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Functional Medicine: How to access the future of medicine right now...

Posted Sep 17 2008 12:14am

"Where can I find a doctor who practices the type of medicine that you do?"

That was the question I was asked a few weeks ago after I gave a talk about UltraWellness and Functional Medicine to the top health writers and publishers in America, who deal with all the leading edge nutritional and medical advice.

These were the key people from Reader's Digest, Time-Life Books, Rodale, Healthy Directions newsletters, More Magazine, and Agora publishing. 

They're the top thinkers, creative leaders, and very connected to the health world.

Yet even they were asking for help finding a doctor!

Unfortunately this is a question that I hear over and over again, wherever I go to speak about the new paradigm in medicine that deals with the roots of illness, not just the symptoms.

Everybody wants it.

But nobody can find it.

I often send people to the Functional Medicine website, which lists practitioners who attended an intensive 6-day training course. 

But that doesn't mean they have much experience -- just an interest and some basic training.

I am on the board of directors of the Institute for Functional Medicine, which is a nonprofit educational organization dedicated to educating practitioners in this new medical paradigm. 

We are working on many exciting initiatives, such as the creation of a fellowship training program, and collaborating on key groundbreaking research initiatives on Functional Medicine at Harvard Medical School. 

We also just finished a paradigm-shifting textbook, The Textbook of Functional Medicine (of which I wrote a few chapters).

I am also on the faculty and advisory board of the Food as Medicine Program of the Center for Mind-Body Medicine ( ).  Kathie Swift, the Nutrition Director of The UltraWellness Center is co-director of the training program for healthcare practitioners.

So we're making real strides.

But it is still hard to find a qualified practitioner who truly understands how to apply this medical model. 

That's because it is a radically new way of thinking about health and disease, not just another treatment method.

In fact, I recently spent some time with Jeffrey Bland, PhD, a nutritional biochemist and the father of Functional Medicine, and asked him just how many truly high-level, experienced practitioners there are in practice. 

He said there were but a few dozen!

That's hardly enough to help all the people who need help -- the 125 million Americans with chronic disease. 

I was lucky enough to be in the early development of Functional Medicine during my years at Canyon Ranch, where I had the luxury of working with people who were willing to explore this new medicine with me. 

It was there, through the visionary leadership of Kathie Swift, that I was first introduced to Functional Medicine over 12 years ago.

My patients at Canyon Ranch were willing to spend time -- often 2 hours -- to see the nutritionist and get nutritional and metabolic testing that allowed me to see deep into the roots of their illness. 

And they were willing to make the lifestyle changes needed to address the causes of disease.

I learned about Functional Medicine in a different way, too.

I learned about it from the inside out -- because I had to learn how to heal myself from chronic fatigue syndrome. 

I have been able to help so many people for which diagnosis-based medicine fails. 

Recently, I saw one of my patients, a doctor who ran a top government health agency.

She had struggled for 30 years with chronic fatigue, irritable bowel syndrome, colitis, depression, psoriasis, arthritis, sinusitis, severe muscle pain, brain fog, and a 50-pound weight gain, which led to diabetes. 

As a well-connected doctor, she had exhausted all the conventional channels for help as well as many alternative therapies, which didn't work. 

They didn't work because there was no organized thinking or model with which to navigate to the causes of the problems.

So she resigned herself to being disabled in her early 50s -- when she should have been the prime of her creative and work life. 

But that isn't what happened.

Instead, I showed her how to use Functional Medicine address the causes of her illness.

We dealt with her gut dysfunction, detoxified her from mercury, fixed her mitochondria, and addressed the inflammation raging through her body.

Note:  These are some of the underlying causes of ALL disease, which you can learn more about in my free 8-session video course on UltraWellness at:

Now, just a year later, she is a new person.

Not only is she back to work full time, 50 pounds lighter, without diabetes, depression, pain, fatigue, and digestive and sinus problems, but she feels that she has her life back after 30 years. 

I want to emphasize -- this is NOT alternative or integrative medicine. 

This is a science-based, fundamental change in our way of thinking about health and disease. 

The treatments are grounded in nutrition and improved lifestyle, complemented by nutritional supplements, medications, and other treatments as needed.  

As you might imagine, as my work is becoming more known, I have been trying to keep up with all the requests for appointments that come into my practice, The UltraWellness Center. 

Seeing patients and being a doctor is the heart and soul of my work, but I have to give myself a few days a week to work on changing the medical paradigm through research, professional education, and writing so I can help more people access this type of medicine. 

Late last year after seeing that I was booked out for nearly a year without the ability to take on new patients, I realized I had to expand my medical practice and bring in other doctors and nutritionists and staff to help the people that needed care and couldn't find it anywhere else. 

Over 90 percent of my practice comes from all over the world.

My patients include CEOs, presidents, billionaires, kings, rabbis, doctors, lawyers, plumbers, secretaries, firefighters, nurses, and more. 

So I have worked very hard over the last year to create a center of this new medicine.

I have invested in a state-of-the-art electronic health record system and am completing a totally revised practice website to serve all the needs of our patients.

And most importantly, I have found the right people to help support this work. 

I have added two new physicians and another nutritionist who are highly experienced and skilled in Functional Medicine. 

