How does functional medicine differ from conventional medicine?

Functional medicine is different from conventional medicine primarily because it focuses on health as opposed to disease. When you report your symptoms to a conventional doctor, the doctor either prescribes medication or a medical procedure to alleviate your symptoms and, perhaps, eliminate the illness. With functional medicine, our diagnosis doesn’t stop at the symptom or illness level; we continue to peel away the layers of the onion to identify the source of that illness, which is almost always at the cellular level.

By restoring health instead of merely eliminating illness, we give the body what it needs not only to eliminate the reported illness but also to eliminate other underlying illnesses that may not be showing symptoms and to prevent the onset of future illness. As a result, our patients at Suburban Wellness Group generally feel considerably better overall following treatment. They can return to activities patients assumed they would never be able to enjoy again or at the same level they once did.

The Functional Medicine Tree

The Institute of Functional Medicine uses a tree analogy (see below) to describe functional medicine and highlight the differences between conventional and functional medicine. While conventional (allopathic) medicine diagnoses and treats what’s above the surface — symptoms and disease — functional medicine also attends to what’s below the surface, at the root of the disease — environmental and lifestyle factors uch as sleep and relaxation, physical activity (exercise), nutrition, stress, relationships, clean air and clean water.

Suburban Wellness Group is committed to ensuring you receive the help and information needed to better manage your health. Call 973-483-2277 to get in touch with our healthcare team with any questions and/or concerns you may have or schedule your appointment by clicking below.


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Newark, NJ 07107

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All information presented in this website is intended for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of rendering medical advice. Statements made on this website have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The information contained herein is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.