Interview with Functional Medicine Practitioner Dr. Matta

Interview with Functional Medicine Practitioner Dr. Matta
Photo Credited to Dr. Stephen Matta

Interview with Regenerative and Functional Medicine Physician: Dr. Stephen Matta, DO offers an insightful look into the world of functional medicine Co-founder of Meeting Point Health with his wife in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Dr. Stephen Matta provides a unique perspective on the intersection of traditional and holistic healthcare practices. This interview series aims to highlight the nuances, challenges, and successes of functional medicine, offering valuable insights for both healthcare professionals and patients.

Question: Dr. Matta, could you start by explaining what functional medicine means to you?

Dr. Steve Matta: Absolutely. Functional medicine, to me, is about treating patients holistically rather than just addressing isolated symptoms. It’s an approach that looks at the body as an interconnected system and aims to identify and treat the underlying causes of disease. This method not only provides relief but also helps in preventing future health issues by focusing on the whole person – their lifestyle, environment, and genetic predispositions.

Question: What inspired you to shift towards functional medicine?

Dr. Matta: My journey into functional medicine started with my experiences in family and sports medicine. I realized that while conventional medicine is excellent for acute care, it often falls short in dealing with chronic conditions and preventable diseases. I wanted to provide care that’s more in-depth, personalized, and which empowers patients to take an active role in their health journey.

Question: Can you share some innovative treatments you offer at Meeting Point Health?

Dr. Matta: Certainly! We integrate a variety of treatments such as osteopathic manipulation, medical acupuncture, ozone therapy and IV nutrient therapy. We also use ultrasound-guided regenerative injections which are fantastic for orthopedic conditions. Each of these treatments are part of our integrative approach, aiming to support the body’s natural healing processes.

Question: What are some common misconceptions about functional medicine that you encounter?

Dr. Matta: One major misconception is that functional medicine is somehow opposed to conventional medicine. In reality, it complements it by filling in gaps, especially in chronic disease management. Another is the idea that it’s not evidence-based. In fact, functional medicine is deeply rooted in scientific research, but it also acknowledges the complexity and uniqueness of each individual’s health.

Question: How do you approach patient care at Meeting Point Health?

Dr. Matta: Our approach is very patient-centric. We take the time to understand each patient’s unique health history, lifestyle, and goals. This comprehensive understanding allows us to create personalized treatment plans that not only address immediate health concerns but also promote long-term wellness.

Question: Could you share a success story that illustrates the impact of functional medicine?

Dr. Matta: One of our patients had been suffering from chronic fatigue and digestive issues for many years. Traditional approaches hadn’t offered her much relief. Through a detailed analysis of her health history, lifestyle, and advanced testing, we identified several underlying issues including hypothyroidism, vitamin deficiencies, heavy metal toxicity and mold exposure that affected her immune response. We also did genetic testing to help her understand what lifestyle changes and interventions would support her over a lifetime. With a personalized treatment plan that included bioidentical hormone replacement, nutritional support, herbal therapy, and detoxification treatments, she experienced a remarkable improvement in her symptoms and overall quality of life. 

Question: Finally, what do you see for the future of functional medicine?

Dr. Matta: I believe the future is bright. There’s a growing recognition of the importance of a holistic approach to health, one that considers the entire individual. With advances in lab testing, technology and a growing body of research, functional medicine is poised to become an integral part of healthcare, offering more effective and personalized care for patients.

Question: Dr. Matta, how do you ensure that your approach stays updated with the latest in functional medicine?

Dr. Matta: It’s crucial to stay informed in this rapidly evolving field. I regularly attend seminars, participate in workshops, and engage with the latest research. Moreover, being a part of a network of functional medicine practitioners allows for an exchange of knowledge and experiences. This continual learning helps in refining our treatment approaches and staying at the forefront of innovative healthcare.

Question: Meeting Point Health takes an integrative approach to medicine. How do you balance this with traditional medical practices?

Dr. Matta: The key is in understanding that both traditional and integrative medicine have their strengths. For instance, conventional medicine is unparalleled in acute and emergency care. We balance this by incorporating integrative practices that focus on long-term health, prevention, and treating chronic conditions. It’s not about choosing one over the other but rather using the best of both worlds to benefit the patient.

Question: With such a comprehensive approach, how do you manage the challenge of working with insurance and healthcare systems?

Dr. Matta: This is indeed one of the challenges in functional medicine. We strive to make our treatments as accessible as possible, but sometimes patients face financial limitations. We help our patients navigate these challenges by providing detailed information and supporting documentation that can assist them in understanding, where it is possible, they can receive reimbursement from their insurance company for their investment.

Question: In your practice, how do you address the mental and emotional aspects of health?

Dr. Matta: Mental and emotional well-being is fundamental to overall health. We often start with advanced testing to understand where there is an imbalance of hormones, neurotransmitters, gut issues, inflammation, and micronutrient deficiencies. We also incorporate stress management techniques for vagus nerve retraining, mindfulness practices, herbal therapy, infusion therapy, and sometimes work alongside mental health professionals. We believe in treating the patient as a whole – mind, body, and spirit – and recognize that emotional health is a significant part of this equation.

Question: Can you talk about the role of nutrition and lifestyle in your treatment plans?

Dr. Matta: Nutrition and lifestyle are the foundations of functional medicine. We often start with a comprehensive dietary assessment and provide personalized nutritional counseling. Genetic testing can help us understand what foods will optimize that individual’s health most. Lifestyle factors like sleep, sunlight, movement, relationships and stress management are also integral to our treatment plans. We empower our patients with knowledge and tools to make sustainable changes in their lives.

Question: Lastly, what message do you have for someone considering functional medicine for their health concerns?

Dr. Matta: My message is one of hope and empowerment. If you’re dealing with chronic health issues, or if you’re looking for a more holistic approach to your health, functional medicine offers a path. It’s a journey that requires active participation and a willingness to make changes, but the rewards in terms of improved health and well-being can be extraordinary.


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