Defining Function in the Functional Medicine Model

Integr Med (Encinitas). 2017 Feb;16(1):22-25.


In the functional medicine model, the word function is aligned with the evolving understanding that disease is an endpoint and function is a process. Function can move both forward and backward. The vector of change in function through time is, in part, determined by the unique interaction of an individual's genome with their environment, diet, and lifestyle. The functional medicine model for health care is concerned less with what we call the dysfunction or disease, and more about the dynamic processes that resulted in the person's dysfunction. The previous concept of functional somatic syndromes as psychosomatic in origin has now been replaced with a new concept of function that is rooted in the emerging 21st-century understanding of systems network-enabled biology.

Publication types

  • Editorial