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Functional Medicine

What is Functional Medicine?

Woman meditatingIn the near future you will require both a traditional medical doctor and a doctor of functional medicine. Your MD will treat your emergencies, traumas (fractures) and infections, sicknesses and diseases.

Your doctor of functional medicine will focus on taking care of your health thus working from a state of prevention, where the patient learns about life style change, improving their health, looks, vitality and energy. The patient then becomes their own doctor so to speak and becomes aware of the very things that may be affecting their health whether it be diabetes, heart disease, weight gain or obesity-the list goes on

We are in the middle of a health care crisis where you are paying more and more and receiving less and less.

Simple Proof

According to the World Health Organization, in 2014 we rank thirty-seventh among nations in overall health and rank first in total cost per capita at $8,508 per person. So we are paying more for health care than any other country in the world and rank a measly 37th among nations.

Does this sound like a sustainable system to you? Talk about being sick-thinking that the system we have now works is even sicker. We are the greatest nation in the world and we should rank 1, and pay less then any other country in the world.

Read More About Simple Proof

So, why do we rank so low in overall health? The simple truth is that Traditional medicine does not treat health; they studied and treat sickness and disease. Long before modern medicine, when people became ill the focus was to get them well. Today, our focus is on curing the disease and not the patient. That statement may confuse you, but this is where the real “why” begins. We took our focus off the cause and prevention of disease and focused on the disease instead. Doctors try to kill the disease instead of allowing the patient’s body to overcome the disease. They try to medicate it out, burn it out, cut it out, or just plain beat it out of our bodies.

Doctors of functional medicine study: The Principles of Health and What Causes a Man/Women to Live. Where as M.D.s study: Sickness and Disease and What Causes a Man/Women to Die. There are no principles of sickness and disease, only principles of health. Let’s stop pretending that there is a science of sickness and disease and realize that the only true science is health. The purpose of Functional Medicine is encapsulated in that paradigm shift.

So, to reiterate, why do we rank so low in overall health? The simple truth is that Traditional medicine does not treat health; they treat sickness and disease.

It’s Your Body

Dr. Cima's BookWhen looking for a solution to your health or health problem you are going to have to make a decision on what road to take.

  1. You can take the road of prevention and be proactive: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” -Ben Franklin
  2. Or you can take the road of reaction which is a “let’s toss the dice and see what happens, and I will worry about it when it gets real bad.”

Three Types of Patients

  1. Those who make things happen.
  2. Those who watch things happen.
  3. Those who do not know what the heck happened become sick and die.

If you fall into categories 2 and 3 then you are not ready for functional medicine at this time.

How Functional Medicine Compares to Traditional Medicine

Functional medicine is much different than Traditional medicine in many ways. You could say that they are on opposite ends of the spectrum. Listed below are the differences.


I always share the story about a beautiful exotic flowering plant that required a certain amount of sunlight, the temperature had to be just right, the pH of the soil had to be perfect as well as the amount of water that that plant needed to be in perfect health and flowering beautifully. Now if I took that plant and deprived it of water, food, sunlight, etc.. What would happen? It would start to wilt and die. But if I turned around and gave the plant the proper amount of water, sunlight, and everything that the plant needed to survive, what would happen? Obviously, the plant would come back and be a beautiful exotic flowering plant. If God would do that for a plant, he would not do that for you? The power that makes your body creates and renews a brand-new you every six months to a year. All you have to do is give your body what it needs. That’s the role of a doctor of functional medicine to find out what your body needs to be healthy chemically, physically, and mentally/emotionally, and to educate the patient on what to do.

Traditional medicine on the other hand believes that the power that creates your body needs drugs and surgery to help the body heal, because the body cannot do it on its own.

T.M. TREATS A PART OF THAT WHOLE PERSONRead More About Treating the Whole Person

A Dr. of Functional Medicine looks at you from a whole-person perspective. We all possess specific physical, chemical, and mental-emotional characteristics that the Dr. of Functional Medicine looks at when assessing your health. Traditional medicine on the other hand treats a part of the whole.

What I mean by that is that you may have two, three, or maybe four or five specialists treating you. You may have a cardiologist for your heart, an endocrinologist for your thyroid, a gastroenterologist for your stomach, and an orthopedist for your spinal problems. Many times there is very little or no communication between the doctors. It’s like having too many cooks in the kitchen, leading to complete chaos. Today you go to specialists that specialized in their chosen field. The purpose and goal is to evaluate that part of your body and nothing else. Listen you’re not a heart, pancreas, stomach, or a gallbladder you are a complete human being and must be treated as such.

