Functional Medicine: What Is It? How Does It Work? Why Choose It? functional medicine in Grand Rapid

Functional medicine is a form of alternative medicine that centers on the patient and approaches an illness by identifying its root cause and using a combination of therapies to treat the patient. Practitioners of functional medicine believe that a diagnosis can have more than one cause, and it is better to trace the roots of that diagnosis and address them to ensure the condition does not happen again.

If you are suffering from a condition that appears to always come back even after treatment, you may want to consider receiving personalized functional medical care.

How Does Functional Medicine Work?

According to the Institute of Functional Medicine (IFM), functional medicine has a standardized approach to patient treatment that typically involves three essential tools. These tools are the

● Functional Medicine Matrix

● Timeline

● GOTOIT Framework

Functional Medicine Matrix

This is a tool that typically helps the physician to collect the valuable history of the patient. Unlike in conventional medicine, where medical history is often the primary and only history requested, functional medicine takes it a step further to consider other aspects of a patient’s life. They include the patient’s medical, social, family, and personal history. Using the matrix, the physician can categorize this information to give them a comprehensive insight into the factors that may be responsible for disease and a possible diagnosis.


This tool works by exploring the timeline of the patient’s life, from conception up until the time of disease. The purpose of this is to help the patient identify possible life events or factors that have a pattern of predisposing, provoking, or contributing to adverse symptoms in the patient. By doing this, the patient can understand the role they have to play through lifestyle modifications to prevent the disease from recurring. Also, it puts the patient in the driver’s seat of their recovery, which is beneficial to the patient.


This tool is a simple framework that functional medical professionals use to trace the root of a patient’s dysfunction or disease. GOTOIT is an acronym for Gather, Organize, Tell, Order,

Initiate, and Track, which is a step-by-step approach to helping practitioners complete the matrix and timeline in order to find the root cause of disease.

Why Should You Choose Functional Medicine?

If you have been considering different treatment options, below are some reasons why you may want to choose functional medicine.

Patient-Centered Care

As earlier stated, one of the benefits of functional medicine is its patient-centered approach. With functional medicine, you are not just another random patient. You are involved in the diagnosis and treatment of your condition. Every aspect of your life is considered before a diagnosis, and you can be sure that your treatment options will favor you.

Expert Multi-disciplinary Approach

Functional medicine involves a team of healthcare professionals that will all be dedicated to your wellbeing and treatment. Aside from your primary functional medical practitioner, you will also have a caregiver, health coach, and registered dietitian to guide you on your wellness journey.

Results Are Long Term

Because functional medicine addresses the root of the problem, results are likely to be longer-lasting compared to other treatment approaches. Also, your functional medicine practitioner will work with you on adopting healthier lifestyle modifications that help you live free of disease.

Are you ready to receive functional medical care? Book an appointment with Dr. Eric Broadworth at Fuel Physical Therapy in Grand Rapids, MI, to get started on your personalized treatment plan.

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