Global Movement of Functionalism

Despite years of effort in Evidence-Based Medicine, it is almost impossible to find THE solution for a problem. If you go to a doctor to find a remedy for a problem, you will get a treatment plan. However, if you go to another specialist, you will likely get another opinion, maybe a very different one. And if you go further, this situation can become even more confusing and disheartening. There are many different approaches to the same problem.

Where is the truth? Which is THE BEST treatment for the problem? Why haven’t we been able to find any best practice in medicine over the many decades of research and effort? Because through years of medical specialization we have lost the ability to look at the human body, the person as a whole. We were taught that the human body can be separated into constituent parts, and that each and every body part has its own rules and principles. But in the end, every specialty must come to the revelation that chronic problems all have multifactorial origin.

We must come to recognize that there are so many variables that one specialty is unable to handle them all, which makes it “mission impossible” to find evidence-based best practices within a single medical specialty.

Thankfully, the pendulum has now started to swing back. We specialists have to rethink what multifactorial origin means. We have to go back to the whole system, and we have to integrate our work into an interdisciplinary team.

However, working in an interdisciplinary team is not easy. There are many challenges, including communication and developing new standards in how to work together. IFUNA is dedicated to catalyzing this process. We need to develop the necessary skills so that we can see the big picture. We need to agree upon what “health” is and how we as specialists can contribute to it. Ultimately, we need to gain new skills so that we can integrate each and every specialty into this teamwork.

This is exactly what IFUNA intends to do.

We don’t want to decide which technique is superior—rather, we want to establish a system in which we start communicating across a single standardized platform. This will empower us to diagnose and document our cases with uniformity and consistency, allowing us to compare different techniques and verify results. In time, we will be able to provide best practices. This will not be an easy process, but we have to start somewhere.

The first protocol is going to be arbitrary, but as we use these practices in more and more offices, we will be able to get more feedback upon which we will fine-tune the method. We can call it a multi-center study, or simply a community-based social proof. We are convinced that there is no alternative. It is time for a paradigm shift. We have to act. Please join this movement, implement the protocol in your practice, and give us feedback. Together we will develop new standards. We call this movement the Functional Pledge. Please join now and sign the pledge.

IFUNA is committed to introducing standards in craniofacial functional medicine. We invite every practitioner who is participating, or willing to participate, in an interdisciplinary craniofacial team to join the movement. We will start this work in 2019 with a step-by-step procedure, and we hope to introduce the new standards at the IFUNA conference in Portugal (26-28, September, 2019)

  1. We need to form a consensus on the common language that we will use worldwide. This includes a new terminology that we all agree on. We also need to agree on the global objective of our teamwork. Signing the Functional Pledge will confirm this process.
  2. Once we have established this foundation, we can start developing the standards in diagnostics and documentation.
  3. Only after these steps will we be able to discuss team protocols. This is going to be hard work. How many specialties do we need? What is the objective of each specialty? What kind of substitutes can we provide for those who have no access to particular specialties?
  4. The final step will be research to determine which technique is better at achieving the treatment objective.

Please join this movement, help us improve patient care, and participate in the first multi-center study group in craniofacial functional medicine.