The Center for Functional Medicine
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Something very exciting is happening in the field of medicine!
And something very exciting is happening at The LightHeart Institute.
With a continuing passion for excellence The LightHeart Institute is pleased to announce the opening of the community’s first Functional Medicine Center, called the Center for Functional Medicine at The LightHeart Institute. The Center heralds Functional Medicine as a responsible solution to the critical and rapidly growing epidemic of chronic disease across our community and world.
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What is Functional Medicine?
Functional medicine is an evolution in the practice of medicine that better addresses the healthcare needs of the 21st century. By shifting the traditional disease-centered focus of medical practice to a more patient-centered approach, functional medicine addresses the whole person, not just an isolated set of symptoms. Functional medicine practitioners spend time with their patients, listening to their histories and looking at the interactions among genetic, environmental and lifestyle factors that can influence long-term health and complex, chronic disease. In this way, functional medicine supports the unique expression of health and vitality for each individual.
Why Do We Need Functional Medicine?
- Our society is experiencing a sharp increase in the number of people who suffer from complex, chronic diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer, mental illness, and autoimmune disorders like rheumatoid arthritis.
- The system of medicine practiced by most physicians is oriented toward acute care, the diagnosis and treatment of trauma or illness that is of short duration and in need of urgent care, such as appendicitis or a broken leg.
- Unfortunately, the acute-care approach to medicine lacks the proper methodology and tools for preventing and treating complex, chronic disease.
- There’s a huge gap between research and the way doctors practice. The gap between emerging research in basic sciences and integration into medical practice is enormous – as long as 50 years – particularly in the area of complex, chronic illness.
- Most physicians are not adequately trained to asses the underlying causes of complex, chronic disease and to apply strategies such as nutrition, diet, and exercise to both treat and prevent these illnesses in their patients.
How is Functional Medicine Different?
Functional medicine involves understanding the origins, prevention, and treatment of complex, chronic disease. Hallmarks of a functional medicine approach include:
- Patient-centered care. The focus of functional medicine is on patient-centered care, promoting health as a positive vitality, beyond just the absence of disease.
- An integrative, science-based healthcare approach. Functional medicine practitioners look “upstream” to consider the complex web of interactions in the patient’s history, physiology, and lifestyle that can lead to illness. the unique genetic makeup of each patient is considered, along with internal (mind, body and spirit) and external (physical and social environment) factors that affect total functioning.
- Integrating best medical practices. Functional medicine integrates traditional western medical practices with what are sometimes considered “alternative” or “integrative” medicine, creating a focus on prevention through nutrition, diet, and exercise; use of the latest laboratory testing and other diagnostic techniques; and prescribed combinations of drugs and/or botanical medicine, supplements, therapeutic diets, detoxification programs, or stress-management techniques.
Copyright: 2008 The Institute for Functional Medicine
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Functional Medicine is a new model of medicine that has evolved over the past thirty years that offers a new map, or a new way of thinking about, chronic disease and healthcare. Rooted in 300 years of biological and basic sciences, including cell biology, physics, genetics, anatomy, toxicology, physiology, microbiology, biochemistry, clinical chemistry, organic chemistry and bio-identical endocrinology, it is quickly gaining momentum and spreading across the country as a result of the pioneering efforts of courageous physicians, as well as television personalities such as Dr. Oz.
A New Paradigm
Functional Medicine is not Conventional Medicine, Complimentary, Alternative, Holistic, Integrative, or Nutritional Medicine. It is a new paradigm that invites patients and practitioners alike to see healthcare as patient-centered, rather than disease-focused, and health as positive vitality, rather than the absence of disease.
Practitioners listen to their patient’s unique story to identify and correct core imbalances in the body including stemming from nutritional deficiencies, inflammation, and oxidative stress to name a few. For example, a practitioner will treat allergies by first exploring the health of the GI Tract where the source of the problem frequently lies. He or she will eliminate sources of systemic inflammation such as allergens, toxins, and infections in patients with autoimmune and cardiovascular disease, asthma, cancer and diabetes. They will eliminate heavy metals from children suffering from autism and/or ADD and ADHD.
