Functional medicine is a holistic approach to chronic illness that takes a person’s whole body, mind, and spirit into consideration. There is a large emphasis on therapeutic relationships between doctor and patient in functional medicine. Functional and integrative medicine was created specifically to address the root cause of disease with a more comprehensive approach in a compassionate setting.
In conventional medicine, patients with chronic conditions are often told that there is not a solution to their health problems and are given a prescription medication just to address the symptoms.
If you are suffering from a chronic condition such as digestive disturbances, general body inflammation, cardiovascular conditions, hormonal disorders, diabetes, anxiety, depression, fatigue, or an autoimmune disease, a functional medicine doctor may be exactly the help you are looking for.
San Francisco has a wide variety of functional medicine services. Our team has hand-selected this list of functional medicine centers that provide innovative, alternative approaches for chronic conditions.
What does it mean to be a Functional Medicine Doctor?
In functional medicine, you treated as a unique case with individual causes for your chronic condition. Functional medicine doctors use a variety of specialized treatments and tests to discover and treat the root cause of your chronic condition. According to Mayo Clinic, functional medicine doctors have gone through traditional medical school training to address the root causes of chronic disease, often supplementing their approach with certifications in other modalities. For example, many functional medicine doctors also have a background in naturopathic medicine, eastern medicine, herbalism, mindfulness, and therapeutic practices.
Functional medicine doctors take a whole-body approach to your wellness. Many functional and integrative medicine clinics offer team-based care where a functional medicine doctor works with a variety of specialized therapists who will focus on different aspects of your health. Whether it is a one-person clinic or multi-person team, a functional medicine doctor will create a comprehensive treatment plan tailored to your condition.
Functional medicine doctors use the most innovative and science-backed approaches for your treatment. They will run a series of diagnostic tests that may include testing of nutrients within your body, inflammation markers, blood tests, hormone levels, biome tests, or DNA tests to find the best treatment for your healing journey.
As you progress with your treatment plan, your functional medicine doctor will track your progress and alter your healing journey as needed. Healing takes time and patience when you start from the root of the disease. However, working with a functional medicine doctor, you can rest assured you are in the best hands for your chronic illness. They will be with you during your entire journey to ensure you are in a better place mentally, physically, and spiritually than where you started.
Conventional Doctors vs. Functional Medicine Doctors
Hippocrates (430-277 B.C.) once said, “It is more important to know what sort of person has a disease than to know what sort of disease a person has.” Functional medicine doctors take the time to get to know you and the source of your chronic disease that you are experiencing. In conventional medicine, patients often discuss their concerns or symptoms with their practitioners. The practitioner will conduct a brief evaluation and then often prescribe medication to decrease the symptoms of the disease. This is not the most sustainable or preventative approach because it does not get to the root cause of the disease and does not lead to an understanding of what led your body to this breaking point. The factors that lead to a chronic condition are never the same for every person due to lifestyle factors and genetics. Healing the body from the root and making changes in these areas is the way to overcome chronic disease and not simply manage symptoms that can lead to even more debilitating effects down the road.
Another critical difference between conventional doctors and functional medicine doctors is the level of relationship and compassionate care available in a clinic. It is essential to each clinic that there is a thorough and caring relationship between you and your functional medicine doctor in functional medicine. Innovative research and personalized treatment plans are the critical part of functional and integrative medicine that conventional medicine lacks.
Your Unique Relationship with your Functional Medicine Doctor
Your relationship with your functional medicine doctor may feel more like a collaborative and compassionate partnership than your past experiences with conventional medical doctors. According to the AMA Journal of Ethics, “In integrative and functional medicine, the patient is a partner in his or her health care, with the physician taking the role of the informed, beneficent guide. The physician seeks to understand and respect the patient’s beliefs and goals and their physical and psychological health and ailments.” Functional medicine doctors treat each patient with a personalized treatment approach. Functional medicine doctors consider all aspects of your well-being and want to see your body in its optimal wellness state.
If you do not have a chronic disease, it is still good to visit a functional medicine doctor to receive a complete picture of your health and begin preventative care. Starting and building a relationship with a functional medicine doctor will be the best decision you can make for a strong and healthy mind and body!
The Best Functional Medicine Doctors in the greater San Francisco area
Several functional medicine doctors in the San Francisco area provide a wide range of services to meet your unique healthcare needs. Below is a guide to the top functional medicine doctors and clinics in San Francisco, California.
1. Doctor Erika Horowitz, Naturopathic Doctor
Functional medicine doctor Erika Horowitz, ND, founded this naturopathic wellness boutique to offer a comprehensive approach to healing patients with chronic diseases. Dr. Horowitz will help you identify physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, social, and environmental obstacles to optimize your health and wellness and guide you in making informed and preventative decisions for a happier, healthier you.