We all work together, collaborate, and support each other to give our patients the best care by reviewing patients together and constantly updating ourselves on the latest research. 

We work closely as a team with the support of our nutritionists and nurse coaching staff to help everyone with their health transformation.

In fact I am taking my staff to the 14th International Symposium on Functional Medicine at the end of May in Tucson, Arizona.

Vibrant good health is a universal objective, but few people have the opportunity to experience it.

At The UltraWellness Center, we are committed to helping you reach optimal health by identifying underlying causes of disease and treating them.

Diet and lifestyle modifications, in combination with nutritional and specialized testing, nutritional supplementation, and medications are used to address everyone's needs, from creating wellness to treating complex chronic medical problems.

At The UltraWellness Center, all our physicians are board-certified in Family Practice and are experienced in functional, integrative and nutritional medicine.

Our nutritionists have specialized training in using food as a medical therapy.

Our physicians, nutritionists, and nurses work together closely and utilize a comprehensive approach to health.

Our wish is to have everyone say,  "I didn't know I could feel this good!"

Because we treat the person, not the disease, and deal with the core systems of the body, we can address any condition -- either from a curative or supportive standpoint.

Here is just a partial list of problems we specialize in:

* Brain Wellness 
* Heart Health
* Detoxification and Healing
* Healthy Weight and Metabolism 
* Healthy Aging
* Fatigue
* Diabetes
* Metabolic Syndrome
* Arthritis
* Elevated Cholesterol
* Migraines and Headaches 
* Chronic Sinusitis
* Asthma
* Environmental and Food Allergies
* Chronic Fatigue
* Fibromyalgia
* Sleep/Insomnia
* Depression and Anxiety
* Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia
* Parkinson's Disease
* Cancer Prevention
* Mercury and Heavy Metal Toxicity
* Irritable Bowel Syndrome
* Inflammatory Bowel Disease
* Autoimmune Diseases
* Thyroid and Adrenal Disorders
* Female Disorders (PMS, Menopause, Infertility)
* Eczema/Psoriasis
* Acne
* GERD/Reflux
* Interstitial Cystitis
* Osteoporosis

==>  Let me tell you quickly about The UltraWellness Team.

Mark Hyman, MD is the medical director and founder of The UltraWellness Center. He was medical director at Canyon Ranch for nearly 10 years. He has authored several bestselling books including UltraMetabolism, UltraPrevention, and The UltraSimple Diet, and is the editor-in-chief of the journal Alternative Therapies. He has lectured widely around the United States and overseas. Dr. Hyman is a leading expert in Functional Medicine, which he has practiced for over fifteen years.

Elizabeth Boham, MD, RD received undergraduate and graduate degrees in nutrition before attending medical school. Prior to joining The UltraWellness Center, she practiced integrative medicine at Canyon Ranch and lectured extensively on a variety of topics. 
Ardis Fisch, MD joined The UltraWellness Center in 2006. Prior to that she worked as a primary-care physician in addition to maintaining a private integrative health practice. She has training in many healing modalities, including Reiki, Therapeutic Touch, Cranio-Sacral Therapy, and acupuncture.

Kathie Swift, MS, RD, LDN is the Nutrition Director at The UltraWellness Center.  She has collaborated closely with Dr. Hyman in practice, education, and writing since 1996. She has lectured at numerous national and international symposia. Kathie has been recognized for her contributions in medical nutritional therapy and education, and was the first registered dietitian in the history of the Institute of Functional Medicine to be interviewed for her work as Clinician of the Month.

Deborah Phillips MS, LDN, CHES is a licensed dietetic nutritionist and certified health education specialist who has worked in nutrition for 30 years. Her experience includes individual counseling, running community wellness programs, and consulting for private schools.

Nina Silver, RN, nursing director of The Ultra Wellness Center, has worked with Dr. Hyman for 15 years, coaching and advising patients in their journey towards wellness. She has conducted many workshops on "Moving Towards Motivation" and has completed extensive training in functional medicine.

Unfortunately, at this time we still do not accept insurance.  Yes, this, I know, may be frustrating to many of you and it is to me as well; however, the current insurance re-imbursement system is what it is and I am working hard to develop research at Harvard and other institutions on the principles of UltraWellness and Functional Medicine so that insurance companies will cover this type of medicine.

So if you are interested in getting help, or know of anyone else who might need help, you can give us a call at (413) 637-9991.

Because there are over 150,000 of you who are receiving this, and since we only have one phone line, if the line is busy, please call back; if you are sent to voicemail, please leave a message and someone will return your call promptly.

IMPORTANT:  Please read our Introductory Patient Information to learn more about the details of our practice before you call in. You can download this from the link below:

Our website is still in development but should be ready in a couple of months. We are located in the Berkshire Mountains of western Massachusetts in the historic town of Lenox.

Now I'd like to hear from you...

Do you currently see a doctor who specializes in Functional Medicine?

Is your current doctor open to this type of medicine?

If not, what type of resistance have you received and what did you do about it?

Do you plan on seeing me or another practitioner of Functional Medicine in the future?

Please let me know your thoughts by clicking on the Add a Comment button below and posting your thoughts.

To your good health,

Mark Hyman, M.D.

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