As the world broke through the astounding milestone of 100 million known Covid-19 cases, the Global Wellness Institute released its trends report for 2021. Chief among its messages: wellness has gone from being a ‘nice to have’ to a ‘must-have’ – for all.
- Because of Covid-19, wellness has moved from an occasional luxury to a must-have
- Wellness is changing, from a renewed focus on boosting our immune systems to how we travel and receive health care
The Covid-19 pandemic has got us all thinking seriously about our health and what it means to have immune strength, now and in the future. To get the most out of this trying time, we need to be open to looking at our health in ways we haven’t before.
The developing symptoms of viral disease, as well as the progression of illness and fatality, are a clearly a function of the overall health status of the individual. Complex, chronic diseases such as obesity, hypertension, and diabetes are directly correlated with risk of disease severity and mortality. Functional Medicine explores lifestyle interventions that have specifically been demonstrated to strengthen host defense, reduce the probability and mitigate the severity of viral infection. Lifestyle interventions, from a Functional Medicine perspective, include nutrition, sleep, exercise, stress reduction, and connection. These factors, when in balance, provide a foundation for optimal health and immune function.
What is Functional Medicine?
Functional medicine determines how and why illness occurs and restores health by addressing the root causes of disease for each individual.
The scope and cost of chronic disease continue to rise. Functional Medicine has proven to reverse this trend by providing better outcomes and cost savings for both patients and the healthcare system in the long term.
As healthcare costs become increasingly unsustainable, it is apparent the heart of the problem faced by patients and payers is the frequency with which costly disease management strategies are applied before exploring the potential of disease reversal. Rather than looking beneath the assortment of diagnoses to find the underlying causes of their health problems, patients with chronic conditions are encouraged to follow costly, often lifelong medication regimens and hope for occasional days of freedom from symptoms.
Functional Medicine offers the potential for achieving unprecedented levels of health restoration and financial savings. By uncovering and addressing the underlying causes of the common conditions that afflict a growing number of people — autoimmune diseases, diabetes, and digestive issues, to name a few — Functional Medicine brings the potential to liberate patients from their dependence on costly medications that are not designed to address the root causes of their disease.
Functional medicine is more concerned with answering the question “why” rather than “what”. Why are we ill? Why are our bodies not functioning properly? Why do we have these symptoms?
If we can discover the root cause, or more often causes, we can begin to heal.
Functional medicine also addresses living a healthy life and what that means. The choices we make in regards to diet, exercise, and lifestyle affect our well-being.
This article originally appeared in Mill Valley Living.
Elena Zorn, MS, MA, NC
Elena Zorn is an internationally acclaimed functional medicine practitioner. She specializes in empowering those with autoimmune, weight, and digestive issues to reverse their conditions and take back their health. Elena is a Marketing Consultant and Contributor at Mount Tam Media and Health & Wellness. In addition, she is a mother, and the successful founder of ESSEME Wellness.