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Functional Medicine, Holistic Medicine, Natural Medicine and Integrative Medicine, Is there a difference?
Blog 14 May 2019

Functional Medicine, Holistic Medicine, Natural Medicine and Integrative Medicine, Is there a difference?

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Functional Medicine, Holistic Medicine, Natural Medicine and Integrative Medicine, Is there a difference?

 

Healthcare terms like functional medicine, holistic, integrative and natural medicine can be very confusing.  Although they are being used interchangeably, they are in fact quite different. 

 

What is Functional Medicine


 Functional Medicine describes the returning a human body to a state of optimal function. It is well documented that various environmental factors contribute to our health and how we feel. When our biologic systems are out of balance such as lacking essential nutrients such as fats and minerals the body malfunctions and becomes diseased. This approach to health differs from other complementary or alternative health approaches.  
Holistic, Natural and Integrated approaches to medicine are similarly in the essence diverge from an allopathic approach of using pharmaceutical drugs to just treat a patient’s symptoms. 
Each of these approaches, however, have their own identity, emphasis and value and do not overlap with the medical approach to health taken by Functional Medicine.  

What is Holistic Medicine

Holistic medicine medicine, like Functional, considers the whole body in an approach to health.   The treatment takes into account the mind, spirit and body in the belief that they are interconnected when it comes to health.  Holistic however is a broad term and it is being used to describe various therapies making difficult to define what a holistic practitioner is. As for example, the nutritionist may offer a holistic approach to nutrition without addressing the mind/body components.  Holistic approached have been used with sound therapy, meditation and yoga, nutritional energetics, and aromatherapy. 
 

What is Natural Medicine

Natural medicine is yet another vague term.  The lines between natural and synthetic are not well defined.  Some medicines like aspirin they made from natural sources. Does this make them natural?    
A “natural” approach to health is the best option as our bodies weren’t meant to continually have to metabolize pesticides and pollutants.  Like natural medicine, Functional medicine utilizes natural products predominantly, but not exclusively looking to find a balance between natural and unnatural.  

What is Integrative Medicine

An integrated healthcare approach is important to a patient’s health.  Modern medicine has failed to recognise and incorporate the complexity of life and biology into diagnosis and therapy.  This is where Integrated Medicine makes a difference.
So many terms so many options. Integrated medicine is evidence-based discipline and in our clinic, you will get a holistic assessment by an expert in the field of complementary and alternative medicines currently available.
 
 
 
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Last modified on 03 June 2019
Dr Saskia H. Kloppenburg Vieth

Consultant in General Internal Medicine and Specialist in Complementary Cancer Care
MBBS, MRCIM (Spain), MSc Homeopathy, MFHom, Master practitioner in Ericksonian Hypnotherapy and Neurolinguistic Programming, MSc in Nutrition
(GMC reg. number: 7541548)

Integrative medicine Doctor and Holistic Medicine Practitioner

Find out more about me

Website: https://integratedmedicine.co/about/holistic-doctor-london-saskia-kloppenburg-vieth