In the past few years, several different methods of practicing medicine have appeared on the horizon. You may have heard of them if you’re interested in a more comprehensive approach to your healthcare. Perhaps you’re unsure where to begin your research, or which healthcare practitioner offers the best care for your needs? Functional medicine, integrative medicine, holistic care, naturopathy, homeopathy…are they all the same? If they are different, how do they differ? If you’re confused, you’re definitely NOT alone. Let’s break it down!
What is Functional Medicine?
Functional medicine is using a biology-based (i.e. rooted in science) approach to search for root causes of illness. In this field, providers search, system by system, for potential triggers of a symptom. For example, if a patient comes in feeling depressed, instead of automatically prescribing an antidepressant, the provider will offer a deeper workup looking for drivers of inflammation that can CAUSE one to feel depressed. Depression symptoms can be caused by things such as poor diet, food sensitivities, an imbalanced gut, or chronic stress. The goal of functional medicine is to restore balance and functionality to the body.
More About Integrative Medicine
Integrative medicine combines different treatment modalities to support the whole health of the person. Often, this will require multiple practitioners. For example, someone with fibromyalgia would benefit from a functional medicine practitioner to search for a root cause of symptoms, a massage therapist to soothe muscle pain, a physical therapist to learn appropriate exercise, and a therapist to work through past trauma and cope with having a chronic disease. “Holistic medicine” is essentially the same as integrative medicine and is exactly as it sounds- taking a whole view of a patient to offer the most appropriate treatment.
Naturopathic medicine is a specific type of training that requires a doctoral degree in naturopathy. Practitioners use natural treatments like dietary changes, herbal remedies, fasting, saunas, and more. Some practitioners are able to prescribe medications, but most choose not to as the first line of treatment.
Homeopathy and Natural Medicine
Finally, homeopathy is a type of natural medicine that uses specific remedies targeted for specific symptoms. Homeopathy uses the “like treats like” approach to bring balance to the body. Coffea cruda helps with insomnia as part of the “like treats like” principle that asserts that very small doses of the poison actually trains the body to heal itself.
Understanding Different Medicine Practices
There is of course quite a bit of overlap in all of these treatment modalities, and there’s no wrong answer when choosing a direction to improve your health because all treatments discussed here will help you on your path to wellness. Vibrant Health of Colorado has extensive experience and training in functional medicine specifically and have developed a community of providers that we refer to when further treatments, like acupuncture, are necessary to be able to provide a holistic health plan for our patients. All of our providers here truly enjoy digging for root causes of illness- poor nutrition, food sensitivity, hormone imbalance, gut disruption, adrenal imbalance/chronic fatigue, chronic infections, and more.
Conventional Medicine at Vibrant Health of Colorado
Though we are passionate about holistic and naturopathic treatments, we believe that conventional medicine and pharmaceuticals have their place. We prescribe pharmaceuticals when they make sense and when they would improve quality of life. Your goal is to be able to live the most vibrant life possible, and our healthcare team to help you achieve it.
Personalized medicine is the way of the future, and there are multiple modalities to help you dig deeper to determine why you’re not feeling the way you’d like to feel.
Vibrant Health of Colorado offers Primary Care services.
Primary care includes all of the following:
-Acute illnesses, like upper respiratory infections or urinary tract infections
-Injuries, like a back spasm or knee/ankle twist
-Management of chronic conditions, like hypertension, diabetes, or depression
Call us at 303-730-2229 or book your consultation online today. We look forward to helping you live a more Vibrant Life!