Areas Of Specialty / Functional Medicine

The Functional Osteopath

Functional Medicine

“It is more important to know what sort of person has a disease than to know what sort of disease a person has” Hippocrates.

Functional medicine is a way of looking at health that has been around since the age of Hippocrates, who is also known as the father or medicine.  Sadly, with the advent of pharmaceuticals and symptomatic treatment that is largely associated with conventional medicine, natural approaches have been overshadowed and deemed alternative.  There are of course many things that conventional medicine serves well, however with conditions that are chronic in nature, we need to delve a little further than just what the presenting symptoms are.  One symptom can have multiple causes and one cause can have multiple symptoms.

Functional medicine strives to find the root cause(s) by continually asking why.  It is a framework that uses systems biology and analyses the person in the context of their life story by taking into account genetics, birth history and experience, social and physical demands, support and relationships, diet and lifestyle.

Why are all of these factors important for the practice of functional medicine? Because the foundation of its practice comes from a belief in the biochemical uniqueness in each individual and as such, each story will have a different set of factors for the same symptom(s) seen in someone else. It is through this holistic lens that functional medicine derives the cause(s) from which the healing process can begin.

There is also an inherent understanding that everyone will respond differently to an intervention but throughout, there is always a basis of support for how healing progresses. This allows for open communication between the practitioner and client, which further tailors treatment and gives the client an active voice in his or her recovery.

The functional medicine approach incorporates the analysis of functional testing and presenting symptoms to deliver diet, lifestyle and nutraceutical recommendations to achieve optimal health. The type of testing and how much of it will be used is a decision that will be made together based on your goals and presentation.   I prefer to use tests sparingly and start with dietary and lifestyle interventions that can be implemented right away.


“I began my journey with Dee almost 2 years ago having been disappointed in the results I was achieving with a different physician. I’ve always been what your everyday doctor would consider a healthy individual with a few concerns such as itchy skin, acne and general mind fog. These symptoms were created by a series of antibiotic courses to that sinusitis in my 20’s which created gut imbalances. The general medical community had me on a series of pharmaceuticals to help with my skin such as Roaccutane, which fixed the problem for a short time button course was only a plaster rather than a long term solution.

Once Dee assessed me, we did a series of tests and she created a protocol that included dietary changes and supplementation to support detoxification. Fast forward to today and I’m about to having our first bay. Not only have I had a pregnancy without complication, I had minimal morning sickness (a few days whilst my body adjusted to the hormonal changes) and most importantly have had great energy levels throughout. I couldn’t recommend Dee more highly and have in fact introduced her to all of my family and friends so they can also reap the benefits.

– Caroline VanKniekerk, Sales Marketing and Design Director

“My 8 year old son has a complex genetic condition characterised by many gut and health related issues. His numerous courses of antibiotics have led to gut infections and constant ill health. We consulted Deirdre for help after conventional medicine failed. Thanks to her expert knowledge, dietary advice and detailed medical tests, we were able to clear up Che’s gut infections, eczema, excess mucus and wind. His health has improved exponentially. His energy levels have rocketed and he is now thriving. Thank you Dede, I can’t recommend you enough!

– Sarah Summers, Physiotherapist

“Deirdre was my personal trainer for a few years in New York City. She was the best trainer I ever had.  She helped me lose 20lbs and get in the best shape of my life.  I suffer from a few sports injuries which greatly improved throughout my time working with Deirdre, as a result of her education and expertise in physical medicine.

On a personal level, Deirdre was so fun to work with.  She always showed up with a smile and was consistently bright and cheerful. I would highly recommend Deidre to anyone as I said, she is the best!

– Nicholas Sidoti