The ABCs of Functional Medicine
I have a daughter Sarah, age 23. She’s a Millennial who is “into” celebrities. I would call her a “groupie”. For example, she recently spent the day in NYC to be with one of her friends and a couple of the artists from Fifth Harmony, the hot American girl group formed on the second season of X-Factor. The artists who she hung out with were Camila Cabello and Lauren Juaregui. Notice how those names don’t really roll off my tongue.
But you will see that I am a “groupie” of Functional Medicine! These names do roll off my tongue! The “Future of Functional Medicine” lies in first acknowledging the “Present”. Let’s review the ABCs –
A is for Auto-Immunity. Thank you Dr. Tom O’Bryan for your docu-series “Betrayal” and your book “The Auto-Immune Fix”. Thank you Dr. Amy Myers for your book “The Auto-immune Solution”. Thank you Dr. Susan Blum for your book, “The Immune Recovery Solution”. Auto-immunity currently affects roughly 1 in 5 people, or up to 20 million Americans. And in conventional medicine, that’s a lot of patients whose diseases can be “managed” for profit with absolutely no improvement for the patient. This is what Functional Medicine is all about: Empowering the patient to make substantial lifestyle changes that address the root cause of auto-immunity. And recover, not be managed!
B is for Bredesen. Dr. Dale Bredesen. Thank you Dr. Bredesen for being the ONLY physician who has published research regarding a cure and improvements for those with Alzheimers disease. Dr. Bredesen does NOT use the Big Pharma one-pill-for-one-ill approach. Instead, he developed a complex model assessing 36 factors, and he uses primarily lifestyle changes to achieve the progress his patients see.
C is for Cancer. Some say Cancer is just another auto-immune disease. Thank you Ty Bollinger for developing The Truth about Cancer, your “Quest for the Cures”, and “the Global Quest” docu-series. These series brought tears to my eyes. My family has experienced a lot of cancer, and we have lost several family members to this disease. The alternative treatments and understanding that you bring to so many people, Ty, can only be said to be a“blessing”.
D is for Depression. Thank you Dr. Kelly Brogan. You are my hero. You have taken the auto-immune functional medicine paradigm, ramped it up with kundalini yoga and a spiritual journey, and created the Vital Mind Reset program for all of those patients who have been pumped up and “managed” on Pharma’s SSRIs, Anti-psychotics, Stimulants, Anti-anxiety meds, etc. – when all these patients really wanted was to regain control in their lives and to feel better. Although your model and your best seller book, “A Mind of Your Own” was written primarily about Depression, we all know that your model applies to any so-called “mental illness”.
E is for Evidence-based medicine. This is what Functional Medicine does best. There is no simple Statin or Blood Pressure Med or Diabetes management drug or Alzheimer’s med or MS med prescribed. Instead of symptom management, Functional medicine aims to understand Root Cause and address and correct it.
F is for Functional Medicine: Functional Forum, the Future of Functional, Functional Medicine Coaching Academy, and the Institute for Functional Medicine. All of these platforms help accelerate awareness, collaboration and teaching.
G is for Glutathione. This is our Master Hormone so desperately needed by all of we under-methylators, MTHFR folk, heavy metals toxic patients, or anyone with inflammatory disease. Functional medicine helps us to promote our abilities to create more glutathione so we are all healthier.
H is for Heavy Metals. Mercury. Lead. Aluminum. Arsenic. Do you know how prevalent mercury toxicity is in this country? My daughter recently graduated from Chapman U where she took an Eastern Medicine class taught by an ND. This ND told her class that 100% of her patients have tested with mercury toxicity. 100%. That’s scary. My two kids were vaccinated in the early 90s when mercury (thimerosol) was in vaccines. This neuro-toxin is still in the flu vaccine — recommended to babies six months and older and to pregnant women. How many in my generation (like me) were given mercury amalgams as silver fillings in their mouths? And now most of the vaccines have aluminum in them instead? Aluminum is what is found in the brains of Alzheimers patients. And why, exactly, do we want to directly inject this neuro-toxin into babies?
I is for Isabella Wentz. Dr. Isabella Wentz. Thyroid expert. Following in the footsteps of Ty Bollinger and Dr. Tom O’Bryan in launching her upcoming docu-series about thyroid disease, which is so prevalent among women. I experienced thyroid cancer a decade ago at the end of my six-year journey through chronic Lyme. I am grateful for Dr. Wentz, her books, her thyroid programs and summit, and her upcoming docu-series.
J is for Dr. Jay Davidson. Thank you Dr. Jay for stating that lifestyle genetics is the future of functional medicine. 23andme.com. How is your methylation doing? What’s your CYP 450 status? How can we look at your symptom expression with the history of your genetic vulnerabilities? This is what makes functional medicine really exciting!
K is for Kresser. Chris Kresser. Kresser Institute. And Kalish. Dr. Dan Kalish. Thank you Drs. Kresser and Kalish. In my journey toward launching as a health coach, I have read so many of your blogs, watched your interviews, listened to pod casts, and taken notes with webinars. Thank you for your commitment to educating patients and health care providers alike.
L is for Lyme disease. This disease has created so much controversy – political, economic, and medical. Having been a patient in the middle of this disease when the IDSA claims that chronic lyme disease doesn’t exist and the doctors tell you that it’s all in your head is EXACTLY what brought me to appreciate all that Functional Medicine has to offer.
