Understanding the Functional Medicine Approach

Functional Medicine approach treats us as holistic beings and looks for the root cause of a health issue, addressing the origin and the triggers of a problem instead of just silencing the symptoms. It treats the patient and not the disease.

The Functional Medicine model is an individualised, patient-centred, science-based approach that empowers patients and practitioners to work together to address the underlying causes of disease and promote optimal wellness. It requires a detailed understanding of each patient’s genetic, biochemical, and lifestyle factors and leverages that data to direct personalised treatment plans that lead to improved patient outcomes.

In this concept, Functional Nutrition emphasizes the importance of high-quality foods and phytonutrient diversity to address clinical imbalances and move individuals towards the highest expression of health. Advanced nutrition assessment and a thorough Functional Medicine based history leads to a personalised therapeutic intervention created to promote optimal health and prevent diet- and lifestyle-related disease.

About me

Hello, my name is Maria Paula Goncalves, and I am a Food Engineer - with a Master’s degree and a PhD in the area of Food Science - and a certified nutritionist, with a Master’s degree in Human Nutrition. I am also a Functional Medicine Certified Health Coach.

For fifteen years, I have undertaken Research, Teaching and Extension activities in the field of Food Science and Technology, in four educational institutions in Brazil and Chile, and have worked as a visiting researcher for almost 5 years at the University of Reading, where currently I collaborate with the Student Wellbeing Department as a sessional nutritionist.

I am very passionate about food, health and education. I have dedicated my entire professional life educating and studying/researching about food. Since 2016, I decided to dedicate my time and use my expertise to help people to understand and put in practice how body-mind nutrition and a healthy lifestyle can be useful tools to prevent and manage health issues. I really like helping people and I truly believe in the Functional Medicine approach to improve people’s health and their quality of life.

In my consultations, I help you to identify the main areas to be improved. In the first session (Intro Session) we work together to understand your health history and the current health state, using questionnaires and interviews. When necessary, functional laboratory testing may be suggested, as a method to investigate nutrient status or underlying biochemical imbalances that may be contributing to your symptoms. Then, we co-create a personalised and comprehensive health plan - based on nutrition, activity, relaxation, sleep, and breathing and stress relief techniques - to achieve your wellbeing goals and needs that I help you to implement through the follow-up sessions.

I would like to invite you to unlock your health and wellness and thrive. Welcome to this journey!

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