The Most Powerful Medicine for Chronic Illness Available!
Functional Medicine practitioners understand that empowered patients more quickly achieve desired health outcomes. By listening to their story – a central key in the pursuit of health – practitioners blend the best of conventional medicine with “systems biology”, the belief that all systems in the body are related in a web-like interconnected manner and as such are designed to function as a finely tuned orchestra. Practitioners look beyond symptoms and address the underlying root cause of conditions. By looking “upstream” at metabolical processes, gathering in-depth history and examining the relationship between genetic, environmental and life style factors they reverse chronic conditions.
Biological Medicine, another powerful emerging model, takes Functional Medicine a step further. It poses the question, “What is the terrain of the body such that a chronic condition could exist to begin with?”
Functional and Biological Medicine, as part of an integrative approach, form the most powerful medicine available on the planet today equipping clinicians with the ability to significantly reduce chronic illness and consequently the burden of financial health on America.
Does Stress Influence Chronic Illness?
Yes, yes and yes! Today one in two Americans live with at least one chronic condition. Stress on the body is the primary cause of the growing epidemic of chronic illness.
By stress we do not mean the obvious emotional stress of a soldier returning from Iraq or Afghanistan transitioning back into society. We mean the often silent, invisible stress that occurs when the locus coeruleus, located deep in the brain stem, is triggered and sends a “fight or flight” signal to every cell in the body in less than a second. This fight or flight reaction comes from any one or several of the following sources: cognitive, sensory, metabolic, toxic, immune, endocrine & neurotransmitter, structural, energetic, emotional, oxidative, infectious and a sense of meaninglessness or purposelessness.
In his book, Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers, Robert Sapalsky tells the story of a happy zebra hanging out in a field one day eating his lunch when a ferocious lion appears. The zebra immediately sensing the imminent threat, realizes he can either out-run the lion or become it’s dinner. He bolts, and twenty minutes later, after the “fight or flight” response saved his life, he once again enjoys the carefree life of hanging out in a meadow. His “flight or fight” response subsided and he returned to a “rest and digest” mode. In our society we experience too little “rest and digest” and too much “fight and flight”, the result of which is chronic burn-out. This burn-out results in numerous physical maladies, mental health disorders and pre-mature aging.
Western civilization is under stress twenty-four seven and this onslaught of energy burns out neurotransmitters, causes oxidative stress, inflammation and nutritional deficiencies, which in turn results in chronic conditions and pre-mature aging.
- Functional Medicine Consultancy-Care
- Food as Medicine Support Group
A Royal Flush – How to Eat to Heal your GI Tract and your Body
- High-Quality Supplements
- Therapeutic Massage
- Foot Reflexology
You can kick the can of your health down the road, or you can begin to reverse your chronic conditions today. The choice is yours!
Functional Medicine Consultancy-Care
To schedule a Functional Medicine Consultancy-Care session call 585.288.6160. Initial sessions last one hour. Follow-up sessions last one-half or one hour.
Many symptoms and “aches and pains” frequently associated with aging are in fact not the result of aging at all, but rather the presence of core imbalances in the body.
Mark Hyman MD
Food as Medicine Support Group
A Royal Flush
Are you looking for more energy and less fatigue? More get-up-and-go and less insomnia? joint pain? digestive disorders?
Then A Royal Flush, a weekly Food as Medicine Support group may be your answer!
We’ve been working with clients to eliminate hidden sources of food allergies, clean up their GI tracts and detoxify. And our clients L-O-V-E the results.
Our next group begins Wednesday, January 8, 2015 at 12:00 noon, and runs for 7 weeks. Each session meets for one-and-a-quarter hours. We’d love to have you join us!
