Dr. Helene Pulnik ND
Licensed Naturopathic Doctor
IFM Certified Functional Medicine Practitioner
Functional Medicine determines how and why illness occurs and restores health by addressing the root causes of disease for each individual.
The functional medicine model is 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.
By addressing root cause, rather than symptoms, practitioners become oriented to identifying the complexity of disease. They may find one condition has many different causes and, likewise, one cause may result in many different conditions. As a result, functional medicine treatment targets the specific manifestations of disease in each individual.
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What is Functional Medicine?
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.
As a certified Functional Medicine practitioner, Dr. Helene Pulnik looks at the interactions among your genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors. The Functional Medicine model facilitates healing by restoring balance and bringing the mind and body back into alignment.
How is Functional Medicine different?
Functional medicine involves understanding the root cause of the condition, prevention, and treatment of complex, chronic disease.
The focus of functional medicine is on patient-centered care, promoting health as a positive vitality, beyond just the absence of disease.
By listening to the patient and learning his or her story, the practitioner brings the patient into the discovery process and tailors treatments that address the individual’s unique needs.
Functional medicine practitioners look “upstream” to consider the complex web of interactions in the patient’s history, physiology, and lifestyle that can lead to illness.
The unique genetic makeup of each patient is considered, along with both internal (mind, body, and spirit) and external (physical and social environment) factors that affect total functioning.
One way to illustrate where Functional Medicine falls in the continuum of health and healthcare is to examine the Functional Medicine Tree as depicted below: