WHAT IS FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE?
Functional Medicine is a biological-systems based approach that focuses on identifying and addressing the root cause of disease and dysfunction. Each symptom or differential diagnosis may be only one of many different contributing factors to an individual’s health issues.
Why Functional Medicine?
When someone becomes sick, they rarely do so in a way that completely matches the textbooks and there are multitudes of factors that are typically involved. Rather than trying to find the proper label for the person's health condition, which is typically used in conventional medicine practices, Functional Medicine identifies its complex mix of causes. For treatment, Functional Medicine utilizes the latest research findings on supplements, diet and other natural tools for restoring balance in the body's primary physiological processes.
The methods we use at North Georgia Center for the Healing Arts may include Chiropractic, Functional Neurology, Functional Immunology, Homeopathy, Applied Kinesiology, Chinese Medicine / Herbs and also a holistic approach toward clearing Neuro Emotional issues.
WHAT IS PROFESSIONAL APPLIED KINESIOLOGY?
Applied Kinesiology (AK) is a method of diagnosis using manual muscle testing to determine the state of the body. This technique can determine what stresses cause the body harm, what stresses are currently causing harm, and what is needed to allow the body to quickly achieve better health. Applied Kinesiology, also referred to as “functional neurology”, can actually prioritize what stresses are currently most critical. By testing muscle groups and specific muscles in the body, the structural, chemical and emotional/electromagnetic systems can be evaluated.
The doctor diagnoses muscles with neurological weakness and then determines methods that return the muscle to normal strength. The difference between a “weak” and a “strong” muscle is a neurological process; it is not merely an indication that the person needs to workout. By evaluating all of the aspects of health with muscle testing, a true picture of the overall problem emerges. Therefore, Applied Kinesiology helps a range of people from the chronically ill who want to achieve better health to world class athletes striving for optimal performance.
Applied Kinesiology understands the triad of health. This theory states that all problems have structural, chemical, and electromagnetic/emotional components to them. With manual muscle testing, the doctor may evaluate all three aspects of a single problem. When each facet of a problem is addressed correctly, the body can heal at optimal rates.
Dr. George Goodheart founded applied Kinesiology in 1964. He noticed a direct correlation between postural distortion and weak muscle patterns. By treating the weak muscle, using different methods, the muscle would return to normal function and posture would improve. From this point AK expanded into the massive technique that it is today.
The International College of Applied Kinesiology (ICAK) was founded in 1976. This organization is comprised of hundreds of doctors who learn, study, develop and extend the technique. Today, the ICAK has chapters not only in the USA, but all over the world.
Its members include doctors of all disciplines, not just Chiropractors. This is the only true organization of Applied Kinesiologists. Their board of teachers certifies doctors as they become increasingly proficient.
Many people in the alternative arts use aspects of muscle testing, calling it Applied Kinesiology. This is unfortunately not AK. AK is more than the ability to test muscles; it is also the ability to evaluate the underlying causes neurologically so the best treatment can be administered. Today Applied Kinesiology exists as a true holistic method to evaluate and prioritize the bodyâ€™s stresses. Studies show a significant difference between doctors who are properly trained and those who are not. There can be significant error in evaluation by unskilled muscle testers. Some even abuse muscle testing for unethical practice (i.e. to sell people items, affect decisions, etc.) If you are interested in getting help from an Applied Kinesiologist as in any specialty, you should go to a certified doctor to ensure proper treatment.
Just a few of the problems helped by increasing the bodies potential through this approach includes:
Allergies, Anxiety, Asthma, Back Pain, Better Athletic Performance, Chronic Fatigue, Detoxifying the Body, Depression, Disc Problems, Dyslexia/ADD, Headaches, Hormonal Imbalance, Hyperactivity, Injuries, Joint Problems, Leaky Gut, Mal- absorption, Menstrual Problems, Mental Cloudiness, Migraines, Muscle Rehabilitation, Sleep Disorders.
Applied Kinesiology is a non-invasive evaluation of the body. It is a true holistic approach to health. If you deal with the root cause of a problem, the problem usually will take care of itself.
WHO IS PAK?
When Dr. George Goodheart first discovered Applied Kinesiology (What is AK) his goal was to teach others. However, as Applied Kinesiology spread, many people of various disciplines learned the methods and taught others. Since the term Applied Kinesiology itself was never trademarked nor copyrighted, it paved the way for anyone who knew even a basic muscle test to use the phrase. Unfortunately this allowed people who had no formal training, nor expertise to utilize minimal parts of the technique and yet market themselves as Applied Kinesiologists.
After many years of fielding problems from uneducated people stating they used applied Kinesiology, the ICAK (International College of Applied Kinesiology) trademarked the term for Professional Applied Kinesiology. To be considered a Professional Applied Kinesiologist (PAK), a person must be a Doctor licensed to Diagnose. They must also satisfy continuing education credit requirements as well as prove on an ongoing basis that they are the top in their field utilizing specific muscle testing for true proper evaluation of functional imbalance. For more information on AK visit the ICAK official website at www.ICAKUSA.com
WHAT IS FUNCTIONAL NEUROLOGY?
