WHAT IS NUTRITIONAL THERAPY ?
Nutritional Therapy is the fully evidence-based and scientific application of how food, nutrients and lifestyle can affect our well-being. Using an in-depth knowledge of biochemistry, Nutritional Therapists aim to recognise where certain external factors (lifestyle, food, environment) may be impacting detrimentally on our health and endeavour to correct these imbalances through healthy eating plans and, where necessary, supplementation.
Nutritional therapists manage each client as an individual, recognising that we are all biochemically unique and as such, must be approached with unique dietary and lifestyle recommendations. In this era of information overload it is easy to become confused about what we should, or should not, be eating. To add to the potential confusion, the “one-diet-fits-all” approach is misleading. What works for one person may well not work for the next and this individuality is the core philosophy of nutritional therapy.
Nutritional therapy can help with a wide range of health complaints, whether it is simply wanting to “feel one’s best” or to alleviate the symptoms of health concerns. Using a wide range of tools to assess and identify potential nutritional imbalances to understand how these may contribute to symptoms, this approach enables nutritional therapists to work with individuals to help support the body towards maintaining health. Nutritional therapy is a recognised complementary medicine and is relevant for individuals with conditions such as fatigue or low energy, digestive discomfort and IBS amongst others, as well as those looking for support to enhance their health and wellbeing.
Nutritional therapy should never be used as a replacement for conventional medical advice and, where authorised, therapists will always maintain communication with their clients’ medical professional.
Whilst not always necessary, testing using either UK or US labs can often help to pinpoint imbalances and target an individualised health plan. Re-testing is also of great importance during therapy to monitor the clients progress and if necessary, re-address the plan.
THE FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE MODEL
The functional model is a systems-oriented approach to healthcare, addressing the underlying causes of disease rather than concentrating on a set of isolated symptoms. Whereas conventional modern medicine sees the patient in terms of their presenting symptoms, the functional model aims to look at the client as a whole, taking into account their entire health history, from pre-conception to the current day.
In this way a meaningful relationship is built up between therapist and client and any mediators, antecedents and triggers are taken into consideration in assessing the underlying imbalances which may be occurring. In this way, the client can be supported in achieving optimal health.