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PATHOLOGICAL VS. FUNCTIONAL A WHOLE DIFFERENT APPROACH TO HEALING
For instance, according to Dr. Howard at the University of Alabama, patients’ risk of stroke goes up 33% with each blood pressure medicine they take. Hypertensive individuals on three or more blood pressure medications have a stroke risk 2.5 times higher. Dr. Howard says, “You’re in as much trouble by the time you are on three medications that achieve excellent control as you are when you have hypertension and it is untreated, which is amazing. We want to raise the issue that, despite great advances in a pharmaceutical approach, relying solely on [taking prescription drugs] is going to come at a dear price of people’s lives.” The way to curb the problem is to prevent hypertension in the first place (functional medicine). There are a number of proven approaches to prevent or greatly delay the development of hypertension, including the following: 1) taking part in moderate physical activity, 2) keeping weight in normal ranges, 3) reducing salt intake, and 4) eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy products and reduced in saturated and total fat. The same is true for back pain. VAX-D disc decompression and gentle chiropractic spinal care, both in the short and long term, out produce back surgery, which fails 63–90% of the time. Regenerative therapies like stem cells or platelet-rich plasma have an incredible success rate (in the mid-90% range) compared to joint replacement surgery and come without the risks, complications, and downtime of surgery. The same goes for neuropathy. Modern medicine, admittedly, has no answers, just pills. The functional approach has over a 90% success rate in relieving pain and improving function. “It’s everything we know we should be doing,” says Dr. Howard. Get it?
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I am so excited to share with you again this month! And we are excited to be helping so many people in our functional and regenerative medicine practice. When thinking about how to end your pain or fix a health problem, it is best to remember that only a very small percentage of disorders have reached a pathological state. The overwhelming majority of health issues are functional (things are just not working right), and the medical profession has zero training on how to handle these. What do I mean? A headache caused by a tumor is a pathology (which is possible, but very rare). More often, headaches are caused by increased muscle tension, vertebral misalignment in the neck, disc herniation in the neck, or the need for glasses, which are all functional, not pathological, issues. This is why modern medicine falls so miserably short (by its own admission), because medical physicians are trained to operate on pathologies (6% of health problems) and write prescriptions for everything else (the other 94%) but never to address the underlying cause. For example, someone might come in with a torn labrum (the lining inside the shoulder joint). Think of it like having a pin stuck inside your shoulder — is there any amount of physical therapy exercise you could do to stop the pain of having a pin stuck in your shoulder? No, there isn’t. Is there any amount of medicine or shots you could receive to solve the underlying problem causing the pain? No, there isn’t. The only thing that makes sense is to remove the pin and allow the body to heal (sometimes with a little help, once the cause of the problem has been addressed). That is functional medicine — to figure out what is causing the body to malfunction and to correct it, allowing the body to heal itself. This is a whole different approach than giving the pain or disease a name (or a diagnosis) and then just merely attempting to drug it without ever addressing the cause. It will always get worse with time, even if treatments make you feel better now.
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