FAQ

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What happens in the optimisation kickstart session?

Your 60-minute appointment with a functional medicine practitioner will include an assessment of your baseline health, discussion around your optimisation goals, and creation of a personalised health strategy.

Your health strategy will develop over time as you work with us and as test data comes back. The strategy consists of:

  • lifestyle recommendations (eat, move, sleep, stress)

  • health optimisation protocols

  • biohacking devices

  • supplementation regime

  • longevity therapeutics

  • testing plan

 

What kind of supplements and therapeutics can I get access to?

We have a range of practitioner-only supplements known to impact cellular ageing and longevity pathways such as NR, Berberine, NAC, urolithin A and resveratrol as well as nootropics such as Gingko, Bacopa and phosphatidyl nutrients like choline.

We can also help you access medical practitioners who are authorised to prescribe peptides.

Why choose Melbourne Functional Medicine as my health optimisation partner?

We are for people wanting a clinical partner in their health optimisation and biohacking journey.

Our award-winning functional medicine clinic (our most recent award was for Most Innovative Functional Medicine Clinic 2024, from APAC Insider) has an unrelenting dedication to empowering our patients to their best health. We’ve been leading the way in healthcare since 2017, providing innovative, world-class care to Australians and people all over the world who want to feel their best and improve their healthspan.

In working with us, you get access to advanced labs in Australia and all over the world, and our team of functional medicine practitioners and health coaches can provide you unparalleled health insights and offer continuous support to optimise your health and improve your health outcomes now and in the future. Our practitioners will craft a personalised health strategy tailored to your goals, while our health coaches are available to guide and support you in effectively implementing your strategy to achieve optimal results.

What is functional medicine?

Functional medicine is a revolutionary healthcare approach that focuses on optimising health through the most up-to–date science backed insights that largely address dietary, lifestyle and environmental factors that compromise health. It looks at the body as a complex, inter-related biological system rather than separate parts.

What is biohacking?

Biohacking is about taking control of your biology and optimising it to achieve peak performance. Many biohackers seek to improve healthspan and longevity, in addition to athletic performance too. There are many biohacking techniques, from nutritional biohacking strategies like peptides, nootropics, fasting and ketogenic diets to more lifestyle driven or experiential strategies like meditation, HIIT, cryotherapy, red light therapy and sleep optimisation. Wearable devices such as the Oura ring, WHOOP or CGMs are often employed to give real-time data on how a person’s lifestyle and diet impact key biomarkers.

In today's health landscape, biohacking has emerged as a prominent buzzword and trend not only in Australia but also globally. However, many people are jumping onto biohacking protocols without truly grasping their impact or discerning their relevance to their unique needs. The evidence based data offered in our health optimisation service gives you the power to focus on and measure what matters most to your health to unlock your full potential. With data-driven insights and expert support from our biohacking clinic team, skip the self-experimentation and get the information you need to fine-tune your biohacking protocol with strategies that bring you a high return on your investment.

Read more about health optimisation here.

What value does having a functional medicine practitioner bring to my approach to health optimisation?

Functional medicine has established a longstanding practice of over three decades, rooted in a comprehensive understanding of how modifiable lifestyle factors, including environment, diet, activity patterns, psycho-social-spiritual factors, and stress management actively contribute to strengthening your body’s resistance to chronic diseases and fostering optimal health. Hence the functional medicine way is the ultimate starting point to biohack your body to optimum health.

A functional medicine practitioner also has access to testing beyond what you are usually offered by your general practitioner.

Because of this, we can match the world’s most powerful diagnostic offerings to your health goals, offering you access to the most advanced ways to understand the inner workings of your body.

I think I need more than insights and a health strategy. Do you offer a way for me to stay accountable to lifestyle change?

Yes. We have a team of HCANZA-accredited health coaches who are highly experienced in supporting our patients to successfully integrate and sustain lifestyle and habit change for health outcomes. This service can be booked either per appointment or as part of an ultra-supportive 3-month coaching package.

Why would I choose this service over your 6 month healthcare program?

Our 6 month healthcare program is designed to treat people with chronic health conditions to get their foundational levels of health back on track. Only when health is on track is it best to start moving into optimisation.

This service is ideal for individuals who feel healthy, and want the data, guidance and protocols to take their health to the next level.

