Integrative Medicine (IM) and Functional Medicine (FM) share many features
First, they both focus on the whole person and do not divide the body into or attend to the body as separate organ systems. IM and FM both recognize that we are whole beings and the optimal functioning of all our organs is based on interdependency between all organs.
Second, both IM and FM are patient-centered and thus respectful of and responsive to the individual patient's preferences, needs and values. The relationship is a partnership which builds over time to meet health needs and goals.
Third, they both incorporate many different healing modalities into the treatment approach, including nutrition, mind-body medicine, herbs, acupuncture, Ayurveda, homeopathy and energy medicine/touch therapies.
There is increasing scientific evidence that these "complementary" medicine modalities are effective in treating a wide range of acute and chronic health conditions.
Where FM differs from IM
FM appreciates eight core systems which can be imbalanced (e.g. central nervous system/emotions/mind, gut/assimilation, defense/repair/immune function, structural integrity, communication/hormones, transport/vessels, toxicity/detoxification and energy/mitochondrial functioning).
Thus FM is focused on evaluating these systems and finding within them the root cause(s) for chronic inflammation and illnesses. FM then addresses the root causes (there are usually multiple root causes) to help the person heal.
Our bodies are capable of incredible things and incredible healing. We just need to discover where are the imbalances, provide the necessary ingredients for correcting them, and allow the body to do its work in healing us and becoming whole again.
-Nathalie Bera-Miller MD