What's The Difference Between Medical Billing And Medical Coding – Innovative medicine is often mistaken for functional medicine. In fact, it is often mistaken for so many different approaches that it doesn’t fully do justice. And while functional medicine, integrative medicine, energy medicine, and other forms of medicine have greatly advanced holistic therapeutic and health practices, innovative medicine is in a league of its own. For the sake of this article, I am referring to innovative medicine as a unique medical approach to treatment, and not to the organization and company of the same name.
Surprisingly, innovative medicine includes functional medicine as well as many other components of the medical spectrum. I will explore the differences between the two in more detail below.
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What's The Difference Between Medical Billing And Medical Coding
But first, let’s look at all the therapeutic options and different approaches to medicine to get a better understanding of the entire spectrum. I find this incredibly important to set the stage for a better understanding of the differences between different types of medical approaches. This is somewhat crowded territory, so we’ll navigate it together.
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If we were to break down the various clinical options of what is in the drug and plot it on a spectrum that is political positions on the axis, it would look like the above.
On the left, you have traditional medicine. Right, alternative medicine. I’d say you’ll find your staunch fundamentalist surgeons who want to cut everyone open, and on the far right are spiritual zealots who could care less about the human body and biochemistry and want to live high. plane, but they are both there at the very edge of this spectrum.
First, let me address the left side of this spectrum, since most of us are familiar with this traditional approach. Traditionally, traditional (orthodox) medicine has led to medical treatment and good health. Doctors and healthcare providers relieve symptoms, manage disease, and do so with a host of drug and surgical options. But following my own father’s career as a traditional healer, the only problem with traditional medicine I’ve learned is that it usually provides a Band-Aid solution to chronic disease. Don’t get me wrong – this is a great approach for acute health crises. Broke your bones in a car accident? Cut your finger in a crazy home renovation mistake? Traditional medicine has you covered. But when it comes to chronic and complex conditions, there is definitely room for improvement (as the numbers prove). And while these orthodox approaches offer the means to help a person feel better, they don’t necessarily solve the root of the problem.
For example, you may be given daily pills for your high blood pressure. And these pills will help keep your blood pressure levels down at least for a while. But, the question still remains,
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What is the primary cause of your high blood pressure? Is this your diet? Is this your lifestyle? Is it stress? What about infection (yes, it can cause it)?
It doesn’t pin down exactly what’s really going on or steps to fix the root problem – which is where functional medicine comes in.
Now let’s move to a slightly more focused position on the spectrum. This is where things like nutrition, lifestyle and environmental factors hold more weight. This is also where functional medicine resides. Here is where healthcare professionals assess the interactions between a person’s genetics, environment, and lifestyle that may ultimately contribute to their pain or illness. Rather than turning directly to pharmaceutical drugs, functional therapists will prescribe nutritional supplements and lifestyle/dietary changes. This is a wonderful step in the right direction.
Functional medicine still has some limitations as it does not consider (or values very little) things like energy, spirituality, and some psycho-emotional aspects. For example, there is a whole section of energetic, emotional and spiritual or consciousness-based therapies that are often overlooked. We’ll come back to that a bit later.
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If we move further along the spectrum and start getting closer to the center, you will find European organic medicine. Here is where functional medicine meets the more traditional natural approach. You’ll start hearing a lot about ‘self-healing’ in European biomedicine. This means that the physician will provide remedies such as homeopathic, herbal, or spasmetic remedies to help the body heal. Sounds good, right? But there is still a downside, as very little is used here from the right hand side of the spectrum, and therefore a large area of potential treatment options is missed.
When we enter the right side of the spectrum, we start talking about energy medicine. That energy is not the physical energy you drink coffee with, it is the invisible energy that governs nature and is the basis of Einstein’s work. One of the most common models here that many have heard of is Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). An ancient practice, TCM includes acupuncture, massage, herbal remedies, cupping, acupressure, and exercise variations—some of which have been around for thousands of years. TCM strives to restore the balance of ‘qi’ – the body’s energy – to cure a person’s illness. This is where medicine and healing begin to be found in the esoteric and energetic realms. And while science has yet to figure out exactly how some of these methods work, many people credit TCM as a key factor in leading to optimal health, and we can’t ignore the usefulness.
If you’re looking a little further down the spectrum, Reiki is another form of energy healing. Reiki also guides ‘qi’. The idea is to transfer energy from the hand or palm of the provider to the customer. Ultimately, this transfer of energy is thought to help restore emotional and physical imbalances.
And then, there are psycho-emotional therapies. This category has an array of subgroups. For example, some therapies may lean towards a more spiritual approach where past life regression is explored. Other therapy or counseling subgroups can dive into your mental health and provide a safe space to talk through any stressors or factors causing emotional distress.
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So where does innovative medicine fall? It’s smack right somewhere in the middle. It is the perfect balance and blend of traditional, functional, European, psychological, spiritual, and energy healing. In turn, it provides a comprehensive toolkit. This toolkit enables healthcare providers to offer the best treatment possible in a highly individualized way for each patient, and it looks like this:
As mentioned above, functional medicine aims to find the root cause of a person’s complaints rather than treating symptoms through more advanced laboratory tests and data analysis. It’s supposed to be a holistic approach – which, in a way, it is.
It’s a science and evidence-based approach that takes data collection to the next level. Healthcare providers look at how the body’s systems, organs, and processes interact with each other. They seek to understand the genetic, biochemical, and lifestyle factors that influence a person’s health. From there, they use the data to determine a specific treatment plan for the individual.
To better illustrate the functional medicine approach, let’s take the example of a patient with high blood pressure. A functional medicine healthcare provider can prescribe medication to keep a person’s blood pressure levels under control. But at the same time, they will address the individual’s lifestyle factors. They can ask questions and make recommendations related to a person’s diet and physical activity levels. They can put them in nutritional supplements and pick up deficiencies or toxins that disrupt the body. As a result, the patient does not need to take blood pressure medication for life.
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And for some people, functional medicine is enough. If a person’s only problem is that they don’t exercise or they have a bad diet and have some symptoms, then lifestyle factors will absolutely help and probably solve their borderline diabetes problem or maybe high blood pressure problems.
But for some other people, such as the chronically ill who make up more than 50% of Americans, it probably isn’t enough. The body’s energy circuits, spiritual factors, and psycho-emotional aspects are often unaddressed. We are treating the body, but not the mind and spirit. Perhaps a person is overweight because of a life-long experience of emotional turmoil and distress. They will not be able to change the lifestyle with these mental, emotional and spiritual obstacles.
I am here at Innovative with my co-founder, Dr. Mark Iwanicki, returns to elaborate on the gap within functional medicine: “I think the biggest problem with the current functional medicine approach is the lack of coordination and integration of the myriad modalities that exist in both natural and allopathic health care systems that are truly personalized and individualized for each unique patient. 6. The missing link, I believe, is the concept of bioenergetic compatibility in a more complete integration. Innovative Medicine certainly presents this concept that is truly fundamental to modern thinking.
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