Holistic Health vs Functional Medicine

What is the difference and what is the same about these two natural modalities?

Holistic and Functional medicine are two different medical modalities. They both use specific approaches to help treat the body. The two do have a natural cohesion. A lot of the time, the two modalities are combined to give a balanced and holistic way to achieve overall health and wellness. 

Today, we will look at what similarities and differences these two modalities have and how they benefit us in their own way. 

What Are The Similarities Between Holistic Health And Functional Medicine?

Both modalities want to help treat the body holistically and naturally. They consider all physiological, biological, and chemical factors that influence health and wellness. This includes the mind and emotions as well as the body.

Holistic and Functional medicine does not focus on eliminating current symptoms. Instead, they focus on identifying the underlying cause of any existing health issues. For example, you might go see a professional to deal with your sore throat but it turns out, that your sore throat is caused by emotional trauma. The more stressed you become, the worse the symptoms appear to be. The professional will help you manage the trauma so that the physical symptom of the sore throat can go away. 

Both modalities believe that prevention is a primary focus. This means that your professional therapist will not only see you when you are experiencing negative health symptoms, they will also see you for maintenance. Centre Spring MD say that “Wellness in this type of medicine is seen as the pursuit of the highest quality physical, environmental, mental, spiritual, social, and emotional aspects of the human experience.”

What Are The Differences Between Holistic Health and Functional Medicine?

The main difference between the two modalities is the methods in which they treat a person. 

Holistic medicine or health is a healing-orientated mindset that focuses on the full range of physical, emotional, mental, socials and spiritual influences that can affect a person’s health. It does not only consider the physical symptoms you might be experiencing but also looks at your emotions and environment. A holistic approach sometimes requires you to solve your emotional turmoil to help you deal with your physical symptoms. 

Functional medicine believes in uncovering the underlying cause of conditions. It is believed that bodily as well as mental and emotional, are interconnected through chemical, biological and physiological properties. 

Functional medicine views all organ systems as integrated and considers how they work together rather than separately.

In other words, Holistic looks at the 5 aspects of holistic health. If one of the aspects are out, the whole body begins to suffer. Functional medicine looks at how the systems work together and tries to look for underlying conditions and causes that could have created the symptoms in the first place. For example, a bad neck ache has been linked to bad gut health. Fix your gut problems and your neck pain could go away. 


Both Holistic and Functional medicine want to help treat the body as naturally as possible. There are times when traditional medicine will be needed but it is better for your overall health if you ingest less prescription medication and aggressive treatments to help maintain conditions such as a mild headache or chronic inflammation. 

To learn more about Holistic health, read the article below: Everything You Need to Know About Holistic Health Tools.