The cost is $57 per session and there is a 5% discount for individuals who pay the full amount at registration.
Participants who have taken this program in the past are welcome to join us at a reduced cost. Please call 585.288.6160 for more details.
This group is ideal for individuals dealing with various GI tract disorders, anxiety, depression, brain fog, Type 2 diabetes, joint pain, fatigue and low energy.
Take control of your food and your health!
- Resolve digestive disorders without medication!
- Learn how to cook, what to cook, where to buy and how to buy!
- Discover the relationship between your gut and your brain brain!
- Eliminate the main sources of IgG delayed food allergies.
- Learn the role heavy metals, parasites, candida, yeast, fungus, molds and anaerobes play in your GI tract, and what you can do about them.
- Loose weight effortlessly!
- Learn about the 12 sources of stress, and what you can do to reduce stress in your life.
Common food sensitivities and allergies play a major role in chronic health and weight problems. These are real and well documented in medical literature but are generally ignored by conventional medicine.
– Mark Hyman MD
High-Quality Nutritional Supplements
Clients come to see us for a number of reasons. Sometimes it is simply because they want more energy. Other times they are dealing with more complex chronic conditions which are the result of core imbalance(s) in the body. These imbalances stem from nutritional deficiencies, neurotransmitter and hormonal imbalances, GI tract dysfunction, and genetic predisposition, to name a few.
We are all familiar with the daily minimum requirement of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. But rarely do we here about the optimal requirement – in other words, the amount of nutrients your body requires to thrive, not just survive.
In an effort to help our clients we provide individualized nutritional recommendations regarding the use of nutritional supplements to upgrade the quality of foods in your diet and to supply nutrition to support the physiological and biomechanical processes of your body.
We purchase nutritional supplements only from manufacturers who have gained our confidence through considerable research and experience. We determine quality by considering: (1) the quality of science behind the product; (2) the quality of the ingredients themselves; (3) the quality of the manufacturing process; and (4) the synergism among product components. The brands of supplements that we carry are those that meet our high standards and tend to produce predictable results.
Please give us a call regarding your interest.
Welcome Theresa Honti, Licensed Massage Therapist
Providing Swedish, Deep Tissue Massage, and Tailored Clinical Treatments
The Center for Functional Medicine welcomes Theresa Honti, a New York State Licensed Massage Therapist and graduate of the ACCSC accredited Onondaga School of Therapeutic Massage. Theresa is a firm believer in holistic principles, and is dedicated to the healing capacity of the mind, body, and soul through therapeutic massage. Her unique approach pushes beyond traditional “functional massages” and facilitates integral emotional, physical and spiritual healing for her clients. Her thoughtful approach elevates her client’s experience as she provides pain relief, injury recovery, health and wellness, relaxation, and pampering.
Forms of Therapeutic Massage:
Swedish Massage – A full body massage with light pressure, intended to relax the body and mind, increase circulation, and calm the central nervous system. Length of time: One hour.
Deep Tissue – A deeper full body massage using firm pressure. This treatment releases body-wide muscle tension, relaxes stiffness and addresses postural concerns. Length of time: One hour.
Clinical Treatments – a tailored approach to provide relief from chronic or acute pain. Clinical treatments emphasize reversal of soft tissue dysfunction with focus on specific areas of interest. More time and detailed attention are spent on challenged areas. Length of time: One hour.
Clinical Intake Form click here
What to Know Before and After your Massage:
The day has finally arrived… the long awaited gift to yourself! Make sure it is a good time for you to receive a massage. If you are dealing with an illness, have a fever, or skin irritations such as poison ivy or sunburn, please reschedule your appointment.
Drink plenty of water on the day of your massage. We will also offer you water before and after your treatment. Massage releases metabolic waste from muscles so it is very important to flush these from your body. Avoid consuming large amounts of food prior to your massage as digestion interferes with the soothing experience.
Give yourself plenty of time to arrive for your appointment so you do not enter the massage experience in a rushed fashion. Rushing tends to eliminate some of the relaxing benefits at the start of the session.
