By Dr. Justin Marchegiani
Functional Medicine, is a medical practice or treatments that focus on optimal functioning of the body and its organs, usually involving systems of holistic or alternative medicine.
Why are check-ins and follow-ups important to success in reaching your health and healing goals? Why is a committed and collaborative mind-set necessary to health and healing? In functional medicine, it’s a journey of working together, a partnership that leads to your health. Being compliant as a patient will help you achieve better results. This article lists ways you can assure you are, or will be, a compliant patient.
Start with a Dietary Approach
- Follow your practitioner’s dietary plan, individually customized for you, to accelerate healing and reduce inflammation.
- Keep a food diary, recording what you eat, when you eat, and lifestyle issues (exercise type, time, and duration; sleep times and patterns; etc.) that may be impacting your diet.
- Don’t cheat, skip meals, or vary from the dietary plan.
- Plan ahead. When there will be a change in routine that could lead to food temptations or conveniences (vacations, parties, holidays, etc.). Take along healthy portable meals or snacks.
- Communicate with your practitioner if you are having any challenges with the dietary plan or the approved foods. Most of the time, appropriate adjustments can be made.
- Don’t introduce new foods (or beverages) without your practitioner’s OK. Even the smallest change can disrupt the entire protocol.
- Don’t get hungry! If you’re getting hungry between meals, talk to your practitioner.
- Be prepared to commit 3–6 months to your dietary plan in order to learn habits and skills that can lead to lifelong dietary success.
Show Up (Physically and Mentally) for Check-Ins and Follow-Ups
- Make check-ins and follow-ups a top priority on your calendar, and don’t skip them.
- Be committed to weekly, biweekly, monthly, or bimonthly check-ins or follow-ups, depending on what your plan requires. This isn’t your conventional-medicine yearly doctor visit.
- Be fully transparent with your practitioner about not only your successes, but also your failures since your last meeting. This is a good time to share your detailed food diary.
- Answer your practitioner’s questions fully and honestly. This is so he or she will have the best opportunity to help you succeed.
Develop a Functional/Biohacker Group Mind-Set
- Understand that more of the same equals more of the same. The way you’ve always done it has no place in healing your health.
- Commit to changing your mind-set if you wish to succeed.
- Realize that problems don’t fix themselves—the underlying cause must be addressed.
- Don’t stop the program because you feel good one week in. Feeling good one day does not equate to problem solved. You must follow the full protocol to achieve lasting results.
- Optimizing your health should be a personal goal even if you don’t feel you need “healing.” The functional model encompasses all levels of health, even biohackers who just want to push the boundaries of performance.
- Read, learn, and listen to everything your functional medicine practitioner recommends. Read Dr. Justin’s blogs, listen to his podcasts, and watch his video series.
Buy the Right Supplements
- Determine the right supplements for you by working with your practitioner who knows your individual needs.
- Purchase high-quality supplements.
- Don’t take a supplement just because a Facebook friend or ad says it’s the best. Or just because a celebrity doctor endorses it. You’re only creating expensive urine, or worse, if you don’t need it.
The goal is for you to own your diet and lifestyle! When you get healthier, you’re a better mother, a better father, a better husband, a better wife, a better girlfriend, a better boyfriend, a better lover, a better teacher, a better employee, a better business owner, a better entrepreneur. Everything improves when your health improves.
Listen to the full Just In Health podcast “What It Takes to Be a Good Functional Medicine Patient and Get Great Results—Podcast #53” below: