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Functional Medicine with Amy Lennon

Amy Lennon recently attended a 5-day seminar in Functional Medicine and is excited to introduce it to her patients. What is Functional Medicine? According to the Institute for Functional Medicine’s website:

Functional medicine addresses the underlying causes of disease, using a systems-oriented approach and engaging both patient and practitioner in a therapeutic partnership. It is an evolution in the practice of medicine that better addresses the healthcare needs of the 21st century. By shifting the traditional disease-centered focus of medical practice to a more patient-centered approach, functional medicine addresses the whole person, not just an isolated set of symptoms. Functional medicine practitioners spend time with their patients, listening to their histories and looking at the interactions among genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors that can influence long-term health and complex, chronic disease. In this way, functional medicine supports the unique expression of health and vitality for each individual. (link)

I asked Amy a few questions about her experience and what she hopes to introduce to her patients at the office.

What got you interested in Functional Medicine?

I became interested in FM for a few reasons-1). I enjoy the work & learn a lot from Alex Vasquez and he organized the seminar. 2.) I was excited by the idea that there is now an approach to illness that more holistic in the sense that the patient can take control and the medical providers can use their diagnostic skills and experience but without a lot of intervention (meds, supplements). 3.)Recently, we personally have had medical issues in our family (concussion, weird blood work, mental illness struggles, cancer and more) that left us with no real option in terms of treatment. Until discovering functional medicine.

How do you see it fitting in to your work at Hawthorne Chiro?

Fitting it into my work here at HC will probably be through a gentle integrative approach based completely on the individual patient’s needs. I use it already with my nutritional consults, and with chronic pain/inflammation patients, but I would like to provide more lab too. A simple example in clinic would be teaching patients how to test their own urine in an effort to see the direct relationship to what they eat and their acidity/alkalinity. I look forward to learning more as well, and to provide referrals to FM providers routinely.

What are some things you learned in particular that you didn’t already know or found interesting?

I learned that our gut is phenomenal – for example: I know that we are hosts to all sorts of bugs but I did not know the extent to which they (bugs) sneak into our systems and interfere with very important immune functions and that its easy to test for these bugs. I have many rheumatoid, hyperthyroid, or other autoimmune patients that may have major positive changes with simple treatments because of these bugs.
Also that most times the clinical symptoms are not necessarily gut related- with only achy joints, for example as the symptom.
I didn’t know that eating more anti-inflammatory foods promotes:
more endorphins hence is useful w/ treating addictions
fat loss because of decreased cortisol
detox in the body
raises intracellular magnesium which keeps minerals in the body and allows people to not have to supplement as much
So much more-really, I was learning for 5 days straight and there is so much information! I’m very excited to see how this helps my patients.

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