If this is your first appointment and you have not yet completed your Intake Form, arrive a few minutes early to do so. This will prevent undue rush and protect your overall experience. When you come for your first appointment arrive ten minutes ahead of time to complete a Therapeutic Massage Intake Form. Knowing your history will allow your therapist to further tailor an experience to best fit the healing and relaxation your body seeks.
At the beginning of your session your therapist will inquire about areas of particular current concern which may be addressed during the session. Let her know which areas of your body you would like her to focus on.
Items to consider:
The therapist will review with you options for music to suit your preference. You may prefer a particular style of music, silence or conversation.
Communicating your preferences regarding music, heat or air-conditioning in the room, warmth and levels of pressure will further ensure your successful experience.
The benefits of massage tend to be cumulative, so typically, you will feel better and better as you receive additional massages.
Will I have privacy to dress and undress?
Yes. Your therapist will step out of the room when you change your clothes, similar to a patient’s experience in a physician’s office. You may remove or keep your underwear on, per your preference. During your massage your body will remain fully covered except for areas receiving treatment
Should I talk during my massage?
This is completely up to you and your comfort level. Some people appreciate the sound of silence as it is such a rare commodity in today’s society. Other’s feel further comforted through conversation during their massage experience.
When and how should I give feedback to my therapist?
It is valuable to give feedback whenever you feel the desire to do so, before, during and after a massage. Is it too much pressure? Not enough? Do you want additional blankets for warmth and comfort? Less light in the room? Quieter music?
Your therapist’s goal is to make your massage as pleasing an experience for you as possible. The more you communicate your preference, the better your massage will be.
Should I tip?
We love tips, but they are not required. If the cost of the service alone is managable, please show your appreciation by referring friends and family members.
Joel Swartz joined the The Center for Functional Medicine in 2012. As a seasoned practitioner, Joel brings twenty-seven years of professional experience in the practice of Reflexology, as well as an expanded knowledge of Complementary Health modalities which address the care of a variety of foot distresses from athlete’s foot, to bunions, to toe nail fungus.
What is Foot Reflexology?
Foot Reflexology is a health practice based on the principle that specific points on the feet are pathways to various parts of the body which affect overall health. Reflexology is a way to facilitate the body’s inherent healing power and although simplistic in application, the effects of the treatment can be profound in reducing suffering and treating the whole person. It relaxes the entire foot structure, assists the body’s natural healing capabilities and relieves stress and tension.
This long standing health practice around the world has origins which can be traced back to ancient Egypt. It continues to gain momentum in the field of functional medicine which addresses the root cause of disease, not just isolated symptoms.
Joel has studied with Dwight Beyers at the International Institute of Reflexology, Robert St. John at Metamorphosis, Kevin and Barbara Kunz, Dr. Sandor Goldstein, and taken private reflexology lessons with Mrs. Eucibia Messenger. Since 1990 he has been a Charter member of the International Council of Reflexology, a member of the International Institute of Reflexology since 1984, and a member of the New York State Reflexology Association since 1997. Joel feels his professional affiliations are important as they enable him to keep current with the latest techniques to better serve clients.
Our goal is to get you out of bed in the morning
with a smile on your face!
From time to time The LightHeart Institute offers free or low cost seminars on a variety of health topics to increase health and vitality.
Click here if you wish to be notified by e-mail of these events.
Mark Hyman MD on TedMed
Do your services replace those of my primary healthcare provider?
No. We offer consultative care, and as such, augment the services your primary care physician provides.
Will I have to change my primary care physician or any of the specialists I currently see if I work with The Center?
Are services at The Center for Functional Medicine covered by my insurance?
It depends. Based on your healthcare provider, your services may be covered. If you have purchased a policy that includes “out of network” services, then your consultation may be covered. Health insurance does not provide reimbursement for nutritional supplements.
