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The Functional Medicine Approach to Health


Hello Yogis.

One of my wonderful yoga students is also a practicing functional medicine practitioner.

I am honoured to share below an article she wrote about this approach to health and wellbeing.

Embracing Ayurveda and Functional Medicine to heal yourself

Dr Kavita Praveen
Functional Medicine Practitioner
MBBS, MRCPsych, AFMCP-UK Graduate

Who can benefit from the Functional Medicine approach?

Anyone who has a chronic disease such as Diabetes, PCOS, Multiple Sclerosis, Auto-immune Disease, Cancers etc. knows how difficult it can be to get through the day and address the many underlying health issues, not to mention the side-effects of the medications they are constantly battling. 

I share their frustrations regarding conventional medicine practices which mostly addresses the symptoms on the surface. So is there a different solution and what is it?

For individuals who are feeling demotivated, I can assure you there is a better solution which addresses the disease at the root level. 

This is called Functional medicine, which is a relatively new field in the UK, also called as Lifestyle Medicine. 

In essence, it is science and evidence based medicine of many ancient systems like the Ayurveda, Chinese Medicine etc. All these systems use a holistic approach, working with the mind, body and soul to bring back balance and healing. 

What is Ayurveda?

Some people think of Ayurveda as something that only yogis or people with intense discipline can practice. This is far from the truth and Ayurveda is much needed in modern day to help bring back balance and certainly needed for someone addressing a chronic disease. 

Ayurveda is the science of life (Ayur=life and Veda=science).

 Ayurveda truly and rightly so believes that the body has an innate ability to heal itself. Taking this one step further is that this can happen only when the right conditions for healing are provided. 

This can be done gradually and incorporated into your life style through making changes in lifestyle and diet, and you will start to see positive results immediately. 

One of the integral ways is to eat mindfully a variety of colourful and flavourful diet. 

Ayurveda teaches us that each individual has a certain dosha (vata, pitta, kapha or a combination of these). 

These change over time with circumstances and seasons. Tuning into yourself to identify this and eating as per your dosha helps to rebalance the body. This may sound complex but is very simple once you start to practice. For eg. although raw food is considered healthy, this may not be the case for vata types, certainly in colder months when they need cooked and easily digestible warm foods. 

Spices are very important in Ayurvedic cuisine adding flavour, warmth and medicinal properties for food. 

Then there are other elements of Ayurveda such as yoga and meditation which are ways to become more self-aware, improve digestion and assimilation. 

Why use medicines when our food can be so powerful!! 

So folks if you make one change in this direction, I urge you to cook fresh with a range of vegetables and spices, eat mindfully with your loved ones without the use of gadgets whilst eating.

You can find out more about cooking using Ayurvedic and Functional Medicine Principles in my cooking classes - COOK TO HEAL

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