Nutritional therapy is a complementary and alternative approach to healthcare which aims to restore and support optimal health using food and its constituents to provide the body with everything it needs to function at its best.
Naturopathy is a science-based system which focuses on natural means to treat the root cause. It focuses on treating underlying causes rather than the symptoms and uses natural means such as diet, lifestyle, herbs, supplements, avoidance of chemicals, support for detoxification and reduction/relief of stress to restore health and wellness.
The naturopathic principles I base my practice around are as follows:
The healing power of nature and the body’s innate ability to heal itself
First do no harm
Identify the root cause
Educate the client and emphasise self-responsibility towards wellness and optimum health
Look at the whole person: mind, body and spirit
Prevention, education and self-responsibility, is better than cure
Although the key to this question is in the name, it is not clear to many what a role of a nutritional therapist is. We typically work with chronic diseases such as: type II diabetes; cardiovascular disease; autoimmune conditions such as hashimoto’s thyroiditis, rheumatoid arthritis; hormonal dysfunction such as PCOS, menopause, fertility and conception; digestive disorders; stress; skin conditions; weight loss and much more! A nutritional therapist looks to explore a range of problems or diagnoses the client may be suffering by understanding each key symptom, determining the systems of the body which are under stress, establishing the clients goals and providing holistic treatments that work to address the root cause of these symptoms in order to provide the client with strategies to achieve positive outcomes in order to achieve optimal health. Dietary intake is assessed and sometimes functional tests are used to identify specific issues; supplements may also be recommended. Nutritional therapy is an exceptionally influential tool in the management of chronic conditions and dietary modification can provide transformative results.
An initial consultation consists of a 75 minute appointment where a case history with a patient-centred approach is undertaken which includes current symptoms, family history and a review of each bodily system; food and lifestyle habits are also assessed in detail. I may use medical reports and functional testing (if available) to further enhance my understanding or give clues as to how your body is currently functioning.
After full assessment of your current health status and requirements I like to negotiate goals to enable you to achieve the positive health outcomes you are looking for but in a sustainable way. My goal is not to give an idealistic plan that is not achievable but to provide strategies that I expect to be efficacious and do-able for the individual sitting in front of me. Potential barriers are anticipated, assessed and discussed. A plan is then advised and a follow-up consultation arranged.
A follow-up consultation is for 30-45 minutes and is used to track progress and initiate any modifications required. New symptoms could become apparent in which case we work to address these in a revised plan (if necessary) in order to get you to where you need to be. Follow-up consultations are also used to analyse functional and/or blood test results (if they were requested).
Personally, I like to encourage my clients to become self-educated, with my support, in order to empower self-knowledge and consequentially provide independence for my clients to manage self-improvement and individual health goals in daily life going forward.