Woman in white long sleeve shirt and black pants sitting on brown woven chair

Best Functional Medicine Doctors Online for Telehealth [2024]

January 11, 2024
Clinically reviewed by Dr. Mary Oleksowicz

Essential Takeaways

  • Functional medicine takes a holistic and patient-centered approach to healthcare. Instead of focusing on symptom management, functional medicine doctors instead investigate the underlying causes of pain and illness.
  • From nutrition and movement to mental and emotional well-being, functional medicine doctors take multiple factors into account to determine the best course of action to facilitate healing.
  • Start your healing process with Qi Health’s highly trained functional doctors.

As discontent with the Western healthcare system grows, many people are turning to functional medicine for answers and relief for ongoing symptoms. With a patient-first approach and a medicine philosophy that acknowledges the many different elements involved in overall health, functional medicine is attractive for many people experiencing chronic pain, hormonal issues, ongoing fatigue, and more.

In this article, learn more about functional medicine and find out how to benefit from the expertise of functional medicine doctors online through telehealth options.

What is a Functional Medicine Doctor?

Functional medicine takes a holistic and patient-centered approach to healthcare. Instead of focusing on symptom management as Western medicine tends to do, functional medicine doctors instead investigate the underlying causes of pain and illness.

From nutrition and movement to mental and emotional well-being, functional medicine doctors take multiple factors into account to determine the best course of action to facilitate healing. By viewing the body as an interconnected system, functional medicine doctors aim to provide more long-lasting healing.

Functional Medicine vs Integrative Medicine vs Holistic Medicine

There are similarities between functional medicine, integrative medicine, and holistic medicine, but these are not identical practices and are not necessarily interchangeable.

  • Integrative medicine combines Western medicine with complementary therapies, so multiple specialists and types of doctors are often involved in this type of approach.
  • Holistic medicine hinges on the broadest possible view of overall health, including emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual health.
  • Functional medicine focuses mainly on addressing common health conditions through the root cause, delving into physiological, genetic, and lifestyle factors.

All three of these practices require licensed practitioners. To become a certified functional medicine practitioner, doctors typically must hold an MD or DO degree and undergo specific training in functional medicine principles.

For integrative medicine doctors, rigorous residency and education requirements are necessary to gain board certification from the American Board of Integrative Medicine.

In holistic medicine, doctors generally seek out Naturopathic Doctor Licensure, which requires graduation from a four-year, professional-level program at a naturopathic medical school and passing the Naturopathic Physicians Licensing Exam.

Facets of Functional Medicine to Access via Telehealth

Just as telehealth has gained popularity in standard medicine, it’s also applicable to many functional medicine situations. Overcome geographical limitations and access world-class telehealth doctors of functional medicine for help in the following key areas:

Physical

Even without a physical appointment, functional medicine doctors can assist with physical health concerns via telehealth. By discussing your symptoms, background, lifestyle, and more, doctors can help diagnose and treat physical conditions including the following:

  • Hormonal imbalances like thyroid dysfunction and PCOS
  • Women’s health concerns like difficult menopause or postpartum symptoms, painful periods, and infertility
  • Nutritional deficiencies and environmental toxins
  • Chronic conditions like digestive and gastrointestinal issues, autoimmune disorders, ongoing pain, and fatigue

Mental

In functional medicine, there is a profound understanding of the intricate connection between mental health and physical health. Patients can easily access mental health support via telehealth sessions with functional medicine doctors.

Online functional health sessions can support mental health in many ways including the following:

  • Teaching effective techniques for managing stress, anxiety, and depression
  • Addressing sleep disturbances to optimize rest time and promote overall health
  • Supporting cognitive function and memory
  • Considering links between nutrition, lifestyle habits, and mental health concerns

Emotional

Customaryl medicine is notorious for overlooking important emotional health needs. By finding a trustworthy functional medical doctor who aligns with your needs and health goals, you can address key emotional health concerns in telehealth sessions.

Emotional health aspects include:

  • Stress-related issues
  • Emotional and physical consequences of past trauma
  • Healthy coping mechanisms
  • Healthy relationships
  • Empowerment and self-discovery

Spiritual

Functional medicine also addresses the importance of spiritual well-being for overall health. During a telehealth appointment with a functional medicine practitioner, patients can receive guidance on:

  • Mindfulness, meditation, and establishing a mind-body connection
  • Finding purpose and meaning in life

Best Functional Medicine Doctors Online

The best functional medicine doctor for any given person will depend on their specific needs, concerns, and health goals. At the same time, it’s helpful to ensure you are communicating with professionals who have completed all necessary licensing and certification and who have considerable experience in their field.

These functional medicine doctors offer telehealth visits and are outstanding in their field.

Dr. Mary Oleksowicz

Dr. Mary Oleksowicz

Specialties:

  • Pain conditions
  • OB/GYN care
  • Acupuncture

Certification:

  • Licensed Oriental Medicine Practitioner (O.M.D); Licensed Acupuncturist (L.Ac.)
  • Certified in the USA for Acupuncture & Herbal Medicine

Years in practice: 25+

With a doctorate in Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine, Dr. Mary Oleksowics addresses women’s health concerns and ongoing pain issues through Traditional Chinese Medicine and functional medicine. Located in New York City, Dr. Oleksowics has been practicing integrated herbal medicine for 28 years at her clinical practice. She is fluent in Spanish and English and teaches at colleges throughout the United States.

