Thinking Outside the Pillbox


When it comes to healthcare, Eastern and Western cultures have vastly different approaches. The Eastern culture's experienced methods are holistic and noninvasive, while Western medicine focuses on synthetic medicines and surgery. Both are accompanied by their own set advantages and disadvantages. Most recently, The Cleveland Clinic, a nonprofit academic medical center and one of the best healthcare facilities in the world, has invested in enlightened thinking that fuses both approaches to healthcare: Functional Medicine.

The unified approach of Functional Medicine aims to combine the teachings and practices of both Eastern and Western medicine in order to solve what's at the core of chronic illnesses and various medical issues.

Many doctors that practice Functional Medicine look at the concept as a tree. The leaves represent their patient’s symptoms and the roots which hold the tree together represent the central cause of the symptoms or illness. 


In late 2016, the Cleveland Clinic opened its doors to its first Functional Medicine Suite. The Functional Medicine Suite is located on the Clinic’s main campus and includes 16 exam rooms, suites for virtual visits, meeting rooms, a laboratory, and spaces for shared medical appointments. Within the suite lies a section that is strictly dedicated to enhance collaboration between all medical professionals including physicians, nurses, and health coaches and nutritionists.

The purpose of the award-winning expansion is to study the concept of Functional Medicine with the goal of integrating different and proven medical studies and practices into a patient's treatment and overall health.

Dr Mark Hyman

One of the primary faces and minds behind Functional Medicine is the Director of the Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine, practicing family physician and #1 New York Times bestselling author – Dr. Mark Hyman. Dr. Hyman believes in transforming modern healthcare through the power of Functional Medicine:  

Just because you have a stomach ache, joint pain, a rash doesn't mean you have to see 5 or 6 different doctors. Everything's connected. And Functional Medicine connects the dots and understands that it's medicine by system not symptom...We’re interested in the underlying mechanisms and causes in your symptoms.

Dr. Mark Hyman interviews Dr. Mark Hyman

As Director of the Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine, Founder and Medical Director of The UltraWellness Center, and Board President of Clinical Affairs of the Institute for Functional Medicine,Hyman and his team know how important it is to heal not only the bodies and minds of our communities, but the associated social and economic adversities as well.


In functional medicine, we want to help people thrive – and that should start right when a patient or caregiver walks through our door. This space demonstrates our dedication to optimizing health.

Dr Hyman

The Cleveland Clinic, Dr. Mark Hyman, and countless other courageous leaders and innovative thinkers are revolutionizing the way we think about and treat healthcare. They are focusing all of their energy on the ‘why’ rather than the ‘what’. 
With the rollercoaster that we call health insurance, patients and doctors alike are thinking outside the pillbox to Functional Medicine. Functional Medicine calls for the combination of current medicinal and technical innovations with a functional, holistic approach. It calls for healing where there are temporary treatment substances. It calls for solutions where there are surgical procedures. Most importantly, it calls for change.

Interested in finding a Functional Medicine office near you? Visit: The Institute of Functional Medicine's website to find a practitioner 

in your area.

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