C H I R O E CO . CO M F e B r u a r y 2 4 , 2 0 1 7 • C H I R O P R A C T I C E CO N O M I C S 41 WELLNESSAPPROACH THE NUMBER OF INDIVIDUALS WHOSUFFER FROM COMPLEX CHRONICdiseases such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and autoimmune disorders is on the rise. The conven- tional care provided by allopathic medicine is oriented toward acute care and the diagnosis of trauma or disease of limited duration, such as a broken limb or heart attack. Medical physicians practicing in this model typically prescribe drugs or surgery with the goal of ameliorating the immediate conditionand symptoms. If, as a DC, you are frustrated by watching your patients suffer from chronic disease and be cycled through the system of diagnosis and drugs without improvement, Functional Medicine (FM) can provide you with powerful tools and strategies to help your patients regain their health. Why Functional Medicine? The acute-care approach is ill-equipped to handle the multifaceted issues that accompany most chronic diseases. It’s also a model that fails to address the unique genetic background of each individual. It also does not take into account the impact of modern lifestyles and environmental factors that can lead to an increase in chronic diseases. These factors include diet, exercise, exposure to toxins, and stress. For these reasons, most doctors are unequipped to assess the underlying causes of disease. They do not know how to utilize diet, exercise, and nutrition as preventive factors in combating chronic disease. From an allopathic perspective, FM offers a novel approach and method- ology to treating andpreventing chronic diseases. From a chiropractic perspec- tive, seeking to discover the underlying cause of disease by examining how structure impacts function is a foun- dational principal for the profession. By joining forces, either through collaboration or in a more formal integrative or multidisciplinary practice setting, allopathic physicians and chiropractors can help their patients derive the greatest benefit from both perspectives. Practitioners of FM develop individualized treatment programs that address the interaction between the external environment and the internal environment of the body, The heart of the matter What you need to know about Functional Medicine. BY MARK SANNA, DC A D O BE ST O C K http://www.chiroeco.com 42 C H I R O P R A C T I C E CO N O M I C S • F e B r u a r y 2 4 , 2 0 1 7 C H I R O E C O . CO M WELLNESSAPPROACH including the immune, endocrine, and gastrointestinal systems. How is Functional Medicine different? From an FM perspective, the primary factors considered during a patient assessment include foundational lifestyle factors: nutrition, exercise, sleep, stress level, interpersonal relationships, andgenetics. These primary factors are, in turn, influenced by certain predisposing factors, ongoing physiological processes, and discrete events that result in an imbalance in the body’s ability to maintain .