Updated: Sep 28, 2022
Functional medicine practitioners see a wide-variety of clients and because we are the system-focused clinicians, where so much of conventional medicine is composed of our specialists who have somewhat of a tunnel visit in their consultations, functional medicine clinicians often see those clients who have a plethora of issues, throughout the entire body, which have largely gone unresolved with previous clinicians. When ominous cause can't be found for symptoms or treatments remain unsuccessful, this is when clients begin to search for another perspective and find our own speciality.
The interesting thing though is that when the body becomes so overwhelmed with #inflammation and is in a fairly chronic state of sympathetic dominance (all fight-or-flight all-the-time) then it becomes exceedingly sensitive to its environment. We begin to react to everything and become super fatigued and when our bodies are toxic, we gain weight because our body is attempting to dilute the toxins which are otherwise stored in our adipose tissue (our fat). All of this creates a sort of war-zone within our body and our immune system, as well as our nervous system, is always primed and ready to fight - to protect us. We don't however, get much, if any time in the rest, restore, and rebuild phase where healing occurs.
Our goal as functional medicine clinicians is to identify the underlying cause and not only remove that, but then deal with the long-term consequences which have resulted from the onslaught of attack. In simple terms, if someone comes in complaining of pain in their bum and their conventional medicine clinician has treated them with ibuprofen with increased dosing the past several months to years without resolution of the pain, even offering antibiotics for the subsequent infection, but the tack remains, the functional medicine practitioner works to identify the tac and remove that as the primary goal but because we might now have infection, adhesions, a metal sensitivity, and emotional trauma which also need treated, our aim is restoration of health and optimization of overall wellness.
What often happens is this emotional trauma, unaddressed, prevents us from truly healing. When our bodies continue to perceive that it is at war, many times even over-reacting to potential threats, then it simply can't respond to our attempts to heal. Our evidence-based remedies are handicapped until we address the limbic system, our stress response. This is the part of the puzzle that my practice has worked really hard to implement. It seems too simple to be pertinent when you are so maxed out, but #yoga, meditation, nature, sleep, healthy relationships, processing emotions and all the good stuff is absolutely vital to healing.
Just as a curl-up is the strategy for building up the bicep, mindfulness practices are the strategy for building up the brain.
It is the wellness piece, the self-love, that we fail to properly implement even as functional medicine practitioners. This is the putting into practice aspect of a very complex treatment regimen that we absolutely can't underappreciated.
Understandably, when we have a natural mindset, we still feel desperate under these conditions and hope to go in with big guns, whether nutriceutical or pharmaceutical, so we really struggle to put in the work of creating new, healthy patterns for our body's overall environment through restorative practices such as yoga and meditation. Take the first step and start with just five minutes. Join me for just one yoga practice and see how you feel.