What is integrative medicine? Integrative medicine is an approach to patient care that addresses each patient’s unique physical, emotional, mental, social, spiritual and environmental health.1 The term “integrative medicine” often refers to these services provided by medical doctors, while “integrative health” often refers to these services provided by other professionals. Integrative medicine historically has adopted the use of complementary and alternative medicine services (“CAMs”) in patient care, such as chiropractic services, massage therapy, acupuncture, etc.
What is functional medicine? Functional medicine is defined by the Institute for Functional Medicine (“IFM”) as:
“…an individualized, patient-centered, science-based approach that empowers patients and practitioners to work together to address the underlying causes of disease and promote optimal wellness. It requires a detailed understanding of each patient’s genetic, biochemical, and lifestyle factors and leverages that data to direct personalized treatment plans that lead to improved patient outcomes.”2
IFM identifies that functional medicine targets the root cause of health issues rather than only seeking the resolution of symptoms.
What is Integrative and Functional Medicine (“I&FM”)? I&FM is the combination of the integrative medicine approach with the functional medicine perspective. Integrative services are used in conjunction with functional medicine specialty lab testing and personal questionnaires to resolve core issues related to all aspects of the the patient’s health, (mind, body, spirit).
Most resources draw a distinction between integrative and functional medicine, but e3FM uses I&FM to encompass medicine that utilizes the holistic use of the wide variety of tools available through both integrative and functional medicine.
Still confused about I&FM? Click here for The Elephant and I&FM Parable