We’ve witnessed huge strides in medicine over the last century, from the discovery of antibiotics to the potential for 3-D printed organs. Many once deadly infectious diseases have been eradicated, and life expectancy is higher than ever.
But we’re not necessarily healthier.
The evidence is in our healthcare system. If you suffer from a chronic condition, you may have been referred to specialist after specialist, leading you down a rabbit hole with no clear answers. Your medicine cabinet is filling up for sure – but are the medications really making you healthier?
If your frustration with the norm has led you to consider an alternative approach to healthcare, you’re not alone. At the same time, navigating the world outside of conventional medicine can be overwhelming and confusing.
In this article, we’ll discuss the different models of healthcare so you can decide which path is right for your health.
What are the Different Healthcare Models?
Conventional medicine, also called allopathic medicine, is what you may be most familiar with. It uses modern scientific and medical understanding to treat diseases, relying on pharmaceutical drugs, surgeries, radiation, and other treatments. Conventional medicine tends to be reactionary; it treats diseases after they arise.
Holistic medicine considers the full range of factors that influence your health – including your physical, environmental, social, mental, and emotional well-being. Holistic practitioners seek to restore balance to your whole person, with the belief that doing so will address your immediate health concerns and prevent future ones.
As its name suggests, integrative medicine merges multiple modalities of care, including traditional Chinese medicine, conventional medicine, nutrition, homeopathy, and more. Practitioners of this approach believe that all forms of evidence-based practices can work together to support your health. Like many other forms of alternative medicine, integrative medicine also prefers to minimize invasive interventions. However, it does not hesitate to use them when they’re determined to be the best course of action.
Naturopathic medicine relies on natural remedies to restore and sustain your health, including herbs, acupuncture, exercise, nutrition, and massage. Practitioners often embrace holistic medicine philosophies – emphasizing your mind, body, and spirit – and seek to treat the root cause of disease.
Like conventional medicine, this approach uses a modern scientific understanding of human biology. But functional medicine emphasizes homeostasis (balance) and health, not just disease pathology. Its practitioners take a much more investigative approach, looking to not only treat your existing condition but prevent future ones.
Personalized Systems Medicine
This revolutionary approach to healthcare combines proven functional medicine with the best of conventional medicine and cutting-edge research. Rather than viewing your body as a combination of isolated parts, personalized systems medicine views every system in your body as intricately connected to the others. Your overall health is based on the health of these systems, along with your unique genes, lifestyle, and environment.
Personalized Systems Medicine: The Key to Optimizing Your Health Span
The goal of personalized systems medicine is to optimize your health span –the length of time you remain healthy.
But your health is not a linear sum of your body parts’ functions.
Genes regulate other genes, and cells can block the growth of other cells and so much more. Each of these systems interacts with one another in fascinating – though highly complex – ways to maintain health.
And that’s where personalized systems medicine differentiates itself from all the other approaches.
Systems biology revolves around the principle that the outward appearance of any living organism is a reflection of its molecular relationships. Rather than isolating individual molecular players, systems biologists study disease by looking at multiple key players at various cellular levels. This gives scientists a broader view of how changes in relationships between systems can lead to disease.
In short, systems medicine is a “bottom-up” approach that opens the door for much more personalized, evidence-based medical care.
To do so, personalized systems medicine emphasizes a strong partnership between you and your clinician. Because you are the focus of this approach, a deep understanding of your whole person is the only way a clinician can help you make progress toward your goals.
Like integrative and holistic medicine, personalized systems medicine doesn’t limit the types of treatment it offers to patients. Once the root cause of your illness is identified, a clinician can use conventional and/or alternative therapies to restore your health.
Why is Personalized Systems Medicine Beneficial?
The Price of Staying Within the Norm
We all dream about living long, healthy lives. But we’re paying the price of living longer – with our health.
Just how bad is the price? Health statistics paint a grim picture. More than 50% of all American adults suffer from at least one chronic condition. And that number is only expected to grow.1,2
The truth is that these (often terminal) diseases don’t happen overnight; they’re the result of early signs being ignored or overlooked for years. After all, when was the last time your doctor had time to talk to you about your nutrition or stress management?
The traditional healthcare approach focuses on treating symptoms and named diseases like cancer and heart disease. It presents such a narrow view of the purpose of medicine, which then limits the treatments that you, the patient, can receive.
Moreover, treatment is often dictated by what the insurance companies – complete strangers with access to your medical records – are willing to pay for.
The Personalized Systems Medicine Difference
What if your doctor used scientific advances to emphasize targeting and preventing disease instead? And treated unavoidable diseases in a personalized manner?
This is how we believe medicine should evolve, and personalized systems medicine is our answer to the challenges of conventional medicine.
By incorporating conventional scientific knowledge with the larger goals of functional medicine, personalized systems medicine seeks to eradicate the root cause(s) of your illness. Benefits of this approach include:
- More time with your clinician: You are the focus of personalized systems medicine, not your disease. Practitioners of this approach emphasize getting the whole picture of you, including your family history, your social life, your environment, and more. Your appointments can last at least an hour.
- Personalized treatment plans: Rather than a “one-size-fits-all” plan, personalized systems medicine practitioners work with you to tailor a plan unique to your needs and your personal health goals.
- Diverse treatment options: Personalized systems medicine practitioners embrace all forms of evidence-based treatments, including a variety of non-pharmaceutical and natural remedies.
- Advanced or specialized testing: Your body can function at sub-optimal levels for years until symptoms arise. Personalized systems medicine practitioners understand that cellular dysfunction often precedes disease. Advanced or specialized laboratories allow us to dive deeper for answers than your typical routine blood tests.
- Lifestyle guidance: Personalized systems medicine providers don’t wait until you’re sick to start talking to you about a healthier lifestyle. Your nutrition, sleep, exercise, and stress levels are all important in restoring and maintaining your health span.
- No more insurance deductibles: You may be paying hundreds of dollars per month for health insurance – only to realize later on they don’t cover the treatments or drugs you need. Personalized systems medicine providers work on a direct-pay model, which means there are no hidden fees or surprise medical bills.
Can Personalized Systems Medicine Work for You?
The short answer: Absolutely.
Personalized systems medicine is for anyone dissatisfied with the limits of conventional and other forms of healthcare. Regardless of whether you have an existing health condition or not, this revolutionary approach can help you extend your health span for years to come.
MaxWell Clinic is the birthplace of personalized systems medicine. We pride ourselves in helping you achieve maximum wellness by addressing the root causes of your illness.
If you’re ready to seek real answers to your health concerns, schedule a free call with our New Patient Coordinator by clicking here.
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