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Acupuncture and Functional Medicine 

What is functional medicine?

Functional medicine is a form of alternative medicine that encompasses a number of unproven and disproven methods and treatments. Its proponents claim that it focuses on the "root causes" of diseases based on interactions between the environment and the gastrointestinal, endocrine, and immune systems to develop "individualized treatment plans" It has been described as pseudoscience, quackery,and at its essence a rebranding of complementary and alternative medicine.

Functional Medicine is a systems biology–based approach that focuses on identifying and addressing the root cause of disease. Each symptom or differential diagnosis may be one of many contributing to an individual’s illness.

As the graphic illustrates, a diagnosis can be the result of more than one cause. For example, depression can be caused by many different factors, including inflammation. Likewise, a cause such as inflammation may lead to a number of different diagnoses, including depression. The precise manifestation of each cause depends on the individual’s genes, environment, and lifestyle, and only treatments that address the right cause will have lasting benefit beyond symptom suppression.

Acupuncture in medical practice

1. Traditional Chinese Medicine seeks the root of diseases.

2. The philosophy of care of Traditional Chinese Medicine is to treat the root of illness and pre-illness conditions.

3. Personalized care is the principle of Traditional Chinese Medicine. For example, the modality of diabetes treatment is different among different patients.

4. The treatment modalities of acupuncture come from the clinical practice, the accumulation of experience of clinical practice.

5. Clinical outcome, the functional improvement, is the focus of acupuncture care.

6. It has been approved that the action of acupuncture modulates Neuro-endocrine-immune network signaling pathways. That is the result of current scientific study of acupuncture.

7. Acupuncture plays a major role in functional medicine clinical practice and acupuncture has a wide room to be developed by modern scientific technologies.  

8. Functional medicine practice plays a role in treating pain and inflammation

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