Posted 03 May 2016
David Gorski, M.D., Ph.D. has published a critique that explains why “functional” medicine—like “complementary,” “alternative,” “holistic” and “integrated” medicine — is nothing more than a loosely-defined marketing term that offbeat practitioners use to promote their services. Its proponents typically do unnecessary testing, claim to identify and treat the “root cause” of illnesses, and claim that their approach addresses the “biochemical individuality” of their patients.[Source: Consumer Health Digest #16-16, May 1, 2016]
I often describe “integrative medicine” as integrating quackery with medicine because that’s what this inadvertently appropriately named branch of medicine in essence does. The reason, as I’ve described time and time again, is to put that quackery on equal footing (or at least apparently equal footing) with science- and evidence-based medicine, a goal that is close to being achieved. Originally known as quackery, the modalities now being “integrated” with medicine then became “complementary and alternative medicine” (CAM), a term that is still often used. But that wasn’t enough. The word “complementary” implies a subordinate position, in which the CAM is not the “real” medicine, the necessary medicine, but is just there as “icing on the cake.” The term “integrative medicine” eliminates that problem and facilitates a narrative in which integrative medicine is the “best of both worlds” (from the perspective of CAM practitioners and advocates). Integrative medicine has become a brand, a marketing term, disguised as a bogus specialty.
Gorski D. Making it up as you go along: So-called “functional medicine” is pure quackery. Respectful Insolence Blog, April 18, 2016