available to everyone because I believe we all deserve the best care possible and because I have seen how it changes lives.
Five reasons functional medicine is the only kind of health care you want, period.
1. It keeps you healthy instead of just keeping you alive
Conventional medicine is great at making sure you don’t die, but its triage approach – waiting for an emergency or severe symptoms to diagnose and treat advanced illness – has nothing to do with improving your health and quality of life today.
2. It’s personalized
One size fits all, cookie cutter medicine no longer cuts it. Functional medicine uses advanced testing and genetics in combination with the art of listening to your story to piece together a plan that is 100% tailored to you, your body and your life.
3. It’s always at the cutting edge of science
In conventional medicine, it takes on average 18 years for new information to work its way into medical education. Functional medicine, however, is able to take advantage of new research in real time such as discoveries around how the microbiome – aka the bacteria in our bodies – impact our health, because it’s based on a paradigm of the body as an interconnected matrix, not a disconnected set of organ systems.
4. It makes you feel good
It gets to the root cause of pesky symptoms like insomnia, fatigue, gas & bloating, and skin rashes and eliminates them. It supports your body’s optimal function with natural vitamins minerals and herbs so that you need fewer drugs and procedures. It improves your quality of life, from energy and clarity to weight and immunity. It’s about helping you feel your best now and teeing you up for a long healthy life in the future.
5. It changes your life
Functional medicine teaches you how to listen to your body and tap in to your health in ways you never forget. Ultimately how you live each day determines your health and quality of life. Functional medicine is designed to teach you how to live well and to support you in maintaining that lifestyle despite the many toxic inputs and influences – chemicals in products and food, sedentary lifestyles, chronic stress – we are all exposed to in today’s world. The reality is, we all get sick at some point. Functional medicine is designed to prevent chronic debilitating illness like diabetes, heart disease and cancer that are the number one killers in modern society and to deal with temporary things, like viruses and bacterial infections, in a more natural way that does less long term harm to the body. It also supports you with the guidance and tools to handle the inevitable challenges in the best possible way so that you live well and generate as much happiness in your life as you can. That’s why I started Parsley Health – a new hybrid model of health care that combines the functional medicine approach that makes more sense for patients of all walks of life, with new care delivery models that both increase access to better medicine for more people, and that let doctors practice the kind of medicine that makes them feel good too.
– Robin Berzin MD
Dr. Robin Berzin is the Founder and CEO of Parsley Health. A Summa Cum Laude graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, Robin went to medical school at Columbia University -where she co-founded the physician communication app Cureatr – and later trained in Internal Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital. She is a certified yoga instructor and a meditation teacher, writes for a number of leading wellness sites, and speaks regularly for organizations including Stanford Medicine X, The Clinton Foundation, Health 2.0, Summit at Sea, and Further Future, on how we can reinvent health care.