Is this health optimisation service right for me?

If you feel healthy yet want peace of mind or a detailed understanding of your current functional health status, this service is for you.

Through our complimentary discovery call or the kickstart session, you'll gain a clear understanding of how well our service aligns with your needs. In the event that it becomes apparent during the assessment that this particular service may not be the best fit for you, there is no obligation to proceed further. Instead, your practitioner may recommend an alternative option that can better support you on your health journey.

Do you work with people outside of Australia, and if so, how?

Yes, we work with optimisation seekers across the globe and Australia via telehealth. Please note that not all labs are available in every country. If you would like to discuss your suitability before booking, please schedule a free discovery call here.

What advanced tests do you offer?

We access the world’s leading laboratories to perform your functional testing. Some of the tests on offer include:

  • Comprehensive health status array: 230+ biomarkers that assesses your body's state of play for vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, and amino acids, as well as heavy metals, cardiovascular health, thyroid and sex hormone function, energy production, neurotransmitter metabolism, detoxification, antioxidant status, bacterial and fungal dysbiosis, fasting insulin, plus your full LDL breakdown plus apolipoprotein A-1 and B ratios (ApoA-1) and (ApoB) to assess metabolic health

  • KBMO Food Inflammation Test 132: Chronic inflammation caused by food reactions can halt health in its tracks. This profile allows you to discover whether your body is creating an inflammatory (IgG + C3d) response to 132 common foods

  • MyDNA genetic profile: Get clear on your disease risk factors and your body’s baseline blueprint. This reports on 92 genes and 113 SNP's across digestion, energy, hormones, stress & cognitive performance, inflammation, athletic performance, MTHFR, ApoE variants, DNA protection & repair, and detoxification

  • ‍TruAge epigenetics profile: The epigenetic expression of your genes is the most impactful predictor of long-term health. The TruAge test from TruDiagnostic can determine how old your body is on the inside. It does this by looking at certain patterns in your DNA that are influenced by factors like your genes, lifestyle, diet, and environment. By analysing these patterns, the test can predict your biological age, which may be different from your actual age. This information helps us understand how our choices and the world around us can affect how our body ages, as well as how fast you age, and our overall health. It’s like having a blueprint of our body that shows how different factors can impact how we grow and develop. This exciting field of study is called epigenetics, which is helping people make better choices for a healthier life

There are many other tests our clinic can access to understand how other pathways or systems in the body are functioning. These include comprehensive tests to explore digestive health, toxin exposure, hormone metabolism, parasites, and more.

We may also recommend blood chemistry from your GP for more basic tests too. For the more in-depth comprehensive tests, we use the world’s leading labs:

Precision Analytical

TruDiagnostic

Genova Diagnostics

KBMO

NutriPath

Metametrix

Mosaic Diagnostics

Many of these labs are overseas, so test results can take up to six weeks to come back.

After your initial kickstart session, you’ll be clear on which additional tests might match your goals, and the pricing of each. Have some of these tests already? We’ll be happy to interpret them.

Do you offer methylation testing?

Yes. When working with us to optimise your health, you can test your methylation ability through DNA testing to determine your MTHFR gene SNPs - and other methylation SNPs - and therefore how efficiently your body is able to methylate.

We also typically recommend testing your vitamin B markers so we can see what is playing out in practice, after which we’ll determine a personalised plan to manage any areas you need to address. Read more about methylation here.

What kind of DNA testing do you offer?

The DNA test we offer is a practitioner only, comprehensive nutrigenetics profile via myDNA. The myDNA Comprehensive test looks at 92 genes providing information about how your body is designed to manage digestion, energy, methylation, hormones, stress, cognitive performance, inflammation, longevity, detoxification, DNA protection and repair, as well as athletic performance.

Do you offer biological age and epigenetic testing?

Yes. We offer biological age testing, as a part of epigenetic testing, which is influenced by your lifestyle and environment. Your health strategy will have the ultimate aim of reducing your pace of ageing and will therefore include targeted lifestyle interventions designed to lower your pace of ageing. We also offer telomere length, and pace of biological ageing testing via CpG methylation.

What happens in a test interpretation session?

