Functional Medicine

What is Functional Medicine?

Functional Medicine focuses on the goal of restoring optimal function and balance to the body. It is a science based approach that examines each individual's biochemistry and lifestyle to find the best, individualized therapy for each patient. Instead of just suppressing symptoms, it deals with the root causes of disease. It is less concerned with making a diagnosis and more concerned with the underlying imbalances, which are the mechanisms of the disease process. Functional medicine treats the patient and not the disease. In addition, it provides a framework for the practice of medicine that uses all the tools of healing, both conventional and alternative, to address the whole person rather than an isolated set of symptoms.

Functional medicine is grounded upon the following principles:

  • The approach is patient centered rather than disease centered
  • Health is a positive vitality, not merely the absence of disease.
  • The human body functions as an orchestrated network of interconnected systems, rather than individual systems functioning autonomously and without effect on each other (much like the function of our entire world).
  • Core clinical imbalances are examined to look for the underlying causes of chronic disease.

These core clinical imbalances involve malfunctions in the complex systems of the body and the balance between them. These systems include:

  • Hormones
  • Neurotransmitters
  • The immune system
  • Cellular membrane and mitochondrial dysfunction
  • Detoxification and biotransformation
  • Digestion and absorption
  • Inflammation
  • Structural problems

Functional medicine is dedicated to improving the management of complex, chronic disease by intervening at multiple levels to address these core clinical imbalances and to restore each patient’s optimal functionality and health.

What is integrative medicine?

Integrative medicine is a holistic, “whole-person” approach to health care that integrates complementary, evidence-based therapies with conventional medical care. Evidence-based means clinically proven and backed up by objective, non-biased evidence.

A holistic practitioner:

  1. views the patient as being ultimately responsible for his/her well being;
  2. fosters and maintains a partnership with the patient, using therapies with which both feel comfortable;
  3. evaluates and recommends treatment options that address the cause of an illness, as well as the symptoms.


With a focus on treating not only the body, but also the mind and spirit, integrative medicine draws on a wide range of different healing modalities to maximize each person’s ability to return to full health. The idea is that the body has its own innate healing ability, which simply needs to be awakened in order to promote optimal health and well-being. In conjunction with conventional medicine, a number of complementary therapies and treatments may be used or recommended which may include:

  • Yoga
  • Reiki
  • Massage
  • Counseling
  • Dietary changes
  • Acupuncture
  • Chiropractic
  • Nutritional/herbal supplements
  • Biofeedback
  • Rolfing/Structural Integration
  • Guided Imagery/hypnosis
  • Music or Dance therapy


Our mission is to serve Santa Cruz by delivering superb care for people of all ages with an emphasis on health, wellness and prevention. Our goal is to do this in a vital and sustainable practice, where we love to work, our patients love to come, and where care is collaborative and supportive.

Patient Testimonials

Office Location:

709 Frederick Street
Santa Cruz, CA 95062


Monday to Thursday: 9:00 am to 5:00 pm

Friday: By appointment only