The Institute for Functional Medicine defines functional medicine as “a systems biology-based approach that focuses on identifying and addressing the root cause of disease. Each symptom or differential diagnosis may be one of many contributing to an individual’s illness.”

The ideals behind functional medicine are complementary to Life U’s chiropractic philosophy of Vitalism, and thus, the NutriDyn Student Functional Medicine Club proved a natural fit. The club focuses on “the A to Z of functional medicine, protocols, labs, case studies, and how to implement into practice and care plans,” as stated in the club’s Engage events descriptions.

The club’s sponsoring company NutriDyn is a health and wellness company that offers nutritional supplements and educational services to healthcare practitioners in order to support growth in the field of clinical nutrition. Asher Allen, Functional Medicine Consultant for NutriDyn, is a well-known face around campus who makes a point to get to know students and help them get connected with essential information that can better prepare them for their first year of practice and beyond.

“We have this club at other schools, so it’s nice that at Life U we are able to extend our reach. We always have the goal to give Life U D.C students simple tools for complex patients that they are going to see in practice,” said Allen.

Club President Mike Edgecomb originally developed an interest in functional medicine through attending several of NutriDyn’s on-campus seminars in an attempt to gain more knowledge for personal and professional reasons. NutriDyn holds various seminars each year with the Office of Postgrad, most recently their Mastering AK Series.

As a result of attending these seminars, Edgecomb expanded his professional knowledge and interest far beyond what he ever expected to, learning about topics such as female hormones and diabetes. Edgecomb eventually connected with Allen after one of these seminars to brainstorm about how to better connect Life U students with a more comprehensive approach to healing. The club as it is today organically stemmed from that original interest.

“We are getting functional medicine practitioners that can come in and educate us to a different level that we were missing elsewhere. I was in chiropractic care for years, and I got 30 or 40 percent better, but then I hit a wall,” said Edgecomb.

Edgecomb described trying different chiropractors without much additional progress, so he “knew there was a missing piece.” After working with NutriDyn and learning about the benefits of functional medicine, Edgecomb feels that it was the missing piece needed for personal well-being as well as professional chiropractic success with complex patients.

Club Treasurer Kaleb Brown stated that he “came to Life U to learn to be a holistic doctor, and this club is an aid in helping him become that.”

Brown described much of the typical activities and tasks that the club provides supplemental instruction on, such as how to do labs and how to work up patients with complex medical issues. Brown noted that this is a portion of vital education that is not always focused on in the classroom.

“[NutriDyn} has done a lot to propel our education and get us a lot of exposure with good doctors that can lead the way for us,” said Brown.

The club meets periodically one or two times a month, typically in RCCE 108, so check Engage for new meeting times and updates. The next scheduled meeting is Friday, June 3, 5:00 P.M.- RCCE 108. Scan the QR code for more information.

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