What is “Functional Medicine” Anyway?

Have you heard about “functional medicine”

Maybe you’ve seen the phrase used on social media, or have a friend who raves about their new “Functional Health Practitioner”. 

Or maybe that friend is YOU, but you’re still not really sure what “functional medicine” really means. 

Or still yet – maybe you have absolutely ZERO idea what I’m talking about, but now you’re curious. 😂

The truth is – while “functional medicine” has become more popular in recent years, it's rooted in natural health principles that have been around for ages. 

According to the Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM), the goal of functional medicine is to determine how and why illness occurs in the first place and to restore health by addressing the root causes of disease. 

IFM describes the functional medicine model as: 

  • Individualized
  • Patient-centered, and
  • Science-based

Or in other words, functional medicine helps you get to the bottom of why you’re experiencing unwanted symptoms like bloating, acne, fatigue & joint pain, so you can feel your best today, and for decades to come. 

Sounds pretty good right?? 

Let’s chat about it! 😉

What is Functional Medicine?

Functional medicine focuses on how your body is functioning – makes sense right?! 

It’s about viewing the entire body as a whole, rather than a bunch of disconnected parts. And looking at unwanted symptoms (dysfunction) as important clues that can help us restore health. 

For example → if a patient comes in with allergies, joint pain, or digestive issues, a functional practitioner views these symptoms as clues that something deeper needs attention, rather than trying to suppress or “manage” the symptoms with quick bandaid “solutions” (e.g. medications). 

Oftentimes, this means running functional lab tests, which involve collecting your blood, urine, saliva, or even your hair! These tests typically offer a lot more information compared to the annual blood work you may have done with a conventional provider. 

So… why is functional medicine becoming more popular?? 

Imagine not just relieving your headaches by popping an Advil, but never having the headache in the first place. Or, instead of suffering through painful periods each month, imagine you discovered the root cause to be an underlying hormonal imbalance, which was easily remedied with some herbal extracts → no more painful periods!!

That’s functional medicine for ya, and it’s gaining popularity in the mainstream health community because quite frankly – it works. 

Okay, so I’ve probably piqued your interest in this approach, but where the heck do you find one of these “functional practitioners”??

How to Find a “Functional Health” Practitioner. 

The first thing to understand is that health professionals of all kinds can draw on functional medicine principles. This includes medical doctors, naturopathic doctors, nurse practitioners, nutritionists, acupuncturists, chiropractors, dietitians… and the list goes on.  

My advice is always to find someone who is evidence-based & aligns with your values. If you value natural health and are interested in getting to the root of your symptoms (rather than masking the problem) then be sure your provider shares this same perspective! And remember, it's ok to ask questions before booking an appointment. 

If you’re local, I am a huge fan of the functional medicine model, and would love to see you! But if you’re not, I recommend searching with your zip code right here

Now, if you’ve landed on this page, my guess is that you value your health, but all too often we let things slide, so if that sounds familiar, keep reading… 😉 

The Key is Early Detection + Prevention. 

I don’t say this lightly when I say functional medicine has changed my life and the lives of my patients. And, one of the many reasons for this is that it prevents serious (and costly!) diseases down the road. 

Early detection is the key to avoiding:

  • Expensive hospital visits & medical bills
  • Years of unnecessary medications (+ unpleasant side effects!)
  • Years of wasted potential & joy, living with unresolved symptoms 

And, on top of early detection, functional medicine is amazing for preventing diseases altogether, because it focuses on proactive diet & lifestyle changes. Things like nutrient-dense whole foods, high-quality supplementation, and lifestyle adjustments will help you enjoy life well into your 50s, 60s, 70s & beyond. 

Wondering what it would be like to get started on this new path? 

What Does a “Functional Health” Visit Look Like? 

Great question!

Going to a functional practitioner is a lot different than going to your standard 15 min. appointments with a conventional provider. 

The functional medicine model is investigative, meaning you should expect a lot of questions at your initial appointment, but don’t be nervous. This is a good thing! It means that the practitioner cares deeply about getting all the information necessary to solve the “problem” correctly. 

Here are some topics you can expect to chat about: 

  • Medical History
  • Current Diet & Lifestyle 
  • Daily Routines & Work
  • Family History
  • Current Symptoms 
  • Sleep Patterns 
  • And much more 

Just imagine the difference having this level of information can make – it’s huge!

