Our Commitment to Patients
An open letter to Functional Medicine patients from Priya Kamani, MD, the founder and
CEO of the fastest-growing Functional Medicine platform.
Chances are high that you are visiting this page because you or a family member have one or more chronic conditions, and you may feel that the medical system has failed you.
Or perhaps the medical system has made you feel that what you are experiencing is all in your head. Or maybe the doctors you have seen are not really interested in listening, or will only address one problem at a time instead of looking at the whole picture. Or, perhaps, you have been overloaded with prescription medications that do not help, or are making things worse due to medication side-effects.
This does not surprise me, because the healthcare system is doing exactly what it was designed to do.
The roots of this approach started back in the days where the biggest medical issues we faced were infectious diseases. In 1909, physician Paul discovered that Salvarsan could treat syphilis and this launched the era of “magic bullet” medicine. This medication-driven approach worked well for acute diseases and infections, where there is one problem and one solution. But, we know now that chronic conditions are different, they are multi-factorial and develop over long periods of time and in many cases are due to the interplay of a combination of factors.
In spite of this, our flawed health care system continues to look at us through a fragmented lens of body parts and organ systems, and searches for a magic bullet for each problem. There is little acknowledgement of the role that genetics, the microbiome, environmental exposures and lifestyle play in health and disease. There is no recognition of the body’s remarkable regenerative healing capabilities and that food/nutrition, exercise, stress reduction, sleep, botanicals and supplements can be used therapeutically and have been shown to be equally or more effective than drugs.
The New Health Paradigm
Most of us would welcome a new paradigm for health and healing, a personalized approach that looks at us as a whole, acknowledges that chronic illness develops over many years and that sometimes you have to dive deep into the past to find the clues and that we need to identify the root cause(s) rather than just putting band-aids on symptoms. An approach that helps harness the body’s ability to heal itself. We want back our health and vitality and want to live free of pain, anxiety, depression and disability.
Functional and Personalized Medicine
Functional Medicine is a movement that addresses chronic disease while looking at each of us individuals. It has grown in size and influence primarily due to the efforts and training provided by the Institute for Functional Medicine. Patients are at the center of this approach and a patient-practitioner therapeutic partnership is central to addressing, and in many cases reversing, the course of chronic disease. The practitioners are medical detectives focused on finding the root cause. In addition to your history, advanced diagnostics, genomics, microbiome or other advanced testing is utilized to drill down and find your individualized root cause(s). A personalized plan is developed with you by the practitioner, a plan that is unique to you so you can work with your practitioner as a team to restore you back to health.
The Role of LivingMatrix
I founded LivingMatrix to help practitioners and patients get the best health outcomes possible. The system incorporates the visual tools of the Timeline and Functional Medicine Matrix that provide a clearer picture. LivingMatrix enables you to easily document the unfolding phenomena that lead to ill health – a process that often occurs over many years, perhaps even a lifetime. It gives you and your practitioner the “Big Picture” so you can take the necessary steps to build back your health and get the best outcomes possible.