Chiropractors crack backs, right? Their focus is on correcting misalignments of the musculoskeletal system to improve bone and muscle structure, thus alleviating stress and strain, especially on nerves. So why am I — Tampa Chiropractor, Matt Lewis, Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) — blogging about functional and integrative medicine?

The reason is that the true focus of chiropractic manipulation is holistic (whole body) health. The concept on which chiropractic is based, according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NIH), is that the body’s structure, primarily the spine, influences its function. Realigning the musculoskeletal system restores health and function.

The world’s longest continuous sidewalk — Bayshore Boulevard in Tampa, Florida.

But it’s not that simple. Numerous factors play a role in human health, and these factors fall into two categories: genetics (nature) and environment (nurture), which includes diet and nutrition, exercise and other lifestyle choices, environmental toxins, and even relationships. To achieve the goal of chiropractic (whole health), some chiropractors, including me — Dr. Lewis — are branching out into other areas, including functional medicine and, when necessary, allopathic medicine (traditional medicine that relies primarily on pharmaceuticals along with surgery and other medical procedures).

This integrative healthcare approach equips doctors like me with a complete toolbox of treatments and therapies for treating patients, not just the illness.

What Is Functional Medicine?

Functional medicine concentrates on the interactions between the body and its environment, between nature and nurture, and seeks to identify and treat the root causes of illness — deficiencies (not enough of what the body needs) and excesses (too much of what is toxic to the body). As such, functional medicine embraces a systems-oriented approach, identifying and addressing genetic and environmental factors that impact the body’s functional systems — the skeletal, muscular, nervous, circulatory, respiratory, digestive, endocrine, immune, lymphatic, reproductive, and integumentary (skin) systems.

Doctors like myself who practice integrative healthcare in Tampa (including functional, chiropractic, and allopathic medicine) are able to develop personalized treatment plans that address each patient’s unique nature/nurture (genes/environment) constitution. In addition, through its focus on identifying and treating underlying causes of health conditions, integrative medicine is better equipped to treat chronic conditions that traditional medicine often overlooks or has no solution for, conditions such as the following:

  • Adrenal fatigue
  • Allergies and asthma
  • Antibiotic-resistant bacterial and viral infections
  • Arthritis
  • Cancer and recovery after traditional cancer treatments
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Chronic inflammation
  • Chronic pain
  • Conditions related to toxins, including mold toxins
  • High blood pressure
  • Hypothyroid and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • Leaky gut
  • Migraines
  • Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)
  • Type 2 diabetes and prediabetes
  • Weight loss resistance (an inability to lose weight when trying to do so)

So, for those who are wondering why I would want to blog about functional and integrative medicine in Tampa, the answer is clear — I am dedicated to restoring health, and an integrative approach that includes functional medicine is the most effective approach for achieving this goal.

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About the Author: Dr. Matt Lewis, D.C., CFMP®, specializes in diagnosing and treating the underlying causes of the symptoms related to chronic and unexplained illness through nutrition, lifestyle, chiropractic, and other natural approaches to whole-health healing in Tampa, Florida. He earned his B.S. in Biology from Shenandoah University, his Doctorate in Chiropractic from Life University, his CFMP® from Functional Medicine University, and his certification as a Digestive Health Specialist (DHS) through the Food Enzyme Institute. Dr. Lewis’ passion for health and wellness stems from his own personal experience. With a family history of autoimmune conditions and diabetes, and his own lab tests showing his genetic susceptibility to Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (autoimmune thyroid), he has learned how to restore his own health and vigor to prevent the onset of these illnesses and live an incredibly active life. Through this process, he acquired a deeper understanding of health and wellness, which he now offers his patients in Tampa.