What happened the first time you met your best friend? You weren’t best friends right away – it took time for the relationship to grow, to blossom.
The same goes with a naturopathic doctor. The first time you walk through the doors of the Mindful Healing Clinic in Mississauga, you’re taking your first step in an ongoing health journey. And that journey starts with an assessment.
Dr. Maria, chief medical officer at the Mindful Healing Clinic, has a wide range of different naturopathic solutions on hand which may help you with your health concerns. But how does she know which solutions are ideal for your unique situation?
That’s where functional medicine comes into play.
What Is Functional Medicine?
Functional medicine is an approach to healthcare designed to better address the needs of individuals dealing with chronic illnesses.
In the traditional western model of healthcare, we take a disease-centred focus to treatment. It focuses on the symptoms of a disease and the suppression of said symptoms.
With functional medicine, we take an individual-centred approach. This takes into consideration your individual conditions and needs and aims to address the underlying cause. A functional medicine assessment will take into account your individual health history, as well as lifestyle, environmental, genetic, and epigenetic factors. It promotes optimal health.
A functional medicine approach recognizes the origins, treatment, and prevention of chronic illness. It integrates western medical practices with naturopathic medicine.
At the Mindful Healing Clinic, Dr. Maria is trained in functional medicine. This modality informs her practice.
What Is A Functional Medicine Assessment?
A functional medicine assessment is a method of examining a person’s current state of health and diagnosing illness finding its true cause. It takes into account a wide range of different wellness factors.
It takes time to understand all the unique factors that affect your health. And since your health concerns manifest uniquely within you, no two treatments can be the same. As a result, when you visit the Mindful Healing Clinic, Dr. Maria will take the time to build a full understanding of your health and situation.
During your initial consultation with Dr. Maria, you’ll get a chance to talk about all factors that influence your health. Above simple talk, however, Dr. Maria may incorporate a range of different modern diagnostic techniques, including a physical exam, tissue analysis (blood, urine, saliva, hair, feces), internal imaging (MRI, CT, ultrasound), and more.
Medical History and Complete Physical Exam
If you’ve currently been diagnosed with any illnesses, Dr. Maria will want to know about them. That shouldn’t come as much of a surprise.
But if you once had a disease and have since been treated for it, it may still have left some residual effects behind that need to be addressed.
Another important factor, again perhaps unsurprisingly, is your history of injuries or physical trauma. Sports injuries, particularly blows to the head, can have a significant impact (pardon the pun) on your health.
Taking your entire health history into consideration is an important piece of the puzzle Dr. Maria needs to understand. A complete physical exam will add important information.
Diet And Nutrition
When it comes to maintaining a state of optimal health, there are few things more important than your diet and nutritional intake.
A diet rich in the nutrients your body needs can help you think more clearly, sleep better, focus better, ease stress, and improve your immunity to a number of different chronic illnesses. On the other hand, poor diet and poor nutrition has been linked with a variety of illnesses, from mental disorders like anxiety, depression, and poor stress management to serious illnesses like heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and more.
If your diet isn’t giving you the nutrients you need, it can lead to a variety of other health concerns as well, including insomnia, chronic fatigue, anemia, weak bones and joints, increased heart rate, shortness of breath, low moods, difficulty focusing, and much more.
By examining your current dietary intake and comparing it with, among other factors, your current health concerns, Dr. Maria can better understand what’s holding you back from achieving a state of optimal health.
While the term lifestyle often includes diet, there’s more to it than that. A wide variety of factors that don’t fit neatly into any specific category can affect your health.
One of these is any bad habits you may have picked up over the years, including reliance on alcohol, tobacco, cannabis, or other substances. The ideal situation from a health perspective is obviously to avoid using these altogether. However, Dr. Maria recognizes that the majority of people will indulge in at least one of the above occasionally. She can help you understand how your current health concerns interact with these substances and how to mitigate their effects.
Another important factor is your work environment. Many working-class people today spend the majority of their day sitting at a desk. Others work with and around hazardous substances, like toxic cleaning products, solvents, paints, and pesticides. Still others work in physically demanding jobs that can lead to chronic pain and injury. Each of these create unique health risks and concerns to be aware of.
Social factors can also contribute to your current state of health. Loneliness, in particular, has been linked with a variety of different illnesses, including mental disorders like depression, personality disorders, Alzheimer’s, insomnia, alcoholism, as well as physical illnesses like diabetes, hypertension, obesity, lupus, cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, and many more. (source)
Other lifestyle factors considered include the amount and quality of exercise in your life, day-to-day stresses that you may face, and the quality of your relationships. Each of these has an important role to play in addressing your overall health.
Some of us are more prone than others to developing certain illnesses based on ethnic or genetic factors. There is currently no known way to eliminate these factors completely. However, by recognizing them, you can take the appropriate countermeasures.
If, for example, you have a history of heart disease in your family, Dr. Maria can help you build a lifestyle that will help you avoid having to face such an illness. You’ll still have to be mindful, but with Dr. Maria’s help you can significantly reduce your risk of continuing the family curse.
The Goal Of Functional Medicine
When conducting a functional medicine assessment, the point is to address the underlying causes of any illnesses you may be facing. Dr. Maria will take the time to understand your individual health concerns, assess your full health history to determine the root cause of them, build a treatment protocol designed to address these concerns, and spend time teaching you about your role in maintaining your own health.
This way, not only do you receive expert health guidance from an experienced and licensed naturopathic doctor, you’re also empowered with the knowledge you need to take control of your own life.
By understanding the underlying causes of any illness or symptoms you may be facing, Dr. Maria can paint a full picture of your unique situation and provide a treatment plan designed to deal with these concerns permanently.
Contact The Mindful Healing Clinic
If you’re dealing with a health concern that’s impacting your day-to-day life, there are naturopathic solutions available that can help.
Contact the Mindful Healing Clinic today to book an appointment.
If you’re new to naturopathic medicine, and aren’t sure it’s for you, book a FREE 15-minute health consultation.
During that consultation, you’ll get a chance to sit down with Dr. Maria and talk about any health concerns you’re currently facing. Dr. Maria will answer your questions, address your concerns, and from there the two of you will talk about your options.
Whatever your health concerns are, contact the Mindful Healing Clinic. Dr. Maria offers naturopathic solutions that may help with most health concerns.
Contact the Mindful Healing Clinic today.