"My patients often ask why I recommend that they have a functional medicine assessment and, of course, what functional medicine is… the answer to these questions is both complex and simple."
THE MOST STRAIGHTFORWARD way to explain is with my “Orchestra Analogy.” I like to think of the human body as a highly competent orchestra. The orchestra is made up of instruments and musicians that are all awesome at what they do. Just like the body, with all its many functions and organs.
Imagine if a specialist checked each instrument and musician in the orchestra individually, by fixing, tuning and polishing to declare everything in perfect condition. In modern times, it wouldn’t be unusual to have a different specialist for each instrument. Now imagine that once each instrument has been checked, the conductor stands in front and instructs each of these brilliant musicians to play their favourite piece of music to the best of their ability. And GO…!!!
It wouldn’t sound very good, would it? We will not achieve anything worth hearing until each musician is playing off the same music sheet and is being led by the same conductor. It is the conductor’s job, to not only know the music, but also to feel the music.
Each instrument must play, rest or stop playing at exactly the correct time, to create music that is pleasing to listen to. If something doesn’t sound right, one tends to blame the louder instruments, because they stand out in the performance. Sometimes the easiest fix may seem to simply remove the noisy instrument from the orchestra. But what if the tuba kept playing at the wrong time because the drums, that were supposed to be keeping the time, were throwing him off?
Similarly, this is how your body works…
"Modern or conventional medicine, makes the mistake of doing tests that look at individual organ function and often falsely tells people that all is well. We have all had the experience of feeling unwell, but the doctor tells us that everything is fine or worse, 'in our heads!'”
We tend to have specialists that focus so much on their area of expertise, that they forget that the body must play a melody with all the other organs and chemicals. We forget that just removing an organ or doing an operation doesn’t solve the problem, but merely solves the symptom. Blood tests are simply a guide to help uncover a problem. There are so many tests one can do and so much variation from person to person, that one can’t possibly look at tests alone to declare people healthy or sick.
Sometimes, to find the problem, the doctor, just like the conductor, must listen, think, even close his eyes and feel where the problem lies. The secret to the diagnosis lies in the integration of all the information available, both that which is offered and, that which is not. The body’s symphony cannot be ignored. The body must be seen as a whole, in which each small component plays a vital role. A dysfunction may lead to an organ being falsely blamed for malfunctioning, when in fact it was defending or protecting a different part, OR YOU!
Feeling better is not the same as being better. The site of the pain or the dysfunction is seldom the site of the primary problem, but rather the point of breakdown.
"Functional medicine is the medicine of listening. Listening to you and listening to your body - because we know, that’s the only place that knows the answers to everything about you!"
I encourage you to book a functional assessment with me so that together we can uncover any, and all, underlying problems affecting your daily life.
Click here to book your appointment.
I look forward to “walking the path to better health, with you!”
Dr Grant Fourie | MBChB | CDE
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dr Grant Fourie is a qualified General Practitioner (MBChB Pretoria), certified Functional Medicine Practitioner and certified Diabetes Educator. He’s successfully completed a course in Clinical Nutrition and is currently studying for his Master’s Degree in Metabolic and Nutritional Medicine through the George Washington University. His years of expertise has afforded him the privilege of standing on the Advisory Board for DNAnalysis Biotechnology, an innovative genetic testing laboratory in South Africa. He also has strong links with The Compounding Pharmacy of South Africa and Fagron Compounding Services, who both provide high quality, customised products to meet the growing worldwide need for tailor-made medication.
He became a functional medical practitioner because he felt it was a better, more logical way to practice medicine that, “just made sense.”
He proudly runs his own practice, Oakmed Medical Centre in Cape Town, South Africa and his extensive knowledge and research of complementary and alternative medicine is core to his success as an alternative and holistic functional medicine practitioner.