What is Functional Medicine? How can it help you?
Functional medicine looks to find the underlying cause of injury or disease and to treat with a “whole system,” often from the inside-out. Functional medicine involves both the patient and the doctor working together in a way that focuses on the whole patient rather than an injury or disease. In functional medicine the doctor takes the time to get to know the patient through a complete history, considering different factors such as genetics, environmental factors, and lifestyle choices that impact health and contribute to chronic diseases. By taking this personalized approach we are able to create individualized treatments catered to each patient’s unique genes, environments and lifestyles.
Functional medicine is perfectly suited for addressing modern health concerns. Recently there has been a huge increase in chronic diseases such as diabetes, ADD/ADHD, heart disease, cancer, mental illness and auto-immune disorders like rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis and many others. Research shows that functional medicine is very effective in treating these disease processes by addressing deficiencies, toxicities, and imbalances in each person’s system.
What is Lifestyle Medicine – and why are Functional Medicine and Lifestyle Medicine Used Together?
Lifestyle medicine is the evidence-based practice of helping individuals and families adopt and sustain healthy behaviors that affect health and quality of life. Examples of target patient behaviors include but are not limited to improving diet, increasing physical activity, and stress management.
Lifestyle Medicine is the foundation for a healthy body and absolutely necessary to support healing. Supplements although often necessary, are always just that, supplementary to diet, stress, sleep, and exercise choices. Without these Lifestyle behaviors and choices, optimal health cannot be achieved.
Functional Medicine is used as a compliment the Lifestyle changes being made. Dr. Hensel’s extensive knowledge of the body and the root cause of disease allows the combination of Functional & Lifestyle Medicine to be the best opportunity for patients to reach optimal health. Especially helpful when patients goals haven’t been met with Lifestyle improvements.
What methods and testing do we use to support healing?
Even the healthiest of diets can be lacking essential micronutrients (vitamins, minerals) due to the state of current farming methods. On top of that, many of us have impaired digestion and standard American diets, compounding the likelihood of nutrient deficiencies. Because long-term nutrient deficiencies can lead to a variety of disease, it is vitally important that we supplement our diets with the best quality products. That is why we carry only the highest quality supplements that must meet USP standards that guarantee purity, strength, quality, and third-party, independent verification services for dietary supplement finished products and dietary ingredients.
Something you won’t find at most doctor’s offices, muscle testing uses the body’s neuro-lymphatic reflex points to identify areas of weakness. A quick, noninvasive test can be performed at a Functional Medicine appointment to help determine possible causes of problematic symptoms. Further, muscle testing also takes the guessing game out of which protocols or supplements are going to be most beneficial for eradicating the problem. You will find no other testing that can give as individualized, specific protocols for what works best for you and your body.
What conditions can Active Edge Functional Medicine appointments support?
Obesity / Weight Loss
You may not be surprised that we are suggesting that optimizing health can impact weight, but you won’t be expecting the way that we tackle it. Weight loss can and should be achieved through addressing the underlying cause of weight gain, not usually achieved or maintained through eat less, move more strategies. We take a look into possible underlying root causes like hormone imbalance, toxicity, gut bacteria, etc.
How many of us suffer from indigestion, heart burn, constipation, or diarrhea? Any abnormality of digestion can be uncomfortable but also, can and should be eradicated. Functional Medicine values the digestive tract as the root of all disease, and symptoms like the ones mentioned above are an attempt for your body to communicate that something’s not right, not just in the gut but in other areas of the body as well There could be nothing more important than optimizing digestive/gut health.
Though it may seem logical to assume that this reflux of acid into the esophagus is due to overproduction, most commonly, the true cause is exactly the opposite. The sphincter that closes the esophagus off from the stomach to prevent reflux is triggered by high acid concentration. When the amount of acid produced in the stomach is not adequate to trigger the sphincter closing, the stomach fluids are allowed to back flow into the esophagus. Because the contents are always acidic, this back flow feels like burning however with food ingestion, it is necessary to produce even more acid to close the sphincter, and begin digesting the food you just consumed. More common causes of heartburn include hiatal hernia and h-pylori.
This could be the difference between feeling the injury 20 years later, and not. Support the bodies healing processes through targeted diet/nutrient support.
