You may have heard the terms “naturopathic” and “functional medicine” used interchangeably or together. However, these are two distinct approaches to medicine. There is a bit of overlap though. For example, both follow a patient-centered methodology and try to zero in on the cause of an illness, not just the symptoms. In addition, both can employ a whole-person approach. This means they consider the patient’s physical and mental well-being, as well as factors such as environment and lifestyle.
So, how exactly do these fields differ? Let’s take a look.
What Is Naturopathic Medicine?
Naturopathy is all about using natural remedies that may prevent, cure, or minimize health issues. One of the core principles behind naturopathic medicine is that nature, including the human body, has innate healing potential. With that in mind, practitioners aim to help the body maximize its own potential to heal itself.
This approach combines ancient philosophies with a modern understanding of the human body. The field’s growth is spurred on by research in various fields, ranging from spirituality, nutrition, and pharmacognosy. Naturopathic doctors can be especially useful if the goal is to find alternatives to prescription drugs
What Is Functional Medicine?
Functional medicine is an evidence-based approach to health. And it aims to identify and treat the underlying cause of illnesses . This process involves considering everything from a patient’s body to their environment to internal factors. Because every patient is unique, practitioners aim to find a customized solution for each person. Some functional medicine practitioners even employ naturopathic principles and strategies.
Patients of functional medicine are encouraged to take a proactive approach as well. Practitioners may educate patients on bodily processes and how various factors may improve or decrease wellness. Armed with that knowledge, patients can take additional steps to live healthier lives.
The History of Each Field
The differences don’t end there. Naturopathic medicine and functional medicine both started and evolved in different ways as well.
Biochemist Jeffrey Bland, PhD is regarded as the founder of functional medicine. In 1991, the researcher, professor, and best-selling author co-founded the Institute of Functional Medicine.
On the other hand, naturopathy’s roots can be traced back to 16th– and 17th-century Europe and Germany. However, the term “naturopathy” is believed to be coined by German homeopath Dr. John Scheel.
Trivida’s Take on Functional Medicine
Both Bland and Scheel helped to advance humanity’s understanding of health while inspiring the work of other practitioners. At Trivida Functional Medicine, you’ll find that founder Corey Feldman has the same drive and determination to improve the health of patients. Trivida uses functional medicine to tackle the root cause of injury or illness and facilitate sustainable change. The program can help you find relief from conditions such as inflammation, chronic pain, and digestive problems. A tailor-made solution and easy-to-follow treatment plan will address your specific needs. And, whenever possible, natural solutions will be employed to improve your sense of well-being. Book a discovery call today.