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burgh neuroscientist and physician
Joseph Maroon, author of The Longev- Functional Medicine:
ity Factor, published this year.
A new approach in treatment - bringing hope to

Healthy Skin
patients with unexplained symptoms
Dr. Valorie Treloar, a Massachu-
setts dermatologist, says the antioxi-
by Dr. Catherine Waller
dant theory has spurred a host of new
topical products, made with everything
from marine pine bark and green tea
F
unctional Medicine is an integrative, science-based healthcare approach
that treats illness and promotes wellness by focusing on the biochemical
processes in the body, and the ways that natural substances such as vita-
to acai or gogi berry, all potent anti-
mins and herbs can impact those processes.
oxidants. “One of the advantages to
The primary focus of functional medicine is to
using it topically is that you can get a
understand the underlying cause of chronic disease
higher quantity of the active molecule
as opposed to treating and masking symptoms. Using
in the skin, assuming it is in a form that
a patient centered approach to care which recog-
penetrates through the epidermis,” she
nizes that individual variations (whether genetic
explains.
or environmental) influence the disease process,
Also, keep an eye out for new
functional medicine places a higher priority on treat-
topical omega-3 fatty acid and topi-
ing the patient and restoring health than it does on
cal probiotics aimed at maintaining a
treating manifestations (symptoms) of a disease.
proper microbial balance on the skin.
Functional medicine measures health in terms
One of the most radical topical skin
of the presence of positive vitality instead of simply
care breakthroughs, from NuSkin, is a
absence of disease. This distinction guides practitio-
line of AgeLoc products that not only
ners of functional medicine to take a holistic view
triple collagen production while dramati-
of the body and the interaction and connectivity that exists between internal
cally decreasing an age-causing enzyme,
physiological functions and external environmental influences. Balancing these
but now also act on targeted groups of
internal and external factors supports good health and develops organ reserve
genes that regulate how we age. In effect,
capable of sustaining and enhancing healthy aging.
it resets the genes to youthful activity.
Balancing internal and external factors requires a systems approach to
Numerous companies are also ex-
medicine that analyzes the patient’s functioning in 8 major areas:
ploring the “beauty from the inside-out”
1. Detoxification & Biotransformation
concept, crafting everything from anti-
2. Hormone & Neurotransmitter Balance
oxidant-rich skin health shakes to candy
3. Gastrointestinal Function
chews made with cocoa antioxidants.
4. Energy Production & Oxidative Stress
One recent study in the Journal of Euro-
5. Immune & Inflammatory Balance
pean Nutrition found that when women
6. Mind & Spirit
ingested 329 milligrams of cocoa daily,
7. Structural
the flow of blood and oxygen to the skin
8. Environmental Factors
nearly doubled.
“In the past few years, we have
This approach requires extensive medical knowledge in a variety of
seen some really good, well-designed
medical disciplines. Functional medicine provides an integrated approach to
trials showing that internal nutrients
medicine, focusing on restoring health at many levels within a patient’s life. In
can make a difference, too,” remarks
contrast, traditional medicine uses a single therapy to resolve an isolated symp-
Alan Logan, a doctor of naturopathy
tom, without ever getting to its cause.
and author of Your Skin, Younger.
The Functional Medicine approach to patient
Weil says he sees the wealth of
care is considered the future model for healthcare.
new anti-aging innovations as intrigu-
It is destined to transform the traditional “disease
ing, but notes that one other critical
centric” model to one where scientific principles
factor for healthy aging often eludes
and extensive patient evaluation are combined
people: To accept growing older and
to create a strategy capable of improving current
all the wisdom and experience it brings,
health, and laying a foundation for health and
with optimism, rather than dread.
vitality lasting throughout the patient’s life span.
“The denial of aging is counter- Dr. Catherine Waller is an Integrative Medicine physician, Board certi-
productive,” he says. “To age grace- fied in Family Practice and Anti-aging medicine. She specializes in Functional
fully means to let nature take its course Medicine, has been in practice for 25 years, and is currently the medical
while doing everything in our power to director for the Rochester Center for Healthy Living located in Rochester Hills
delay and prevent disease.” Michigan. See her ad on page 23.
www.MichiganHealthyLiving.com
January 2010
29
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