M is for Mercury. The World Mercury Project has just launched in December 2016 with Robert F Kennedy, Jr. Having been through mercury toxicity myself, and understanding how vastly under-diagnosed this problem is, I am elated that Kennedy has come forward to broaden awareness of this issue. The autism spectrum families, mine included, are so grateful for your courage.
N is for NAC. N Acetyl Cysteine. This miracle supplement is a glutathione precursor. Thank you Dr. Richard Horowitz for putting me on this supplement about 15 years ago. Thank you Dr. Sherry Rogers for your book, “Detoxify or Die”.
O is for Ornish. Dean Ornish. Thirty years ago, he was one of the first to believe that heart disease, cancer, and any chronic illness could actually be reversed with diet and lifestyle changes. Friend of Dr. Mark Hyman, chair of the Institute for Functional Medicine and the Functional Medicine Center of the Cleveland Clinic. Thank you, Dean Ornish. Thank you, Dr. Mark Hyman.
P is for the Placebo Effect. Thank you Dr. Joe Dispenza. Thank you for your books, “How to Break the Habit of Being Yourself” and “The Placebo Effect”. It is so important to address not only the Body, but the Mind and Spirit when we seek true Healing. I am so impressed with the power of Dr. Joe’s meditations to “make our Minds Matter”.
Q is to Qi, the Chinese-defined force that initiates everything. In disease or illness, qi stagnates or sinks or counter-flows, or somehow the flow of qi is impeded. The disturbance could be from pathogens, emotional disturbances, inappropriate diet or lifestyle, or from local trauma. Functional medicine is not that different from this belief in Qi.
R is for Revolution. Thank you James Maskell of the Evolution of Functional Medicine. Thank you for broadening awareness, creating a collaborative climate and technology for health care practitioners to join together in this evolution or revolution for overturning the conventional medical model and bringing forth an amazingly powerful new paradigm called functional medicine.
S is for Schizophrenia. This is the one scourge, the diagnosis with absolutely no quantifiable marker for its existence and no markers to monitor so-called “progress” when a patient is put on spell-binding, mind-numbing tranquilizers called anti-psychotics and benzodiazepines. I would like to encourage Dr. Kelly Brogan to follow up on her Depression book “ A Mind of Your Own” with a new book on schizophrenia. So many wasted lives — a road to permanent disability, outcast, off to group homes or worse. Functional medicine and giving back these patients the right to pursue legitimate treatment is so necessary for these patients’ journeys.
T is for Twenty Three and Me. Thank you Anne Wojcicki for founding your company in 2007. I truly believe that the service that you offer enlightens and empowers every individual with important information on his or her journey to optimal wellness. The future of functional is definitely in using and interpreting this information to its fullest extent.
U is for UN Conventional medicine. Conventional medicine is a disease management model. Functional Medicine is Un-Conventional. This is the Medicine of WHY. This is the medicine that seeks to uncover and address the root cause of symptoms and disease so that the patient can become empowered to fully recover.
V is for VAXXED – The MOVIE! Thank you Del Bigtree. Thank you Dr. Andrew Wakefield. Thank you CDC Whistleblower William Thompson. Thank you Pauley Tommy. Thank you for the VAXXED bus and all of those heart-wrenching interviews. Thank you for making such a difference in trying to change our abusive and one-size-does-not-fit-all vaccine system.
W is for Well.org. Thank you Pedram Shojai, the Urban Monk. Thank you for your recent movies, Vitality and Origins. Thank you for your blogs, your magazine, your energy and education.
X is for Dr. Josh Axe. Ok, so Axe starts with “A”, not “X”, but it still has an “X” in it. Thank you Dr. Josh Axe for your amazing website with long, informative blogs. Thank you for your trainings like INL. Thank you for your essential oils, your bone broth powders and proteins. Thank you for all of your programs and educations and webinars. You have amazing depth. And I am so happy to hear you talk about how you start your day by breathing in some diffused frankincense while you meditate and pray.
Y is for Yasko. Amy Yasko. I have learned so much from trying to understand Amy Yasko’s teachings about all of the methylation processes and potential impairments, particularly for those on the autism spectrum. Your books and downloadable documents have helped so many families.
Z is for Zenith. Functional Medicine is the Zenith. It’s the paradigm that makes sense. It’s patient-centered. It recognizes that we all have the power within to heal, and that the doctor is not just a masculine energy forcing us to take some Pharma pill, but instead, the new functional doctor has a blend of masculine and feminine energies. This new doctor is more of a Coach. The patient is empowered to join in the Healing journey by changing her lifestyle, by changing her spiritual beliefs, by committing to a better “you”.
So there you have it – the ABCs of Functional Medicine. So I would like to say thank you to everyone who has embraced this new paradigm and jumped in with a loving heart to truly help patients recover. Now that we have all been reminded of the Present “Functional”, it’s time we get busy continuing on the co-creation of the Future of Functional Medicine.
Shark Health has a new website! Check it out at www.sharkhealthct.com. We have nutrition and wellness consultations available for individuals, families and the workplace plus online classes! Contact Sharon with any questions or to schedule an appointment.