Finding Your Root Cause

Find your Root Cause Living Matrix / My Timeline / Functional Medicine Questionnaire

Ever feel like efforts to manage your illness are a bit like putting a band-aid on a battleship? That you’re just masking the symptoms and not getting to the bottom of things? I think we’ve all been there at one point or another, and that’s why I want to share this with you today.

While it’s amazing to receive an actual diagnosis and know what you’re dealing with – that’s just the beginning! Finding the root cause of your disease(s) is imperative if you’re ever truly going to achieve healing.

After watching the docuseries “Betrayal – The Autoimmune Disease Solution They’re Not Telling You” (CLICK to watch for FREE), Dr. Tom O’Bryan generously shared a FREE online resource that sadly has been discontinued.

Since the online tool disappeared, I’ve been searching feverishly to find something equivalent to share with you, because it was a HUGE help to me on my healing journey.

Fortunately, I’ve managed to cobble together some information that will help you gather important information you can share with your Functional Medicine Practitioner. Trust me … they’ll be very impressed that you’ve taken the time to put the effort into this. 

The process will help you to understand where your health issues started, and in turn you’ll help your health-care team to start finding solutions faster!

When I say “effort,” I really do mean it, you’ll need to dig deep and gather every stitch of information you can – I could save you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars and shave months or years off of your quest for better health!


While the Living Matrix program no longer exists, Functional Medicine Practitioners still use the same process of establishing your health timeline, so keep reading, it’s a powerful process!

The original program presented questions about various life events, health issues, family history and more. PLUS you were able to add your own life events that you feel may have bearing like stressful events, antibiotic use, food poisoning episodes or major flu that may have emptied your gut of all the good bacteria.

MyTimelineTM was a powerful tool that enabled you to easily document the unfolding phenomena that lead to ill health – a process that often occurs over many years, perhaps even a lifetime. It gave you and your practitioner the “Big Picture” so you could take the necessary steps to build back your health.

What is the importance of MyTimelineTM?

Illness and disease do not appear overnight. They develop over time. Yet our healthcare system is not set up to accommodate this obvious fact. We pool together a pattern of symptoms, put a name on it, and call it a disease. Then, a one-size fits-all protocol is applied. When you come in with breathing problems and get a diagnosis of asthma, you get a prescription for an inhaler to help you breathe better. But what about the answers to questions “Why did I develop asthma?” or “What do I do to reduce my need for the medication?” It is the equivalent of focusing on and treating the exhaust pipe when your car begins spewing black smoke. Of course we want to feel better and need our symptoms addressed. But the bigger picture – the accumulation of all the small events that have occurred – facilitates the understanding of where the disease has come from.

Documenting the actions, events, and environmental influences that have occurred in your life allows for the construction of meaning and a “Big Picture” view of how your body got to where it is today. This opens up a conversation between you and your practitioner. MyTimelineTM helps you and your practitioner work together, evaluate holistically, look for patterns, and find correlations/triggers/mediators. Each of us has a unique history that accumulates over time and holds the clues that can contribute significantly to creating a personalized plan to get you back to the health you want.

Create Your Own Timeline!

In the original Living Matrix program plotted everything for you – it was amazing! It’s terribly unfortunate that it’s not available, but there’s no point crying over spilled coconut milk, so we’re going to kick it up old school and keep going!

Overall, it was designed to help you think not only about your symptoms and issues – but just as importantly – when they may have occurred. It asked about key events in your life so that you could begin to recognize the patterns and see the “Big Picture” of the relationships between life events, symptoms, and diagnoses. 

Since the process is rather in-depth, I’ve created a separate post so things don’t get messy or confusing here. Follow this link to create your own timeline, but keep reading to learn what to do with that information once you have it compiled.

What’s Next?

If you’re not finding your traditional doc to be of much help on your journey of discovery and healing, I wouldn’t say I’m surprised. Traditional medicine is really “sick care,” not “health care” and their training involves very little actual instruction about the holistic care of the human body – they assess, diagnose and prescribe – yes, the old band-aid on a battleship approach, sadly.

So, what’s next then? Well, if you watch the docuseries/talks that I mentioned above, you’ll no doubt be interested to learn more about Functional Medicine and their approach to treatment.  One phrase that sticks with me that I read about Functional Medicine is this, “Find the cause, fix the cause, feel normal again.”

What is Functional Medicine?

It’s a combination of holistic care and conventional medicine – to me a perfect collaboration! My Functional Medicine Doctor includes conventional medical testing with her practice but takes the time to search for the root of the problem so we can fix that – not just put a band-aid on the symptoms.

The Institute for For Functional Medicine
 describes it this way:

ifmlogoFunctional Medicine addresses the underlying causes of disease, using a systems-oriented approach and engaging both patient and practitioner in a therapeutic partnership. It is an evolution in the practice of medicine that better addresses the healthcare needs of the 21st century. 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.
– See more at: https://www.functionalmedicine.org/

So – if you or a loved one is dealing with a chronic illness and you’re struggling to find answers, I’d highly recommend seeking out a Functional Medicine Practitioner (click here to find one).

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