How do we get to the bottom of the complex chronic medical problems of today?  In the functional medicine conference I am attending, they give shape and life to a practise model that I inherently embrace as a naturopathic doctor.  Imagine a diagram of three circles (a venn diagram) with three areas represented as “ clinical expertise”, “research evidence” and “patient empowerment”.  All of these circles overlap centrally where the concept of insight is represented.

Functional Medicine Venn Diagram

But insight is not a tool wielded only in the hands of the practitioner:  in my experience, the question “why do you think you have this illness?” is the most powerful and revealing moment of the therapeutic relationship.  Most patients know why they are sick and have so much to contribute to the solution.   I can apply the research, and draw upon my experience as a clinician.  Empowering you with the knowledge and skills to take charge of your health is fundamental to Naturopathy.  Blending the three together not only generates insight, it allows us to use that insight to delve deeper into each of the three realms, which of course, generates more insight.

Which is why the model is circular, implying no beginning and no ending, rather, the continuous journey and recognition of good health.