Traditional medical neurology tends to look at disease of the nervous system as black- and-white with one side being optimal neurologic function and the other being neurological disease such as tumors, strokes etc. Functional Neurology looks at more subtle dysfunction in the nervous system and trying to catch or find things before a distinct medical pathology exists. You will often hear it said by functional neurologist that neurons need fuel and activation in order to thrive and survive. Fuel can be defined as oxygen, glucose and essential nutrients. Activation refers to stimulation of the nervous system which causes changes in the structure and metabolism of the nerve cell. More recently, Functional Neurology Practitioners are also involved with eliminating possible negative effects on neurons such as toxins, infectious agents and immune responses.
Four factors that are of high importance in functional neurology care are:
1. Determining where the failure in the nervous system and/or body lies.
2. What would be the right stimulation to activate that area?
3. What is the health and condition of the failing area, so as to determine how much stimulation would be too much.
4. Adapting this vital information in order to apply that precise amount of stimulation to the patient in our office.
It is important to note that the stimulations used, must be specific to the particular patient who is being treated. There is bio- individuality to the nervous system, just as individual as a fingerprint, and such that even those with similar symptoms may require different stimulations at different frequencies and intensities in order to achieve the best success. This cannot be done in a generalized or cookbook type program. For example, you cannot treat every patient with a balance disorder or ADHD with the same treatment protocols. Generalized treatments run the risk of exciting an area of the nervous system that is already overexcited, or stimulating an area that should be inhibited. Results are maximized due to the fact that the program of stimulations is tailored to the individual patient’s problem and capacity, and not a one-size- fits-all program where results may be limited or the program may actually be inappropriate. In other words: Different people, different brains, and therefore, different treatments.
It is important to note that the functional neurological examination although very detailed is noninvasive and therefore can be performed on many different types of patients without patient anxiety being a factor. This is very significant especially for those practitioners treating children on the autism spectrum, because there is a tendency for these children to have higher anxiety. The skilled Functional Neurology Practitioner realizes that everything from the patient’s posture, to tics, to faulty eye movements, and alignment are all expressions of what is going on in the patient’s nervous system. Subtle though these expressions may be, to the highly skilled Functional Neurologist, these little things can mean a lot.
Activation of the nervous system via specific exercises or stimulations to targeted areas of the brain, pathways or circuits can create powerful results in the patient, but should be carefully monitored, so that the metabolic capacity of the patients nervous system is not exceeded, and damage does not occur instead of the intended rehabilitation.
Functional neurology is on the cutting edge of health care.
Functional neurology is a field of study that achieves successful results by applying current neuroscience in an office setting. This means that the Functional Neurology Practitioner is taking current neuroscience from the research laboratory and devising ways of applying that research in the office to treat patients. The training begins with neuron theory and progresses to a level that allows the practitioner to evaluate and treat dysfunction of the nervous system without the use of, or in conjunction with medications.
The concept of functional neurology is relatively new and therefore begs the question” What exactly is functional neurology? ” This is an inquiry that I get asked when doing presentations, and by email on a regular basis. Hopefully the above helps to clarify some of the questions and misconceptions out there regarding Functional Neurology.
The following is a list of health conditions people have shown significant improvement with:
- Balance disorders
- arm/shoulder pain
- low back pain/sciatica
- bulging/herniated discs
- carpal tunnel syndrome
- hip/knee/feet pain
- tremor disorders
- MS symptoms
- early Alzheimer’s symptoms
- RLS (restless leg syndrome)
- neck pain
- spinal stenosis
- low immunity
WHAT IS FUNCTIONAL IMMUNOLOGY?
In a nutshell, It’s using Medical and Peer-reviewed research to unlock the underlying cause of disease and dysfunction, and then help heal human physiology without he potentially unwanted side-effects of pharmaceutical drugs.
Most of the patients we see have already failed to respond effectively to the standard methods of care available to them in a conventional medical setting. The well-known, well-established approaches to their care have failed, had poor clinical outcomes, or been of limited value.
For these patients, other factors including nutrition, genetics, epigenetics, neuro-emotional issues or some other type of stress on the body have interfered with the effectiveness of these types of standard approaches. These patients need a functional clinical approach based on an understanding of key factors in their underlying physiology.
The application of research-based clinical tools that match those physiological targets a dialed in an interpretation of patient responses and modification of care in a series of necessary steps to allow one's physiology to heal…. That’s the reality of what it takes to help patients improve in the highly toxic world we live in. Food isn’t what it used to be.
Mastering Immunological Mechanisms
Typical clinical practice norms are behind in the research by ten to fifteen years. These patients can’t wait. They need a clinical approach based on emerging research, skillfully applied by clinicians who have the knowledge to handle their cases. The key guideposts you need to understand are all either inherently immunological or are powerfully influenced by immunological mechanisms. Functional Immunology gives you mastery of these key guideposts, so we can understand our patients’ problems with far greater insight, manage their cases with far greater skill, and share with our patients the fulfillment of seeing them improve and live healthier and happier lives.