What is Functional Sports Medicine?
To start, the term ‘functional’ as applied to medicine is one of the latest terms to describe a broader system of medicine, beyond standardized medical care (you have a symptom and get prescribed a drug or surgery, essentially).
Holistic medicine. Alternative medicine. Integrative medicine. Naturopathic medicine. Now, functional medicine. As a practitioner of the art and science of this type of health care, I’ve seen the names change over the years.
Finally, with functional medicine we’re seeing a broader inclusion in the population - this is of course a good thing in my opinion.
So, what is functional sports medicine?
Functional sports medicine is the inclusion of the aforementioned health principles (prevention, identifying and treating the cause, using non-toxic therapies, treating the whole person) applied to helping athletes perform their absolute best, by uncovering and resolving underlying health limitations.
When a fit-appearing athlete goes to the doctor, it can be hard for the doctor not to assume that just because that person looks healthy, trains regularly and eat well, that nothing else is going on. Mainstream medicine is primarily focused on putting out fires, rather than searching for things that limit your performance and hold you back from your very best.
Functional medicine involves searching deep for the causes of one’s symptoms. This is done via two main areas:
1. Detailed listening
In order to understand the cause of an issue, a lot of questions need to be asked. Many health issues have complex origins and require a lot of ‘digging’ to understand where they’ve begun. Once we know the origins, then we can focus on treating the cause.
Our approach involves an initial hour-long consultation so we can understand what kind of athlete you are, your training, your recovery, sleep, diet, nutrition, lifestyle factors, stressors and a review of how each major bodily system is working (heart, lungs, digestion, immune, etc.).
2. Detailed testing
Then, we utilize a comprehensive set of expanded laboratory studies. Lab testing is at the core of our program. As the saying goes, "test, don't guess”.
Labs provide a very detailed window to your physiology and as such, the 7 different types of lab evaluations we utilize will get to the root of what may be limiting your performance.
These include a detailed hormone panel, micronutrients, food sensitivities, expanded blood work (iron, immune, body chemistry), thyroid balance, cardiovascular and metabolic, and omega fat ratios.
Having a detailed grasp on a person’s unique individual biochemistry provides an understanding of what’s going on in the body, and what needs to be changed in order to treat the cause and resolve the symptoms.
All of this is aimed at helping you find the edge in your health that allows you to break through to the next level of performance. Maybe you just want to be as healthy as possible. Or maybe you feel like something in your health is holding you back, and you want to get it figured out.
Functional sports medicine identifies the obstacles and causes of performance-limiting issues, and removes them. It looks to each person’s biochemical individuality using specified testing to uncover imbalances in certain systems or the body as a whole. It also emphasizes prevention, optimal health and the use of therapeutic methods and substances that encourage overall balance.
As an athlete, you understand that even the slightest changes in one's regimen or lifestyle can have an impact on their performance. By focusing on functional health approaches, I can get to the bottom of your health and performance issues.
If you're looking for someone who will look beyond the conventional medical paradigm, then you're in the right place.
Can we help you? Feel free to schedule a complimentary phone consultation.
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