Learn More

Dr. Biao Lu

Dr. Biao Lu

Specialties:

  • Pain conditions
  • Infertility
  • Dermatology
  • Allergies
  • Asthma

Certification:

  • L.Ac., O.M.D.
  • Certified in China & USA for Acupuncture & Herbal Medicine

Years in practice: 35+

For over 35 years in the United States and in China, Dr. Lu has practiced medical herbology and acupuncture. He is fluent in both Mandarin and English and focuses his treatments on dermatology, pain conditions, and male infertility. He has his own clinic in LA and is renowned as an expert in Traditional Chinese Medicine after training extensively with highly recognized doctors in China.

Learn More

Dr. Jane Li

Dr. Jane Li

Specialties:

  • Pain conditions
  • OB/GYN care

Certification:

  • L.Ac., O.M.D.
  • Certified in China & USA for Acupuncture & Herbal Medicine

Years in practice: 25+

As a certified acupuncturist and medical herbalist, Dr. Li has been helping patients with a wide range of health problems for more than 25 years. She is fluent in Mandarin and English and runs her own L.A.-based clinic.

In addition, she works to integrate Chinese Medical practices with Western healthcare through her work with Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

Learn More

Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine

Center for Functional Medicine Providers

Source

Specialties: From health coaches and registered dietitians to practitioners with MDs, there are professionals in every specialty available for appointments through the Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine.

The Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine is an excellent resource for identifying licensed and experienced functional medicine practitioners. With various vetted professionals and a wide range of specialties addressed, this resource makes world-class care accessible to countless patients. Virtual visits are easy to schedule and allow for timely action toward your health goals.

Learn More

How Does Functional Medicine Work in Telehealth?

It’s easy to start healing with Qi Health. Whether you need support with menstrual issues, endometriosis, fatigue, or sleep problems, functional medicine doctors and herbal remedies are only a few clicks away.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Schedule an initial consultation with a world-class functional medicine doctor online.
  2. During the call, you’ll speak with your doctor about your overall health, any symptoms that have been bothering you, your lifestyle habits and eating patterns, and your family history. Your doctor will discuss any possible diagnosis with you during your appointment.
  3. Based on your consultation, the doctor will create a personalized herbal medicine prescription to address your concerns. They will also include care plan details like dietary guidance and lifestyle recommendations and will let you know how to track your symptoms on an ongoing basis.
  4. Receive 100% natural, laboratory-tested, custom herbal medicine blend directly from Qi Health right to your door.
  5. Every month, you’ll have a telehealth appointment with your doctor to go over symptom reduction, how you’re feeling with the herbs, lifestyle changes, and any questions you may have.

What to expect with Qi Health

More About Functional Medicine Doctors

For many, the world of functional medicine is brand new. Find answers to commonly asked questions about functional medicine.

How to find a functional medicine doctor

Researching functional medicine doctors online can be tricky, but once you know where to look, the process is much more manageable. The doctors at Qi Health are fully licensed and certified, and the Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine offers additional high-quality options for virtual functional medicine.

There are also additional directories like the Institute for Functional Medicine website. If none of the options there fit your needs, be sure your research includes board certification and licensing for the type of treatment you’re seeking.

What is an example of functional medicine?

An example of functional medicine might be that there’s a woman seeking care for fatigue and frequent headaches. If she goes to a standard doctor, they will likely prescribe medication to make it easier for her to cope with the headaches.

On the other hand, a functional medicine doctor will most likely dig deeper to identify the root cause of the headaches and fatigue. Through lab tests, symptom tracking, and further lifestyle details, a functional medicine doctor may be able to uncover triggers like food sensitivities, gut imbalances, or hormonal issues.

From there, lifestyle changes and herbal remedies can be used to find long-lasting healing without the side effects of pain medications.

Are functional medical doctors MDs?

Many functional medicine doctors do hold MDs or DO degrees, but it’s important to check the credentials of any professional you are considering working with. Functional medicine practitioners must also complete additional training specific to the functional medicine field in order to be certified.

What is the Institute for Functional Medicine?

The Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM) provides educational programs and certifications for functional medicine. IFM is a non-profit organization that conducts research and promotes patient-centered healthcare.

Are functional medical doctors covered by insurance?

Insurance coverage for functional medicine will differ based on the insurance plan. While some insurance plans might cover consultations, telehealth visits, and tests, others may require patients to pay out of pocket.

The best approach is to reach out to your insurance provider with information about the specific functional medicine practitioner and services you are hoping to schedule.

Access the Best Functional Medicine Doctor Online

As telehealth maintains its popularity, world-class healthcare has become more accessible than ever. Without worrying about a commute or leaving the comfort of your home, you can schedule functional medicine appointments with renowned doctors.

Healing is an ongoing and highly personal process. That’s why Qi Health facilitates monthly telehealth visits and in-depth conversations about all aspects of your health to create the best possible treatment plan for your needs.

Schedule your consultation today!