What is Functional Medicine?
Functional Medicine is the future of conventional medicine–available now. It seeks to identify and address the root causes of disease, and views the body as one integrated system, not a collection of independent organs divided up by medical specialties. It treats the whole system, not just the symptoms. The Functional Medicine approach is usually a holistic type of approach that seeks to balance and regulate all the systems in the body to achieve homeostasis (a condition where the body is in total balance and all systems are functioning at their optimum). Functional Medicine utilizes various alternative therapies to seek to achieve lasting results in the elimination of chronic disease states. Functional Medical practitioners usually do not utilize prescription medications or treat specific symptoms, but they may use therapeutic technology and supplements (bioceuticals or nutraceuticals) that can only be obtained by a Functional Medicine or other Licensed Practitioner.
How is Functional Medicine Different?
Functional medicine involves understanding the origins, prevention, and treatment of complex, chronic disease. Hallmarks of a functional medicine approach include:
- Patient-centered care. 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.
- An integrative, science-based healthcare approach. 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.
- Integrating best medical practices. Functional medicine integrates traditional Western medical practices with what is sometimes considered “alternative” or “integrative” medicine, creating a focus on prevention through nutrition, diet, and exercise; use of the latest laboratory testing and other diagnostic techniques; and prescribed combinations of drugs and/or botanical medicines, supplements, therapeutic diets, detoxification programs, or stress-management techniques.
Functional Medicine Treats Patients with:
- Chronic Fatigue
- Thyroid disorders
- Insomnia and Sleep disorders
- Pre-Diabetes, Diabetes, and Insulin Resistance disorders
- Autoimmune disorders
- Autonomic Dysfunction/Sympathetic Dominance & Neurologic Conditions
- Concussion Syndrome
- Endocrine dysfunction
- Chronic Stress
- Heavy Metal Toxicity
- Irritable Bowel, Leaky Gut, and Digestive disorders
Our Functional Medicine Specialist:
Dr. Jennifer Jester is the co-founder and co-director of Jester Family Chiropractic, a wellness practice in West Chester, Pennsylvania. She graduated from Bucknell University where she obtained a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Economics. She then went on to attend Life University in Atlanta to obtain her Doctorate of Chiropractic. Dr. Jennifer is currently pursuing advanced education and training in Functional Medicine to help serve patients with chronic health conditions and those looking for a whole body approach to health and wellness. She has incorporated many health and wellness programs, including Functional Medicine, to help patients of all ages reach their personal health and wellness goals and achieve optimal health and function. Dr. Jennifer is a member of the Pennsylvania Chiropractic Association. Her hobbies include running, skiing, hiking, and family time spent with her husband, two children, and black Labrador Retriever. She also enjoys volunteering for local charities and giving back to the community.