Functional Medicine

A New Way to Heal

Our Functional Medicine program takes the approach that every person is unique, both genetically and biochemically, and therefore one medicine or treatment does not fit all. Harnessing the natural healing mechanisms of the body, Functional Medicine aims to treat the whole individual rather than just the disease or set of symptoms. Our Functional Medicine practitioner, Lisa Barr MD, works with patients to address the underlying cause of disease in order to promote optimum well-being from the ‘outside in’ as well as from the ‘inside out.’

The arena of Functional Medicine is becoming an increasingly effective and popular wellness solution for patients who are dealing with a chronic disease, as well as for those who have a propensity to develop certain diseases due to family history. It is also a very effective way to learn how to age gracefully.

treat the root cause

As a catalyst in the transformation of healthcare, functional medicine treats root causes of disease and restores healthy function through a personalized patient experience.

By shifting the traditional disease-centered focus of medical practice to a more patient-centered approach, functional medicine addresses the whole person, not just an isolated set of symptoms. Functional Medicine practitioners spend time with their patients, listening to their histories and looking at the interactions among genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors that can influence long-term health and complex, chronic disease. In this way, Functional Medicine supports the unique expression of health and vitality for each individual.

Functional Medicine involves understanding the origins, prevention, and treatment of complex, chronic disease. Hallmarks of a Functional Medicine approach include:


Functional Medicine emphasizes patient-centered care, emphasizing the importance of overall health and well-being rather than solely focusing on the absence of illness. Through actively listening and understanding the patient’s personal story, the healthcare provider engages the patient in the treatment process and customizes interventions to meet the specific needs of the individual.


Functional Medicine practitioners take a holistic approach by investigating the numerous interconnected factors in a patient’s history, physiology, and lifestyle that may contribute to their illness. They also take into account the individual’s specific genetic composition, as well as the internal (such as mental, physical, and spiritual) and external (such as physical and social surroundings) influences that impact overall well-being.


Functional Medicine combines conventional Western medicine with what is occasionally viewed as “alternative” or “integrative” medicine. This approach emphasizes prevention through nutrition, diet, and exercise, as well as the use of advanced laboratory testing and other diagnostic methods. Additionally, it may involve the use of prescribed medications and/or herbal remedies, supplements, therapeutic diets, detoxification programs, or stress-management techniques.

  • Our society is experiencing a sharp increase in the number of people who suffer from complex, chronic diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer, mental illness, and autoimmune disorders like rheumatoid arthritis.
  • The system of medicine practiced by most physicians is oriented toward acute care, the diagnosis and treatment of trauma or illness that is of short duration and in need of urgent care, such as appendicitis or a broken leg.
  • Unfortunately, the acute-care approach to medicine lacks the proper methodology and tools for preventing and treating complex, chronic disease.
  • There’s a huge gap between research and the way doctors practice. The gap between emerging research in basic sciences and integration into medical practice is enormous—as long as 50 years—particularly in the area of complex, chronic illness.
  • Most physicians are not adequately trained to assess the underlying causes of complex, chronic disease and to apply strategies such as nutrition, diet, and exercise to both treat and prevent these illnesses in their patients.

A comprehensive approach to health and well-being

  • From chronic illness to disease prevention, functional medicine systematically addresses the unique physical, mental, and emotional needs of all patients.
  • Practitioners bring together a wide complement of modern scientific tools, including a deep understanding of biology, physiology, genetics, social and environmental determinants of health, and the vital connection between mental and physical well-being.
  • By understanding each patient’s genetic, environmental, and lifestyle influences, functional medicine delivers transformative care to promote optimal health and well-being.

A collaborative practitioner-patient relationship

  • Functional medicine fosters a collaborative practitioner-patient relationship that empowers
    patients to take control of their health.
  • Practitioners are trained to ask thorough questions and listen to their patients to better
    understand the full context of their lives and uncover the root causes of their symptoms.
  • Patients and practitioners work together to develop a personalized approach to care, prioritizing
    lifestyle changes and individualized interventions.

A personalized treatment plan focused on root causes

  • As a patient-centered practice, functional medicine provides the framework to identify and treat
    the root causes of disease, not just the symptoms.
  • Functional medicine asks how and why illness occurs and strives to restore optimal health by
    addressing the specific underlying dysfunctions.
  • It is this combination of focusing on individual patients and applying a comprehensive treatment
    path that delivers transformational results.
The Institute for Functional Medicine

Treatment Areas

Here is an abbreviated list of chronic health concerns our Functional Medicine practitioners treat:

  • Acne
  • Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia
  • Arthritis
  • Asthma
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder, ADD, ADHD
  • Autoimmune Diseases
  • Cancer Prevention
  • Chronic Fatigue
  • Chronic Sinusitis
  • Depression and Anxiety
  • Detoxification and Healing
  • Diabetes
  • Digestive Disorders (IBD, IBS, GERD/Reflux)

  • Eczema/Psoriasis
  • Elevated Cholesterol
  • Environmental and Food Allergies
  • Fatigue
  • Female Disorders (PMS, Menopause, Infertility, PCOS)
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Healthy Aging
  • Healthy Weight and Metabolism
  • Heart Health
  • Hormone Balance
  • Interstitial Cystitis
  • Low Testosterone

  • Mercury and Heavy Metal Toxicity
  • Metabolic Syndrome, Pre-Diabetes, Insulin Resistance
  • Migraines and Headaches
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Obesity
  • Osteoporosis
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Restless Leg Syndrome
  • Sleep/Insomnia
  • Thyroid and Adrenal Disorders
  • Tick-Borne Illness (i.e. Lyme)

Invest in Your Most Valuable Asset—Your Health

Come to our clinic located within Barr Center for Innovative Pain & Regenerative Therapies in Virginia Beach, VA for comprehensive, functional wellness solutions. Our very own Lisa Barr MD, provides functional medicine consultations to create an individualized treatment plan that addresses the root causes of your health concerns.

  • During a functional medicine consultation, you’ll be asked detailed questions about your medical history, diet, exercise habits, stress levels, sleep patterns, and other factors. We may order laboratory tests or other diagnostic tests to gain a more complete understanding of your current health status.

  • Based on the information gathered, we will create a personalized treatment plan that may include dietary and lifestyle changes, supplements, medications, and other therapies. The goal of functional medicine is to holistically optimize your health and well-being!

Patients may discover that even small changes can lead to significant improvements in their well-being. For some, a more thorough investigation is required. Whether it is due to stress, exposure to environmental pollutants and toxins, dietary modifications, or the addition of supplements, our team offers a holistic approach to achieve the best possible state of health.

a holistic approach