What is Functional Medicine?
Functional medicine is a model of healthcare developed by a group of researchers and GPs in the USA in the 1990s. It is based on not only the principles of naturopathy but also solid scientific research and is focused on preventing and managing chronic diseases by treating the whole person, not just an isolated set of symptoms. Functional medicine moves beyond the modern Western ‘disease-centred’ focus of medical practice back to a more traditional Eastern ‘patient-centred’ approach and is the model of healthcare that IHS believe best addresses the needs of the 21st century. Functional medicine acknowledges that chronic disease is usually preceded by a long period of declining function in one or more bodily system resulting from lifelong interactions between our environment, lifestyle and genetic predispositions. Each patient is viewed as unique due to their individual mix of interactions and the affects they will have on their individual biochemical make-up. It maintains that to return a patient to health requires reversing, or substantially improving, the specific dysfunctions that have contributed to the disease state.
The Institute of Health Sciences leads the way in Ireland for using functional medicine principles throughout the IHS Nutritional Therapy diploma and runs courses for healthcare professionals to keep up to date with the latest research within this rapidly growing healthcare discipline.