Could there be a silver lining to the current dark clouds of the Covid-19 pandemic? Correct me if I'm wrong, but most of what has been written and reported in the mainstream media is doom and gloom--and to be certain, there is some of that. However, doesn't it seem that the only solution offered is to barricade yourself in your own personal Covid 19 nuclear fallout shelter and hope for the best? Your life has been caught in the perfect storm and there's not a lot you can do about it--so they say. In an opinion/perspective article published in the New England Journal of Medicine April 16,2020 issue, authors Brandt and Botelho suggest that the language of the "perfect storm" (that you can do very little about) is "reactive rather than proactive, reductive rather than holistic, disempowering rather than empowering. Though its inherent drama may be appealing, the term “perfect storm” invokes notions of randomness and volatility that may actually undermine our ability to address the Covid-19 pandemic and future disease outbreaks." I agree.
The human race has had outbreaks, epidemics, and pandemics before--and we'll have them again. Should our combat strategy be to wait until the infectious enemy appears and then run and hide? I think not. Should we make our own updated and modernized form of a plague mask as seen in the photo, and have it ready at hand for the next outbreak? No, our best defense is this: study the design of our being as body, mind, and soul, and follow that design. Yes, the immune system is vitally important--but it doesn't function independently. Your being, my being--all of our 'beings' function as a whole, with no system operating apart from every other system. That's why the most susceptible to Covid-19 are those who already have dysfunction--obesity, heart disease, lung disease, etc. Even chronic stress appears to play a significant role.
And that's where Functional Medicine shines! Functional medicine is the antithesis to the "perfect storm" terminology that Brandt and Botelho were criticizing. Instead of being reactive, the Functional Medicine approach is to be proactive--focusing on the optimization of your entire being with the goal not just to prevent disease but even more to promote a full and vibrant life. Furthermore, the Functional Medicine paradigm is holistic rather than reductionistic. You are definitely more than just a sum of your parts. You are the product of an amazing design that works together as a whole--hence the term 'holistic' (or 'wholistic' if you prefer). And finally, the Functional Medicine approach seeks to empower each and every person to acknowledge the incredible holistic design of humans and then honor, protect, and respect that design in a way that promotes health and vibrancy.
So, YES!, there is a silver lining to this Covid-19 cloud. It is an opportunity to be awakened to the dignity of humans realizing that we are "wonderfully made" (Psalm 139:14) and that we are to care for our beings holistically--not only body, but mind and soul too. Not only will this approach prepare us for the next outbreak, epidemic, or even pandemic; but the Functional Medicine paradigm will serve to make us healthier and happier overall.
If this method of healthcare resonates with you, be sure to find a practioner who has been certified--you can search for one in your area at ifm.org