People often wonder what the difference is between "functional medicine" and ”conventional” western medicine.
What is Functional Medicine?
When compared to traditional 'conventional medicine', it comes down to a fundamental difference in 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.
Hi, I’m Dr. Robin Berzin and I’m the founder of Parsley Health, the first modern and affordable functional medicine practice and Wellness Center.
A lot of people are new to the concept of functional medicine so I’m taking a minute to explain what it is. Functional medicine is an approach to health and wellness where we focus on getting to the root cause of your problem instead of just treating the symptom.
For example you aren’t having trouble sleeping because you have an ambien deficiency, you’re having trouble sleeping because of a number of factors from things like staying up too late and looking at computer screens for too long before bed to deeper issues like sleep apnea anxiety and hormone imbalances instead of giving you a sleeping pill with risks and side effects we hope you solve the real cause of your insomnia so you can sleep better in a safer more natural and sustainable way.
In functional medicine we look at the body as an intelligent organism that can heal itself given the right support which includes optimizing the kind of food you eat identifying simple ways to change your lifestyle and using proven plant-based supplements that both help you feel better now and can help prevent disease down the road we also do testing that other doctors don’t do including looking at things like nutritional deficiencies and hormone imbalances because we are looking at how your body is functioning today instead of waiting for you to get sick. And diagnosing you that we prescribe drugs refer to specialists order tests as needed but we also look at your whole life and teach you how to
eat move and live better so that you are equipped to live your healthiest life possible.
This approach has been embraced by the Cleveland Clinic, the number-one hospital in the United States where they recently opened a functional medicine center and we’re like us they believe that functional medicine is the future of health care. Functional medicine is for everyone whether you’re healthy but just want to maybe lose weight have more energy or prevent disease down the line. Or you’re dealing with a chronic disease and want a more holistic natural and sustainable approach to getting well.
Functional medicine is evidence-based and rational. We can’t go on eating terrible food living sedentary lives depending on medications to clean up the mess and wondering why our nation is getting sicker and sicker. Functional medicine is revolutionary because it teaches you to be the best guide for your health and wellness you can be.
Showing you how to eat and live in a way that makes sense for your body instead of leaving you out of the loop while the doctor makes decisions for you. At Parsley Health we believe functional medicine is the future of health and wellness and we are proud to be the first center offering it in a modern affordable and accessible way.
Ready to get functional? Partner with a Parsley Health doctor to get full picture of your health story.
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.