New Models of Healthcare
Dr. Jeffrey Bland, PHD, FACN, FACB, CNS, is a “highly respected thought leader who spent more than four decades focused on the improvement of human health. He is known worldwide as the founder of the Functional Medicine movement, which represents his vision for a care model that is grounded in systems biology and informed by research that he has a unique ability to synthesize. His pioneering work has created the Personalized Lifestyle Medicine Institute (PLMI), as well as the Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM), the global leader in Functional Medicine education. Since 1991, hundreds of thousands of healthcare practitioners have participated in PLMI and IFM programs, and this collective knowledge has positively impacted the lives of patients all over the world.”
What is Functional Medicine?
The functional medicine model is an individualized, patient-centered, science-based approach that empowers patients and practitioners to work together to address the underlying causes of disease and promote optimal wellness. It requires a detailed understanding of each patient’s genetic, biochemical, and lifestyle factors and leverages that data to direct personalized treatment plans that lead to improved patient outcomes.
By addressing a root cause, rather than symptoms, practitioners become oriented to identifying the complexity of disease. They may find one condition has many different causes and, likewise, one cause may result in many different conditions. As a result, functional medicine treatment targets the specific manifestations of disease in each individual.
What is Personalized Lifestyle Medicine?
Personalized Lifestyle Medicine focuses on customized recommendations in the way a patient eats, moves, sleeps, thinks and connects. In the language of precision, it’s the targeted improvement of the gene/environment interaction to reduce aging and prevent or reverse disease. According to Dr. Jeffrey Bland, “Immunity is a communication system. Personalized immunity is how you connect to your health, your community, nature and our planet.”
Why Personalized Medicine Works
Dr. Jeffrey Bland’s teachings and the functional medicine approach have influenced my career. As a health practitioner it is so gratifying when a patient conveys that they are healthier and have a better life as a result of the care you brought them. But, in the back of my mind, I always think about the patients that don’t quite get there. I ask, “What else is there and what else could I have done?”
After learning NET earlier in my career, I definitely saw more of my patients getting better. However, I couldn’t understand the “why” and that was constantly in the back of my mind. I loved the results but could not understand them. People would say it is energy. But everything is energy so how does it work?
As the research advanced, and doctors like Dr. Jeffrey Bland, Dr. Dan Monti, Dr. Scott & Debbie Walker, Dr. Candace Pert, Dr. Moshe Syzf, Dr. Penny Kendall-Reed, and many others shared their knowledge with us, that is when I was able to gain a deeper understanding of what was happening when I was helping others with NET.
Now as I delve more into genetics, stress, and immunity, I have an even deeper understanding. Although we are similar, we are also very different from each other and. because of this, healthcare, like many other areas of our life, need to be personalized to each individual.
I deeply believe that the more you understand yourself, the better your relationships with others and with nature will be. At the end, it will produce better human beings, a better society, a better planet, and a better world for all of us.