Functional Herbal Medicine
I am proud to be a graduate of the AFMCP-UK course (Applying Functional Medicine in Clinical Practice) and a functional medicine practitioner.
What is Functional Medicine?
Conventional medicine is very good at helping people in emergency situations. But it is not so helpful if you have a chronic disease. If you are ill, you might be able to take a prescription drug to reduce your symptoms, but often the underlying dysfunction doesn’t go away. So, sometimes you may have to take medication for the rest of your life.
Since these prescription drugs only mask symptoms rather than improve health, you just can’t seem to get healthy again. Plus, these medications may actually cause side effects, making you feel worse. Or even requiring more medication to control those side effects.
For instance, insulin resistance can be an underlying factor in someone with heart disease or high blood pressure. Medications to reduce blood pressure are not addressing the underlying factor. Of course, these medicines might reduce symptoms. The person taking them might feel a bit better for a while. But they are not actually getting healthier. The drug is just managing symptoms. And, after a while, the medicines may cause side effects of their own.
There are many similar cases of chronic diseases that develop over a long period of time. Your symptoms are mild or intermittent in the beginning and develop slowly, gradually getting worse. Your doctor might say that your test results are normal, based on conventional medical practice. But normal does not mean optimal. A conventional doctor may say let’s watch and wait. In the meantime, you struggle with progressing symptoms, feeling even worse before you can access treatment. And, when you are officially unhealthy, you can take medications to mask your symptoms. And, the underlying dysfunction continues to erode your health.
Functional medicine takes a completely different approach. Instead of focusing on blocking symptoms, practitioners look at the root causes of illness. This is called root cause medicine. By addressing these underlying factors, we can help the body to heal itself. This not only can improve your health but also help to prevent future problems from occurring. So, this health care approach can help you to recover and heal naturally.
How can the functional medicine approach help you?
As an experienced medical herbalist, functional medicine and nutritional medicine practitioner, I often work with people with chronic illnesses. I have found that a natural healing approach that supports the body in its efforts to be well works very well for chronic health problems, such as digestive problems, autoimmune diseases or metabolic syndrome.
With my experience, I know how important it is to get to the root of the problem of any health condition. That is why I take a full medical history, paying attention to your main health concerns. Factors such as family history and your past medical history, your diet and lifestyle, injuries or traumas can help my understanding of how you came to be ill. Your health history is a crucial part of my personalised approach, and it helps me to identify what is holding you back from your health goals.
If you have chronic health concerns, it is vital to address any underlying issues. Finding those past triggers of ill health and or factors that perpetuate your health issues may be crucial for you to move forward. Sometimes you have to start simply and move slowly, allowing your body to heal. This is where natural healing methods, the right foods, quality sleep, managing stress and supplementation can excel.
The functional medicine approach to healthcare
I have found that this personalised treatment is a better healthcare model. This method of healing aims to restore health and vitality through a holistic approach. Looking at the body as a whole rather than as separate parts. A system of health care that improves the function of the body’s processes, organs and tissues, bringing the body back into balance. The body heals itself.
It is not just about the absence of disease. Diet and lifestyle changes can have powerful effects on how your body functions. Dietary supplements, adequate rest, and stress management can all play a part. Mental health and spirituality, connection with others and purpose in life can all impact physical health and may form part of personalising your healthcare plan.
If appropriate, I can advise on professional lab testing to confirm any problems so that you know why I make certain recommendations. Lab testing is also useful to track your progress as you get better.
I offer a range of complementary therapies to improve gut health. Nutritional therapy and herbal supplements are an integral part of functional medicine.
Your personalised health plan
Your personalised treatment plan is not just about resolving symptoms. The aim is to restore your health. We do this by addressing the factors that may underlie your symptom or disease with natural medicine.
A healthy diet is key. This doesn’t mean eliminating all the foods you love. I work with you to create meal plans or provide recipes so that you know what to eat to feel better.
Ideally, you would be able to get all your nutrients from your nutritious meal plan. But, if you have digestive problems, you may not digest your food well and may lack vital nutrients. Maybe you have eaten a restrictive diet for years to try to control your symptoms. If so, you may need to replenish your body. You may have vitamin or mineral deficiencies which may cause some of your symptoms. So, I may suggest some supplementation until you are back on track.
All these recommendations are based on evidence from science and also experience in helping people have a better outcome and quality of life.
Herbal medicines have a long history of use for restoring optimal health and wellness. This ancient form of medicine brings balance back to the body. I find it especially useful for helping a patient to find harmony, relieving stress, reducing pain and promoting restful sleep.
Not only do plant medicines contain vitamins and minerals, but they also contain many other medicinal compounds. These phytochemicals are natural substances that work with your body. For instance, many herbal remedies have soothing, anti-inflammatory or antibacterial properties. They can reduce inflammation, fight infection, modulate the immune system or soothe away pain.
Using safe, gentle and effective herbal remedies can help to heal your gut and restore your health. I am a professionally trained medical herbalist and health coach with years of experience in using botanical medicine and nutrition for promoting health. The therapies I recommend target the root causes of your symptoms so that you can achieve lasting health improvements.
If you also take conventional medicines from your doctor, I can ensure that your bespoke herbal prescription is safe for you to take alongside your medication.
See my articles on herbal remedies
Health and Vitality
As a herbalist for over twenty years, it has been my privilege to help people regain their optimum health and vitality through the natural therapies that I offer.
If you would like to have a chat about how I can help you, then please feel free to book a complimentary online call on my calendar.