Over the past five or so years I’ve changed my life a lot in regards to becoming healthier. This journey has taught me a lot about myself. Through adopting various “diets” I’ve found what works best for my body and what does not. I’ve figured out how exercising can be fun by simply sticking to what I find fun. And recently I’ve discovered meditation, and I’m quickly realizing how beneficial it can be. Of course, this journey is never-ending and I’ll continue to learn what’s best for me. But sometimes, I’ll admit, I don’t have all the answers.

I would love to be able to tell you that if I’m feeling sick or off, I know exactly how to heal myself on my own. And maybe one day I will, but for now I still would like to be able to call on a doctor for answers. As I’m still fairly new to the city, I have yet to find my go-to doctor. Recently I’ve heard a lot great things about functional medicine and I’m willing to try it. I’m still not exactly sure what it’s all about and if it’s right for me, but I decided to do some research. Below I’ve laid out my findings to help you and I better understand what Functional Medicine is, how to find a practitioner in New York, and why it might be the future of medicine for all.

What is Functional Medicine?

Simply said, functional medicine looks beyond just the illness and disease.

Functional Medicine is patient-centered medical healing at its best. Instead of looking at and treating health problems as isolated diseases, it treats individuals who may have bodily symptoms, imbalances and dysfunctions. (Reference: TwinCreekshealth)

I think the graphic below does a nice job of showing how with typical, western medicine, Doctors look at what’s above the service. In other words, they treat the disease, the cancer, the obesity, etc. Functional Medicine looks at both the surface and below the surface to see if any imbalances or dysfunctions may be the root cause of the surface level issues.


If typical western health care treats just the tip of the iceberg, it rarely leads to long-term healing. Identifying and treating the underlying root cause or causes, as Functional Medicine does, has a much better chance to successfully see long-term results. The goal of functional medicine is the patient’s lifelong optimal health.

How does Functional Medicine do this?

It’s important to note that Functional Medicine is not an either/or system, but rather a true combination of Conventional Medicine and many different alternative and complementary therapies.

It acknowledges the strengths of Conventional Medicine for acute and crisis-care, but also realizes that this approach does not have the tools for preventing and treating chronic diseases. By pulling from [many] approaches and by paying special attention to diet, exercise, nutrition, supplementation and the workings of the mind, we’re not just giving patients a band-aid, we’re giving them the tools to create sustainable wellness and vitality. To me, is what true healing is all about. –Dr. Frank Lipman

Ready to try Functional Medicine?

There are plenty of practitioners in New York and you can use this site to search for one near you.

But a brand new service right here in Manhattan is what I really cannot wait to try. Parsley Health is a new and innovative holistic functional medicine practice founded by Dr. Robin Berzin. They are committed to making holistic medicine modern, high tech, evidence-based and affordable so that everyone can have access to the best kind of health care there is. For an annual membership of $149 a month you get 5-in person visits with Dr. Berzin, unlimited visits in-person or phone with a health coach, unlimited email contact, functional medicine testing, online schedule, and so much more.

I hope this post helped you better understand Functional Medicine and if it’s right for you! Any other alternatives to conventional medicine you’d like me to look into? Let me know at Julie@eatupnewyork.com

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About The Author

Healthy Eater

Southern girl at heart, minus the fried food. Fresh on the NY food scene, hungry for a healthy way to live in this food capital.