There is no denying that what we eat and our nutritional intake directly affects our health. Every cel in our body needs nutrients to do its job and keep our bodies running like a fine-tuned machine. Our health is a reflection of of several factors, including our genetic makeup, our lifestyle habits, our stress levels, our sleep patterns, our current state of health, and more. To add insult to injury, we live in a highly industrialized environment where we are exposed to environmental pollutants, which put more stress on our bodies, as well as on our ecosystem. Much of the mainstream produce you find in grocery stores has a poor nutritional profile due to being grown in mass quantities in nutrient deficient soil. Similarly, much of the meat and poultry at the grocery store is raised with hormones and under conditions that reduce nutrient density. The bottom line is, eating good, nutrient-dense organic food is the right thing to do, but its not always the easiest task to attain. Many of us may not be getting all of our nutritional needs met through our diets alone.
Functional medicine is an approach to health and nutrition that looks at all the factors affecting your health and well-being. This approach aims to get at the root cause of the disease or problem instead of just treating symptoms. The goal is to determine what nutritional deficiencies you may have, what body systems are not functioning optimally, and devising a plan that is customized for you.
Many of the diagnostic approaches that are key in Chinese Medicine nicely overlap with the concepts of functional medicine. In my 10 years of clinical practice, I have found that addressing nutritional needs as part of your treatment plan greatly improves your treatment and establishes healthy habits that you can practice the rest of your life. In fact, proper nutrition and addressing digestive issues, such as malabsorbtion, food sensitivities, and nutritional deficiencies are imperative in restoring good health.
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