Their services include:
- Hormone Balancing – Functional Endocrinology
- Digestive Health
- Nutrition Counseling
- Weight Loss
- Wellness Assessment
- Balance Assessment
- Herbal supplements
Insurances accepted: Dr. Erike Horowitz, ND, is not compatible with any insurance.
address: 2040 Union St San Francisco, CA 94123
2. Functional Medicine S.F.
Functional Medicine S.F. strives to empower its patients through a variety of holistic wellness treatments. Functional Medicine S.F. was founded by functional medicine doctor Stephanie Daniel, D.O. The entire team at Functional Medicine S.F. is driven to find the root cause of your chronic disease and create a personalized plan tailored to you. The practice offers everything that you will need to get on a path towards healing.
Their services include:
- Functional Medicine Consultation
- Bio-identical Hormones
- Integrative Endocrinology
- Natural Pharmacy
- Longevity Medicine
- Nutritional and Functional Testing
- Lyme Disease
Insurances accepted: Functional Medicine S.F. does not accept insurance.
address: 1630 Lombard St Ste 8 San Francisco, CA 94123
3. Happy Belly Health
The team of functional medicine doctors at Happy Belly Health is five women who strive to “maximize what’s helpful and minimize what’s not.” This practice takes a full picture of your health in each area of your life and determines how it is connected to your chronic condition. Happy Belly Health wants to see you happy and thriving, so they ensure to offer compassionate care and encouragement along the way.
Their services include:
- 1-2-1 Coaching
- Online Programs
- Lifestyle optimization
- Intuitive nourishment
Insurances accepted: Happy Belly Health is in most insurance networks.
address: 500 Sutter St Ste 906 San Francisco, CA 94102
4. Mischa Grieder, ND – San Francisco Preventive Medical Group
San Francisco Preventive Medical Group was founded by Dr. Mischa Grider, ND. The team of functional medicine doctors at this practice seeks to listen and understand your history and present condition thoroughly. They offer a variety of innovative treatments that blend holistic with conventional medicine to ensure you are in good hands.
Their services include:
- Integrative Medicine
- Naturopathic Medicine
- Anti-aging Medicine
- Functional Medicine
- IV Nutrient Infusion Therapy
- Medical Ozone Therapy
- IV Ketamine Therapy for Depression
- Low Dose Antigen Immunotherapy
- Natural Detoxification Programs
- Diet and Nutritional Counseling
Insurances Accepted: San Francisco Preventive Medical Group does not bill insurance directly, but they do provide a complete statement to file with your insurance.
address: 380 W Portal Ave Ste C San Francisco, CA 94127
5. Bernal Homeopathy – Kathleen Scheible, CCH
Functional medicine doctor Kathleen Scheible, CCH, strives to heal her patients from the inside out. She focuses on homeopathic remedies in her holistic practice to address your chronic condition. She offers office and telehealth appointments for acute, chronic, and comprehensive issues. Scheible also offers classes and free clinics in the community.
Their services include:
- Mental balance
- Behavioral balance
- Immune system balance
- Skin health
- Pelvic health
- Chronic Pain
- Digestive System balance
- Hormone and endocrine system balance
- Overall health resilience
- Office and Telehealth appointments
- Veterinary care
Insurances accepted: Bernal Homeopathy does not take insurance at this time.
address: 406 Cortland Ave San Francisco, CA 94110
6. Good Living Health
Good Living Health’s functional medicine doctor team is dedicated to listening to and fully understanding your illness. The founder of Good Living Health is functional medicine doctor Sutida Majarone, FNP, MSN. It is her passion to consider the body as an interconnected being physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and environmentally to understand the true nature and root cause of your illness.
- Functional and Integrative Medicine
- IV Infusion and IV therapy
- Internal Medicine
- Mental and Emotional Health
Insurances accepted: Good Living Health does not accept insurance at this time.
address: 1336 El Camino Real San Carlos, CA 94070
7. Root & Stem
Root & Stem offers a variety of services to address your needs. They are a clinic that focuses on acupuncture and Chinese medicine specifically. However, they provide a wide range of other services in addition. Functional medicine doctor Dr. Jessica Parker, LAC, DOM, is the founder of Root & Stem and has been voted as one of Oakland’s Best Acupuncturists.
- Acupuncture and Eastern Medicine
- Functional Medicine and Virtual Sessions
- Microneedling and Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture
- Sliding Scale and Community Acupuncture
- DIY Acupressure Class Series
- Cupping and Guasha
Insurances accepted: Root & Stem will bill your insurance directly if applicable.
address: 3515 Grand Ave Oakland, CA 94610