Can you help me explain your approach to my primary care physician or specialists?
Will I have to change my medication if I work with The Center?
We advise you to work with the practitioner who prescribed your medication to monitor, reduce and whenever possible, eliminate your prescriptions, as early as possible. Most medications carry with them negative side effects adding to your total stress and toxic loads. Multiple medications taken simultaneously potentate one another adding additional chemical reactions in your body, further adding to your total stress and toxic loads. New lifestyle choices frequently result in needing less, if any, medication.
How long will it be before I feel better?
Unlike an “acute” episode, chronic illness is not an event in the body. It is a result of a sustained lack of homeostasis, or balance in the body, that may have taken months or years to develop. The good news is that just as a chronic condition can “worsen” along the spectrum of health to vitality, so also can it improve. Scientific studies tell us that lifestyle choices play a significant role in the improvement of chronic conditions. Since chronic conditions occur over time, they can be reversed over time. The length of time it takes to reverse a condition is determined by several health factors, genetic make-up or disposition, and lifestyle choices. It is not uncommon to feel better very quickly.
Will I have to change some of my lifestyle habits to get the results I seek?
More than likely, the answer is yes. If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always gotten! Your diet, exercise, movement, access to clean water, food and air, personal sense of purpose and meaning in life and spiritual connection are all referred to as “inputs.” Each plays a significant role in your body’s ability to negotiate homeostasis and get you out of bed in the morning with a smile on your face. Recent scientific research has demonstrated that human genes are not static, fixed elements in the body. Rather they are dynamic, fluid elements that ARE impacted by every “input” that comes into your system. These include the thoughts you think, the attitudes you carry, the food you consume, the drugs you tolerate, the oxygen you breathe, the friendships you hold, the family you love , and the meaning you experience.
How long does an initial consultation last?
How do I schedule an appointment?
Call our office at 585.288.6160.
I feel so much calmer, focused and energetic since starting this program. I have much more mental clarity. This is the first time in my life that I’m satisfied when I eat. I can’t tell you how much clearer I feel living my life. My energy has sky-rocketed… I used to have no control with junk food. I have much less bloating. I had so much energy yesterday my husband asked me, “What’s wrong with you?” He can’t keep up with me now on the bicycle! …All of my cravings have left. My blood sugar issues have stabilized. Smells that used to bother me no longer do. The heat and humidity no longer bother me the way the way they use to. Sugar cravings used to be an obsession. Now they are a passing thought. I recently went on vacation with my mom and brother. My brother gained 7 pounds while I lost two and I didn’t feel any deprivation. My eleven year old rashes have disappeared. I’ve lost 27 pounds. The weight loss is great but it’s not the reason for this. It’s the icing on the cake.
My joints no longer hurt. I can get up in the morning without a problem where I used to drag myself out of bed. I’ve lost 12 pounds and my legs are no longer swollen from standing all day. My blood sugar has stabilized. I am normally allergic to hay fever. I would get itchy when my husband cut the grass. I’ve not had that since I began this program.
I have less brain fog, more energy and clarity. I want more of this. I’m recalling things I didn’t use to. I’m up till 1:00 am in the morning and I don’t want to go to bed because I have so much more energy. I don’t want the day to end because I’m getting so much done. People tell me I look great… my face… my hair…my skin. I’ve lost 15.5 pounds. I don’t have cravings anymore. I have more confidence. Emotional issues melt away with this program.
I feel more energy not so much physically, but mentally…. I just want to get in there and get things done.
The content on this website and The LightHeart Institute’s educational seminars, classes, workshops, presentations, consultations and group sessions is for educational purposes only, and is not intended or offered as medicine or medical treatment for any disease or disorder, either physical or mental. The LightHeart Institute’s employees and associates are prohibited from participating in any diagnosis, prognosis, evaluation, treatment, management or remedy of any disease or mental disorder. If you have a medical or psychiatric concern please seek the advice of a competent healthcare provider.