Blood Sugar Regulation in Type 2 Diabetes
Most people don’t think of a chiropractor when deciding who to help them address their blood sugar issues. This perception changes readily however as patients gain a better understanding of chiropractic practice and their body’s ability to heal itself. Our bodies are remarkably adaptive and change readily based on the nutrients we ingest and environment we provide.
Life style education choices, supplementation, and dietary changes are at the root of improving blood sugar dysregulation. At Active Edge, one of our main goals in advising daily habit remodeling or creation is to empower our patients to make these goals and changes safely and successfully. Coupling this with chiropractic adjustments to improve neurological function allows the body to more efficiently heal itself from the inside out.
Many pre-diabetic patients assume that they are doomed to become full blown diabetics and expect that reliance on pharmaceuticals to regulate their blood sugar is inevitable. We come by this assumption honestly, because we are inundated with messages that “diet and exercise may not be enough.” The truth is, that in the case of type 2 diabetes, there is rarely an occasion that diet and exercise are insufficient to resolve blood sugar dysregulation. It appears this way however because many programs out there are so drastic that they cannot reasonably be followed or maintained as a lifestyle.
In an era where we are becoming more and more aware of the long term side effects of pharmaceutical use, many patients are electing to take their health into their own hands and seek natural solutions that will allow their body to self-correct their blood sugar dysregulation. Unfortunately, there is so much outdated and misinformation about how to address blood sugar dysregulation that patients become overwhelmed and do not know which advice to follow.
At Active Edge, we utilize only the most physiologically supported and research based programs to help patients make true life style changes. No starvation diets here. Dr. Hensel and the Active Edge staff utilize a number of different lifestyle programs and supplements to meet each type 2 diabetic and pre-diabetic patient’s needs. Our physicians also encourage patients to work with our on-site exercise physiologist to create exercise habits and encourage patients to utilize resources such as acupuncture, hypnosis, psychological counselling, and health coaching to help them overcome personal barriers to lifestyle change. There’s never been a better time than now to take your health into your own hands and give your body back the power to heal.
Did you know that without proper nutrition, we are unable to achieve optimal muscle gain and endurance? Many processes may be inhibiting your ability to be the best you can be.
A hiatal hernia occurs when the lower esophageal sphincter gets pulled up through the diaphragm into the thoracic cavity instead of sitting level with it. This can occur for any number of reasons, but one common clinically observed correlation is chronic stress. A hiatal hernia is often accompanied by hypochloridia, or low stomach acid production. The constriction of the fundus of the stomach (occurring with a hiatial hernia), decreases the [peptide] cells’ ability to produce stomach acid, thus causing heatburn, indigestion, and acid reflux.
Hiatial hernias of lesser degrees are often missed with stomach scopes but can be detected by muscle testing and skillful palpation. Even small herniations can cause big problems. When a hiatal hernia is one of the contributing factors to a patient’s digestive issues, they commonly report drastic symptom reduction either immediately or after a short course of care.
H-pylori infections are not often or routinely tested for. Even when they are, typical clinical breath tests are unreliable and accurate diagnosis is even difficult with technology as advanced as a stomach scope because the bacteria can hide in the pits of your stomach’s villi. If you spread out the surface area of your stomach would be about the size of a tennis court… That’s a lot of hiding space! Some other signs and symptoms associated with H. Pylori may include but are not limited to brain fog, fatigue, headaches, constipation, diarrhea, and other digestive issues.
The CDC estimates that roughly 60% of the US population has an H. Pylori infection.
If you suspect that you are suffering from an H. Pylori infection it is extremely important to seek out a practioner who regularly addresses this infection with patients. Because symptoms can differ from patient to patient, a detailed history and intimate knowledge of the bacteria is essential.
Dr. Hensel uses this history, stool testing, and very specific muscle testing in combination with neurolymphatic point testing to confirm H. Pylori infections. Patients working with Dr. Hensel to irradicate H. Pylori infections utilize natural supplementation to support their body’s natural processes and immune function. Patients recovering from H. Pylori infections while working with Dr. Henel are consistently impressed by their body’s ability to heal when given the appropriate nutrients. Commonly, these patients express increased energy, decreased digestive discomfort, decreased physical discomfort and greater mental clarity.