Prescribe or Participate?
A collaborative approach to health.
By Avril Ivory (M.Sc)
As individuals, we can make really positive, personal decisions in how we approach our health. As it becomes clearer that lifestyle factors have a massive impact on our health, more of us are exploring different ways to wellness. Catering to current understandings, there is a new approach in healthcare called the ‘Functional Medicine approach’. This is utilised by medical doctors, particularly in the states where it originated from but it is used by many nutritional therapists and naturopaths in Ireland too. At the College of Naturopathic Medicine, we teach a Naturopathic approach but are also heavily influenced by the Functional Medicine teachings and there are shared philosophies between the two.
The key concepts are that the focus is on a wellness centred model rather than a disease centred model. The person is treated, not the disease. The root cause is addressed rather than the symptoms.
The approach is a personalised one, it seeks to empower patients and engenders collaboration with the practitioner to return the person to health. A practitioner looking from a functional medicine perspective looks at elements such as communications in the cells, transformation of food, repair and maintenance of structural integrity, elimination of wastes, protection and defence, transport and circulation, oxidative stress, inflammatory processes, absorption of nutrients and microbial balance in the gut. Then they look to see what the imbalances are in these functions to find the best ways to bring them back into balance.
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Avril Ivory (M.Sc) is the academic director of the College of Naturopathic Medicine. CNM train Natural Medicine practitioners to best international practise standards all over Ireland. Courses include diplomas in Nutritional therapy, Herbal Medicine, Acupuncture and Naturopathy as well as short courses. naturopathy.ie