Often, we ask patients what their health goals are during a medical consultation. Usually, their answers consist of concerns about cancer and other medical conditions that may be worrying them. More often, these concerns and goals don’t have a diagnosable illness, so we need to look into other options to achieve them. Fortunately, one of the dominant areas of Functional Medicine is Performance Enhancement.
I’m healthy, why do I need performance enhancement?
Although performance enhancement is more widely known about in sports, it’s actually not just for athletes. Many regular patients and individuals can and should consider performance enhancement in their life to lead a healthier and fulfilling life. Consider some of these goals:
- “I would like to feel more energetic”
- “I would like to sleep better”
- “I feel that my memory has worsened, and I am not as sharp as I used to be, can you help?”
- “I would like to have a better libido”
- “My goal is to complete a triathlon before I am 50”
- “I want to be skiing with my kids at 70”
- “My hair is thinning, can you help?”
- “My mother has Alzheimer’s Disease, what can I do to prevent that?”
- “I had Stage 3 Cancer, what can I do to keep my immune system healthy?”
- “I catch every virus that’s going around, how can I improve my immune system?”
- “I’m 45 and want to get pregnant; how do I improve my fertility?”
- “I’m waking at night to pee, can I manage this without medicine, so I get better sleep?”
- “My friend has prostate cancer, what can I do for prevention”
- “I would like to lose fat and gain muscle”
In a usual medical examination, a doctor may rule out active illness and check some risk factors for diseases in the future. Tests are done with typical values that capture 96% of the bell curve as ‘normal’. But what if you would like to be better than normal? Be in the top half of your age group in terms of performance?
The individuals asking these questions are ‘normal’, but they would like to perform better. Sure, skiing with your kids when you’re 70 requires you to be supernormal, not normal. But it’s possible for some. Performance enhancement is more about your body functioning better as you age, so you’re able to do all the things you set out to do.
How functional medicine can help
What we see in regular medicine is a disconnect between patients and doctors. Patients want to be healthier and perform better, but Doctors’ want to treat diseases. Little prevention of future illnesses are given thought.
This is where functional medicine comes in — to look at multiple variables to determine the best course of action and improve your body's overall performance. Some variables include:
- Nutrition levels
- Exercise programs
- Sleeping cycle
- Stress Management
- Time Management
Finding a program that suits a particular individual so their performance is in the top half, top 10% or even the top 1% requires all these variables to be examined. Functional medicine considers multiple parameters (such as the above) and optimises them for better health, function and well-being. So hopefully, the goals mentioned earlier can be attainable.
What we offer at OT&P
There are many ways to improve yourself and have better health and functioning. Some of us will live to be 100, but to get there, you’ll need to maintain optimal health and quality of life in your 80’s and 90’s. To achieve that, the journey to health starts now.