the functional finder

What Makes a Functional Health Provider Functional?

What exactly makes a provider functional? There seem to be many definitions out there, but I believe we need to clearly define it so that more patients who desire this type of care can more easily find their ideal provider.

Recently a health provider reached out to me with a question that may be on the mind of similar health professionals:

“I think I’m a functional provider… but how do I know?”

The term “functional provider” is gaining prominence– but what exactly makes a provider functional? There seem to be many definitions out there, but I believe we need to clearly define it so that more patients who desire this type of care can more easily find a provider who can help them.

On The Functional Finder directory, our providers are distinct from the conventional image of “holistic healers.” They aren’t equipped with magic wands to miraculously cure diseases with herbal remedies or recommendations to purchase a sauna. Instead, they adhere to a set of principles that align with the ethos of functional medicine. This post will aim to clarify what these principles are and how they shape the approach of the providers listed on our platform.

 

In-Depth Analysis of Root Causes 

A cornerstone of functional medicine is the in-depth analysis of a patient’s health to uncover the root causes of dysfunction and disease. Functional providers go beyond treating symptoms. They look at a comprehensive picture of the patient’s health, considering factors like genetic history, environmental exposures, and lifestyle choices.

 

Working with the Body’s Natural Healing Ability 

Functional providers believe in the body’s inherent ability to heal and maintain itself. This belief shapes their treatment methodologies. They use interventions that support and enhance the body’s natural healing processes rather than simply overriding symptoms with medications. A great example of this is dentists who don’t reach for the fluoride varnish when a patient presents with multiple cavities. 

Emphasis on Nutrition, Exercise, Sunlight, and Sleep 

Nutrition, physical activity, exposure to sunlight, and quality sleep form the pillars of functional medicine. Functional providers recognize the critical role these elements play in maintaining health and preventing disease. They often incorporate dietary advice, exercise plans, and sleep hygiene practices into their treatment plans.

 

Meeting Patients Where They Are in Their Health Journey 

Functional providers understand that every patient’s health journey is unique. They believe in meeting patients where they are, acknowledging their current health status, challenges, and goals. This approach ensures that the care plan is realistic, achievable, and tailored to the individual.

To Sum it Up…

Understanding what makes a provider functional is crucial for patients seeking care that aligns with the principles of functional medicine. The providers listed on The Functional Finder are dedicated to these principles, offering an approach to healthcare that is holistic, patient-centered, and deeply rooted in understanding and supporting the body’s natural processes.

If you practice this way, your patients are out there looking for you every single day. Make it a bit easier for them to find you and grow your health practice by joining The Functional Finder. Click here to get started right away!