In Functional Medicine, we take a different perspective of the human body, looking at the interconnectedness between every system.
The Functional Medicine matrix is our framework to do that. This is a lens that helps us look at all the body’s systems, symptoms, and risk factors and see the story they tell about why you got sick and how to get better. It connects the dots between all your symptoms.
Using a foundation like this matrix, we can see that two people might have the same symptoms with very different root causes, or vice versa. The reason Functional Medicine is so powerful is that it looks at the individual; it accounts for the unique subtleties in all of our bodies and where they each need support.
Specifically, the matrix works of a series of biological systems we call nodes: defense and repair, energy, biotransformation and elimination, transport, communication, structural integrity, and assimilation. These categories help us do the detective work in an organized way, pin down the problems, and take the most effective treatment route.
It also takes a deep look at each patient’s story. This means identifying family history, triggering events, and lifestyle choices that have either mediated or perpetuated their condition. Emotional, spiritual, and mental status are also an equally important part for us to get the full picture. Considering how comprehensive this approach to medicine is, it’s not surprising that studies have found it can improve patient health outcomes and sustain them more so than conventional medical methods.
Practicing Functional Medicine and seeing the incredible outcomes my patients have has given me the most meaningful career I could ask for. And I’m not the only one that feels this way. If you missed last week’s episode of The Doctor’s Farmacy, I sat down with fellow Functional Medicine doctor and my colleague at The UltraWellness Center, George Papanicolaou to talk about how life-changing Functional Medicine has been for us.
We discuss what it means to use the Functional Medicine matrix and share some of our favorite patient success stories. Dr. Papanicolaou shares some of his family’s personal health journey— helping his daughter overcome extreme fatigue and healing his own traumatic brain injury—using the power of Functional Medicine.
We also dig into the topics of small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, the gut-brain connection, hormonal imbalances, and so much more.
I hope you’ll tune in.
Wishing you health and happiness,
Mark Hyman, MD