What is Functional Medicine?

 

Medical practice or treatments that focus on the optimal functioning of the body and its organs, usually involving a whole systems approach to healthcare.

Our society is experiencing a sharp increase in the number of people who suffer from complex, chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer, mental illness and autoimmune disorders like arthritis. The problem is that most physicians are oriented toward acute care. The first stop for a medical resident is the emergency room. In general practice, physicians prescribe the drug or surgery that aim to treat the immediate problem or symptom. Unfortunately, it does not take into account the unique make-up of each individual, such as genetics, environment, diet and lifestyle.

By looking at the root causes of declining health, integrative physicians can create a focused, unique program to restore a person’s health.

This could include unique cardiovascular testing, hormone analysis and more. Treatments are clinically designed to treat the pattern of each individual using acupuncture, nutrition, detoxification, diet and lifestyle modification just to name a few.

At Sophia, We take the philosophies of the FIRST and OLDEST Functional Medicine system: East Asian MedicineFive Elements - SOPHIA Natural Health

East Asian Medicine treats patterns of illness that can contain any number of symptoms or western conditions, whereas generally western medicine is symptomatic/condition based.  There is an ancient proverb that says: One Disease, Many Patterns.

So, let’s look at this in real life. Recently a patient came to our clinic suffering from severe, debilitating panic attacks. She is on a slew of psychiatric medicines which were not helping much and were making her foggy and disconnected. Upon my evaluation using our individualized analysis and exam, I determined that her nervous system was shut down due to chemical exposures, her heart was weak (there are more electrical signals that go from the heart to the head than the opposite. I will discuss this in further articles) and her digestive function was damaged (remember, the calming hormone, serotonin, is made in the gut lining). I prescribe a protocol of Acupuncture, diet change and focus specific whole food supplements. After only 1 week, here panic attacks went from almost daily to 2 situations of limited duration.

Welcome to the power of Integrative Natural Medicine!

 

Dr. Kenneth Hoffman, DAOM, L.Ac. Our Medical Director and Founder Ken Hoffman is a Doctor of Acupuncture and a specialist in Natural Medical Care. In 1991, he began private training under the tutelage of a Taoist medical and qi gong master where he began learning the art of Chinese healing. This culminated in a sabbatical to Taiwan, where he lived and studied Chinese healing arts in Chi Nan Temple. He then completed a 4 year Chinese medical school program with an internship at St. John’s Riverside Hospital in Yonkers, NY. His post-graduate specialties included study with some the best doctors in functional medicine where he focused on the integration of western bio-medicine, including blood chemistry analysis, endocrinology and the use of Medical Infrared Thermography. He has performed more than 18,000 acupuncture treatments on over 7,000 patients since starting his practice which has now grown into the busiest clinic of its kind in the state of Connecticut.

 

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