All the test reports and biomarkers will have been reviewed in advance by your functional medicine practitioner, so your interpretation session will be time dedicated to take you through the learnings, educate you on the inner workings of these core bodily systems as well as the opportunities you have to move your epigenetics in the direction of health.

You’ll walk away with more insight and clarity about your body than you may have ever been exposed to before.

If you have any functional testing or standard pathology reports or screens performed within the last 12 months, you are welcome to send these to us in advance of your appointment in order for them to be considered in your interpretation.

When and where will I do these tests?

Once you have chosen the tests you wish to perform, we will arrange for our laboratory partners to post test kits to your home.

We will provide all the information you need to successfully complete your testing.

Some tests can be done in the comfort of your home, some will need to be taken into a pathology collection centre for a blood draw.

How long do test results take to come back?

Results are usually back within six weeks. This is because a selection of the labs we use for these cutting edge tests are located outside of Australia.

Why choose your tests over other health assessments?

There are many health assessment and screening services available on the market. What’s right for you will depend on your goals.

‍Some services offer disease detection and medical imaging using CT and MRI scans, usually focusing on people who have the goal of understanding their immediate cancer and cardio and cerebrovascular disease risk. This suits individuals who want to know if right now there is anything of concern progressing in their body.

Many services will include a more comprehensive lab analysis and blood profile than you may usually obtain with your GP. Yet some services may not be using the most up to date biomarkers of health (what is currently being expressed in the body) and many tests will not include functional analytes (offering clues as to why that might be).

An example is relying on HbA1c for metabolic health. Whilst many medical providers will offer this biomarker, and it can certainly be helpful, we at Melbourne Functional Medicine prefer to use several biomarkers such as glucose and fasting insulin as a far more accurate identifier of metabolic health than HbA1c levels.

Our service is for individuals who are seeking to actively pursue lifestyle changes to enhance or biohack their biology, yet first wish to understand their current biomarker and functional biomarker baseline to understand the areas to focus on. These individuals may also wish to more thoroughly understand which biohacking protocols may best match your health optimisation goals.

Why aren't the tests covered by Medicare? And why can't my doctor order these tests?

Unfortunately, Medicare coverage is limited to conventional medical tests, which often fail to provide a thorough understanding of your health, and use outdated markers that have been surpassed by more advanced markers supported by emerging research.

We use the most comprehensive, validated lab tests from labs that are privately billed. Most GPs are not familiar with these tests unless they are functionally trained.

What are the costs of your optimisation services?

  • Kickstart (Initial) appointment with functional medicine practitioner, 60 mins $348

  • Follow-up appointment with functional medicine practitioner, 45 mins $298

Please note that the number of appointments required for test interpretations is dependent on how many tests you’ve taken and how in depth a discussion is required. Your practitioner will let you know the likely number of sessions required for interpretation at the time of ordering your tests.

Rates for other appointment types or services are:

 

  • Health coaching appointment, 30 mins $98

  • Health coaching 3-month package, (weekly or fortnightly calls), $980

  • Fees for lab testing, supplements and therapeutics will be provided upon creation of your health plan. All are purely options for you, with no obligation.

Do you offer payment plans?

No. Payment plans are not available for optimisation services.

Can I get any health rebates from my insurance provider?

Unfortunately, as of April 1, 2019, most private health insurers won’t offer rebates for our services. Some patients have successfully accessed rebates from their corporate employer under policies relating to preventative health endeavours. These policies will differ employer to employer.

What are the clinic hours?

Our clinic hours are:

9:00am – 5:00pm Monday to Thursday

However, you can reach us outside of those hours via phone or email.

Where is your clinic located?

Our clinic is located at 186 Buckhurst Street, South Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia. We serve people from Melbourne, across Australia and the globe either in person or via telehealth.

If you’re outside of Australia, please enquire with us to see if the tests we offer are accessible in your location.

Does your clinic offer Medicine 3.0?

Yes. Medicine 3.0 is a term that's been written about and popularised by longevity doctor Peter Attia, MD.

Medicine 2.0 as Attia describes, is allopathic medicine as it is offered today which is evidence based, is designed to diagnose and manage disease and acute illness. Medicine 3.0 is evidence informed, activates early preventative measures and is highly personalised. The principles of Medicine 3.0 and  functional medicine overlap.

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