You know the definition of a specialist, don’t you? A specialist is a doctor who knows more and more about less and less.

T.M. TREAT THE SYMPTOM (The End Result Of The Cause)Read More About Treating the Cause of the Problem

This is an extremely important difference between traditional medicine and functional medicine. Traditional medicine treats the symptom and not the cause. There are two reasons why this is bad for your health.

1. What most people do not realize is that symptoms are usually the end result of the disease process, and not the beginning. For example, do you know what the first symptom of a heart attack (Number 1 killer) is in 30% of the cases? YOU DIE- you have to agree there’s not much you can do at this point. Same thing with cancer (the second leading cause of death) by the time the symptoms appear it’s already too late.

So you are already behind the eight ball because you are going to the doctor after you already have symptoms. Remember, symptoms are the end result of a disease process, not the beginning. Unfortunately, you should have been there months, years, or decades prior, so that the doctor could have determined what was causing your problem. Then you would not be suffering from possible life-altering symptoms now. The problem is doctors do not see you unless you already have the symptoms. Traditional doctor’s hands are tied if you do not have symptoms because there are no recommendations.

Ancient Asian doctors were paid to keep you well and were not paid if you became sick! Interesting concept, isn’t it? This is much different from our medical model of health/sickness care today. In fact, it is much more cost-effective to treat people’s health instead of their sickness and disease. Do you hear that Medicare, health insurance companies, and politicians? Maybe our premiums would become less if we followed the ancient Asian method of health care, but that might make some insurance companies and politicians angry.

2. Traditional medical treatment masks the symptom. What I find interesting is that all medications mask symptoms. What I mean by this is that you have high blood pressure they have a medication to lower it, you have constipation they have a medication to give you diarrhea, or you may have diarrhea they give you something to constipate you, Or you have pain and they give you pain medication to mask the pain.

Traditional medicine never asks why the body is reacting this way they just hide the symptom. Do you see how ridiculous this is? Unless you find out what is causing that symptom your problem will only get worse over time and it always does. Not sometimes or rarely but always. Listen a symptom is a warning sign that something is going haywire in your body and this intelligence that runs your body is letting you know that something is wrong.

Don’t try to second-guess this intelligence but listen to what it is telling you about this patient. Remember “the power that made the body, heals the body” Period. You better be listening to what it is saying. The doctor of functional medicine is doing just that, Listening and getting the necessary answers from this intelligence. So that the body receives the proper care, remember the plant.


Since Traditional Medicine waits for the symptomatic stage of a disease process treatment has to be more radical, because the disease may be life-threatening at this point. You suffer a heart attack and treatment may require open-heart surgery and many medications which may help and sometimes it’s too late. Do you want to wait for the symptomatic stage to do something about your health? Or do you want to prevent a fatal heart attack or suspicious lump?

Doctors Of Functional Medicine treatment is not as radical, since we work with patients before the symptomatic stage using natural means, nutrition, physical therapy, exercise, etc. therefore there is a minor amount of reaction to treatment, none of which are life-threatening. Doctors Of Functional Medicine Prevent health problems before they become a problem

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” -Ben Franklin

“Doctors of functional medicine believe that great doctors solve problems, brilliant doctors prevent them.” -Dr. James Cima


They call it health insurance, which is an oxymoron and is really sick and disease insurance. This is the main reason why we have a healthcare crisis that is devastating and decimating our economy and deficit. Insurance companies do not want to pay for wellness care. Why you may ask? The honest no holds barred answer is this, the system is rigged and works to keep you sick and diseased, keeping you in the system for the rest of your life. You become trapped like a rat until you die. If you have not learned by now Traditional medicine, pharmaceutical companies, hospitals, and insurance companies along with the food industry are big business. They have a vested interest in keeping you sick and diseased. Listen if you were able to heal or prevent your diabetes, heart disease, spinal conditions at a fraction of the price that it cost for surgeries, and drugs that will be going through the roof in the next few years what do you think all the above groups would say?

If I walked into a hospital and explained to the CEO that I could save 7 out of 10 patients from surgery at a fraction of the cost, what would he say? This is what he would say, “Get out of here before I have security escort you off the premises.” Do you think he cares that some of these patients may die or have more pain from a failed surgery? No, he is a CEO and looks at the bottom line. You are a number period, the end.

So to be blunt since sickness and disease insurance covers sickness and disease you must pay cash for your own health care. By the way, taking care of your health pays and never costs.

Take Control of Your Health

If you are ready for take control of your health with Functional Medicine, contact us today at Cima Functional Medicine!


Functional Medicine | (561) 775-9111