In my own practice, I usually recommend a few key labs that I think will be most helpful, and we arrange for samples to be collected. Many test kits can even be sent directly to the patient's home, which makes this part really convenient. Labs are a game-changer, and I’m actually planning on sharing some of my favorites in my next Wellness Article, so keep your eyes out! 👀

From there, we’ll wait to get the results back, and then I’ll put together a personalized “protocol”, or plan to help my patient reach their health goals. These protocols typically include things like natural herbal tinctures, high-quality supplements, and diet + lifestyle recommendations. Occasionally, we may discuss the use of pharmaceuticals, but this is never the first line of defense. 

The bottom line? 

This entire process is tailored to you, which is part of what makes functional medicine so effective. So, if you have new concerns that come up along the way, just ask! 

Ready to Look + Feel Your Best? 

If you’re interested in learning more about functional health, send me an email! Yes, I really check them and respond. Or better yet, call today and we’ll get you on the calendar for your initial visit!  



  1. https://www.ifm.org/functional-medicine/what-is-functional-medicine/

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I have had back issues most of my life. Since starting treatments with Dr Greg I have had no more issues. It's such a relief to be able to be physical at the high level I want to be. I am able to maintain wellness by seeing Dr Greg on a regular basis. Thank you Dr Greg!!

Michael L.

Hello! I just want to say that you are truly a healer! After leaving your office last Monday, I was more able to breathe, truly breathe - after having suffered all weekend to take a deep breath due to a "rib out of place" OK - if you say so....all I know is that, though I continued to have a bit of pain in my upper back and neck for a day or two, I could take wonderful, glorious deep breaths thanks to your treatment. Thanks again for all you do! Even if I do make many sound affects while you are treating me - "OUCH!!! Hmmmph!! Ughhh!! Really???" I truly appreciate your healing touch....


I have had Parkinson's Disease for 8 years.  I have developed arthritis in my back and hips. The stiffness of the Parkinson's and the arthritis has caused me a lot of pain. Because of that unrelenting pain I was unable to exercise. Exercise is an important part of pain management for Parkinson's.  Since I have been seeing Dr. Krapf I am feeling much better and his care has allowed me to begin exercising again, which has improved my overall well being. In the past I have been treated by physical therapists and orthopedists. Dr. Krapf's chiropractic manipulations have had an amazing impact on my health and happiness. I highly recommend Dr. Krapf to anyone who needs excellent chiropractic care and the many alternative therapies he offers. I would say he is magical!

When my friend received excellent care from Dr. Krapf, she recommended him to me. I have had gastrointestinal problems for nearly 50 years that have recently been diagnosed with celiac disease with lactose intolerance. All that, including unrelieved stress had made me unhappy and unhealthy. Today I am a different person with the help of Dr. Greg. The Gastro issues are practically nonexistent, my stress levels have plummeted, and my body is changing. I am so grateful for Dr. Greg and his healing hands.

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Our family have been patients of Krapf chiropractic for a few decades. We have several success stories archived. The most recent event involves our youngest son who is completing his senior year of high school. He has been a patient of Krapf Chiropractic (KCA) since birth. He has been an avid soccer player since the age of four and has sustained numerous injuries over the years. Dr. Krapf has successfully assisted in every recovery.

Most recently, he began complaining of his feet hurting while playing soccer. Both feet hurt - particularly the balls of his feet while running and cutting. He came to Dr. Greg with his complaint as this was seriously affecting his game. Dr. Greg evaluated the situation and decided a foot scan should be done. The finding was dropped arches. My son was fitted for orthotics. They arrived within days and he wore these as directed. Within a few short weeks he is now playing full games pain free.


I first called Krapf Chiropractic when my back was so bad that I couldn't get up off the floor. It's been a blessing to have Dr. Greg help me with my overall wellness and health! I find this to be a place where you are not a number and everyone cares. Mollie is always cheerful and reminds me to come. Erin is always smiling and helps relax me when I'm in pain. I would not be functioning if I did not have Krapf Chiropractic to keep me going. As I get older my appreciation deepens, especially when I see people around me who are suffering with back problems. If they only knew how helpful this is. I believe Dr. Greg treats the person not the symptoms. Thank you

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I've been lucky to have exceptional health care from the beginning. At the beginning, seventy-six-plus years ago, Hugh Rodgers brought me into the world in mother and dad's second-floor bedroom in our dairy farm home. Hugh's son, Hugh, Jr., practiced with his dad and beyond caring for my parents, he, also, cared for hundreds of others and me. Roughly forty years ago, a friend suggested I make an appointment with Richard Krapf for help with back-pain. Richard treated the pain that, often, was debilitating, and on Richard's death, his son, Greg became the second second generation to help me from one place to another. I'm grateful to Hugh, Hugh, Richard and, perhaps, most of all, to Greg.


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