We recognise that functional illness is present to some extent in everybody.
While there usually some prominent annoying symptom such as back or neck pain, these symptoms occur as part of an overall picture, a mosaic, that includes other indicators of dysfunction. By acknowledging that these symptoms are part of a generalised functional illness presentation it is possible to address the underlying causes creating not just a correction of primary symptoms but overall improved performance and stability.
This dysfunctional pattern presents as a combination of digestive problems, sleep disorders, lethargy, low grade depression, anxiety, neck pain, back pain, headaches, allergies, skin problems, flu-like symptoms, respiratory problems, sinus problems, chronic infections, low immunity, post viral syndromes and emotional fragility and many more such conditions.
While no one patient will have all of these, many of them are either constantly present or come and go depending on the level of stressors. Strain on body’s systems brings them close to their functional limits and when other systems cannot compensate for the increased stress, there will be some degree of failure. It is this failure that produces the symptoms that are typical of functional illness.
WHERE DOES IT COME FROM?
Many of us live in a world where stress is so much a part of our everyday life. Prolonged body response at this high level wears us out fast. Food intolerance are on the increase. Intolerances are implicated in low back pain, chronic bowel disorder, low energy and even mood and personality disorders.
The number of xenobiotics (artificial chemicals that impact on biological systems) are also on the increase. What is more, where testing has been done it is fairly limited and usually not in combination with other agents. Our assessment looks for the indicators of stress in its many iterations and we adjust our approach accordingly.
When we encounter challenging situations the body “learns a fix” which may not always be the best approach in later situations. Physical, emotional, immune or chemical traumas can set up automated responses or deep compensation patterns that are no longer appropriate but are still present. We disrupt the unhelpful patterns that underpin symptoms allowing the body’s innate capacity to organise and heal come up with a better pattern.
This is a very complex area. At first glance it seems that genetic makeup set the limits of our abilities and responses. Having said this though the process by which our genes (genetic record) express themselves is controlled by the presence of a protein shield that responds to our environment.
We believe that genetic predisposition to a problem is not necessarily a guarantee it will happen. The human genome (genetic code) makes up less than 10% of the genetic code we utilise. The reset comes from the fellow travellers that make up the microbiota (bacteria, viruses and commensal eukaryotes) that live on and in our body. A health microbiome (genetic make up of the microbiota) can compensate for our own genetic weakness. We utilise this largely untapped capacity to address problems such as immune disorders, skin and bowel issues.