The Power of Routine in Functional Medicine Treatment
When most of us get sick or develop chronic issues, we often reach for a quick fix to alleviate symptoms and get back to our daily lives.
Unfortunately, a quick fix doesn’t lead to complete and total healing. In order to enable the body to heal itself and prevent future illness, we must be in this for the long haul. By harnessing the power of routine and developing healthy habits, you can expect to improve your quality of life for years to come.
The Traditional Approach to Healthcare
When it comes to diagnosing and treating illnesses, conventional medicine has called the shots for years. Doctors and hospitals are vital parts of our society, saving many lives and providing accessible services to many people who need them.
However, the primary care model isn’t without its flaws. Many people are voicing their frustrations and concerns with how traditional healthcare functions. Unfortunately, most patients aren’t truly getting attention, guidance, and treatment for sustainable health results.
Getting an appointment with a primary care doctor isn’t easy. By the time you’ve managed to pin down a time to come into the office, you’ve likely spent way too long on the phone. Also, finances and insurance coverage may prevent some individuals from accessing their doctors as much as they need.
Once you finally book an appointment time, you likely spend most of your visit in the waiting room. Since primary care doctors see so many patients each day, they don’t usually have enough time to spend accessing your health situation, providing guidance, and coming up with a unique treatment plan.
Instead, most doctors prescribe some kind of medication to address the symptoms you’re experiencing. For example, if you’re dealing with joint pain, your doctor may prescribe pain killing or anti inflammatory drugs. While your symptoms may relieve, this treatment isn’t addressing the root cause behind your joint pain, and symptoms are likely to return or worsen over time.
These problems have caused many people to look elsewhere for treatment that gets to the bottom of their health issues and gets rid of disease for good.
How Functional Medicine Works
Take a moment to picture a large tree, with huge limbs and twisting branches. Maybe it’s a tree you used to climb as a kid or the tree growing outside your apartment building right now.
We all can see the mighty trunk, impressive branches, and thick foliage of a tree. But we can’t see the roots spreading beneath the surface. Those roots are just as big and deep as the branches above the surface. In fact, a tree’s root system mirrors the exposed branches we can see!
Functional medicine views healthcare differently than primary care. Along with focusing on the outer symptoms that can be seen—like a tree with a dead limb—functional medicine doctors also address what’s happening deeper in the body. These “root” causes are often what’s causing outlying symptoms.
Doctors of functional medicine view the body as an interconnected system of parts working together to operate and thrive. Much like the gears in a machine, when one part is broken, the entire machine stops working properly. Once the root causes of a problem are identified and treated, the functional medicine approach enables your body to naturally heal itself and become strong and resilient to prevent future disease or illness.
The Power of Routine
We live in a culture of instant gratification, and most people view healthcare in the same way. We’d all rather pop a pill and feel better as soon as possible instead of taking time to truly eradicate whatever is causing our symptoms.
Unfortunately, true health isn’t as simple as taking a pill. This approach to healthcare doesn’t lead to a body that truly thrives, and it isn’t sustainable in the long run.
Functional medicine doctors view health as a marathon, not a sprint. We want your walk through life to be sustainable. Instead of fixing symptoms, we want to help you develop a healthy lifestyle. No quick fixes, but lasting solutions!
The Body’s Healing Timeline
We can’t expect to pop a pill, snap our fingers, and suddenly have all our health problems fixed. The body operates on its own natural timeline for change.
This is why it’s vital to develop a routine that’s healthy and sustainable. Highly processed diets, little movement, high stress levels, and little sleep habits don’t promote a healthy lifestyle. On the opposite extreme, it’s easy to get obsessed with healthy habits.
Our goal is to help you hit the middle. Fuel your body with nourishing foods, but enjoy celebrations or date nights. Move your body to get stronger and feel better, but be comfortable relaxing and engaging in self care. Get enough sleep and manage stress in a healthy way.
With the help of a functional medicine practitioner, developing a healthy and sustainable routine is possible. Once you get the ball rolling, you should expect to feel better. But the body takes time to adapt to these changes.
After three weeks of positive habit changes, the brain’s neurons begin to fall into a rhythm. It takes six weeks for behaviors to solidify, and after six months these behaviors finally become automatic.
These changes may feel overwhelming, which is why you need a functional medicine doctor to guide you along every step of the way.
Functional Health and Healing
At Functional Health and Healing, Clare Cattarin (MSN, FNP, IFM-CP, S-CP) helps her patients achieve peak health and develop healthy habits that last a lifetime. She’s passionate about the power of routine and adopting a healthy, sustainable approach to life. Let us help you uncover the root cause of your disease, enable your body to heal, and harness the power of routine in your health journey.