Frequently Asked QuestionsLifestyle Coaching with Laura Lagano, MS, RD, CDN, AFMCP
What is functional medicine?
The terms functional and integrative are often used interchangeably to describe a type of healthcare that addresses the whole person, not just an isolated set of symptoms. Whether it’s a physician practicing medicine or a dietitian counseling a client about food and nutrition, this approach attempts to get at the root cause of the disease or problem instead of just treating symptoms.
It is this holistic, whole person approach that makes functional care different from conventional care. The terms conventional and traditional medicine are sometimes incorrectly used. Today’s mainstream medicine is conventional while traditional medicine reflects the thousands year old traditions of China, India, and other ancient cultures.
How is functional medicine different?
- Functional medicine healthcare professionals consider the complex interaction of a patient’s history, lifestyle, physiology, social, environmental, and genetic makeup that contribute to health status.
- Functional medicine dietitians use whole foods to start their patients on their health journey often in conjunction with nutrition supplements, botanicals, exercise, movement, body work, aromatherapy, detoxification, breathing and de-stress techniques, and more.
- Functional medicine practitioners often refer patients for other healing modalities – acupuncture, craniosacral, feeding therapy, homeopathy, meditation, neurofeedback, occupational therapy, Pilates, speech-language therapy, therapeutic drumming, vision therapy, yoga, and more.
- Functional medicine providers frequently use both standard diagnostic lab testing with cutting-edge, specialty lab testing.
- Functional medicine nutritionists consider a multitude of factors — the food you eat, the water you drink, the personal and cleaning products you use, the air you breathe, your sleeping habits, your relationships, and much more to create your Holistic Nutrition & Lifestyle Plan.
- Functional medicine professionals explore your genetic history, sometimes using genetic testing. Though individual genes may make us more susceptible to certain health issues, our gene expression can be influenced through diet, exercise, and other lifestyle habits. The emerging fields of epigenetics and nutritional genomics can guide your functional medicine dietitian to help you repair your genes, at the cellular level.
What is the functional medicine partnership?
Working with a dietitian who is trained in functional medicine requires the patient to be more involved with the healthcare process, establishing a life-long partnership with me. While I provide the recommendations and tools to make lifestyle changes for optimal health, you take the responsibility to modify your habits. You are in the driver’s seat, while I help to navigate. Think of me as your GPS or map (for those who travel old school!).