functional medicine vs integrative medicine: what is the difference?

A No BS Review: Functional Vs Integrative Medicine

Do you live in Ottawa, and are you curious about the difference between Functional vs Integrative medicine?

If so, you are in the right place.

Today I am going to talk about Functional medicine vs Integrative medicine.

More importantly.

By the end of this article, you should be able to decide which approach is right for you.

In This Article:

Let’s jump straight in and compare the different functional and integrative medicine philosophies.


Functional medicine, as defined by the Institute of Functional medicine, is,

“a personalized, systems-oriented model that empowers patients and practitioners to achieve the highest expression of health by working in collaboration to address the underlying causes of disease.”

In other words, functional medicine looks to identify problem systems in the body and empowers the patient to resolve those problems.

Integrative Medicine, as defined by the Weil Institute, is

“healing-oriented medicine that takes account of the whole person, including all aspects of lifestyle. It emphasizes the therapeutic relationship between practitioner and patient, is informed by evidence, and makes use of all appropriate therapies.”

In other words, integrative medicine emphasizes a holistic science-based approach through a collaboration between the patient and practitioner.

From a philosophical standpoint, functional medicine vs integrative medicine is very similar.

Let’s see if this similarity continues by examining how they treat patients.

Functional Vs Integrative Medicine: How Do They Treat Patients?

Functional practitioners strive to find the most natural way to treat their clients.

In Functional medicine, there is a strong emphasis on food and nutrition as medicine.

At the same time, just like integrative medicine, their approach is science-based.

Integrative medicine practitioners use a combination of medical and alternative treatment modalities to treat clients.

In integrative medicine, there is some emphasis on nutrition, but practitioners also use specific complementary therapies.

Examples of these complementary therapies used by integrative medicine practitioners include Chelation therapy and IV therapy.

In integrative medicine, there is more emphasis on the practitioner giving treatment to the patient.

What Do They Treat?

Both Functional and Integrative medicine treats a wide variety of conditions.

The differences are seen between individual practitioners.

Some Functional medicine practitioners specialize in Alzheimer’s Disease. At the same time, other functional practitioners have a more general practice.

On the other hand, Dr. Richard Nahas, an Ottawa Integrative medicine doctor, specializes in chronic pain.


Most Ottawa Functional medicine practitioners have a non-medical training background. For example, some have training in Osteopathy, while others have education in Naturopathic Medicine or Chiropractic.

In contrast, most Integrative medicine practitioners in Ottawa are medically trained doctors.

Are They Covered On Insurance or OHIP?

Functional medicine services are not covered under either insurance or OHIP. The one exception is if you have a health spending account type insurance plan.

Some integrative medical services are covered under OHIP. However, you will usually need a referral from your family doctor.

Did I Miss Anything?

Are you drawn toward Functional or Integrative medicine?

Are you still confused between functional vs integrative medicine?

Either let me know by leaving a comment below.

Do You Need Help?

Suppose you need help and live in Ottawa. In that case, I suggest you book a free functional medicine discovery session in person or via video to determine whether my Functional medicine approach fits your needs.


The information provided on this website is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or treat any disease. Please do not apply this information without first speaking with your doctor.

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