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Nutritional Therapy

WHAT IS NUTRITIONAL THERAPY?

Nutritional therapy is a science-based field of healthcare that uses nutrition to support and manage a wide range of health concerns ranging from fatigue, weight management and stress through to diagnosed medical conditions. Nutritional therapy aims to improve health and well-being by encouraging the body’s natural ability to heal and regenerate. It addresses the underlying causes of a health issue, rather than just treating symptoms. Nutritional therapy can help you if you want to take positive action in managing your health through making better dietary and lifestyle choices.

Although you may be seeking support with a specific health issue, you may also experience other benefits; such as increased energy, clearer skin, improved mental clarity, better quality of sleep, better resistance to infection and disease, effortless weight loss and enhanced well-being.

RESEARCH / HISTORY

During the twentieth century, much was learnt about the role of food in maintaining health, and nutrient requirements to prevent deficiency diseases such as scurvy, pellagra and anaemia. In recent years it has become apparent that diet also plays a role in the development of many life-threatening conditions, especially cardiovascular disease, stroke and cancer. The quality of the food we eat and the convenience of processed foods has placed an incredible strain on our bodies. In the UK over 30% of the population are suffering from digestive dysfunction and over 60% of the adult population are overweight, which tends to lead to more serious health issues. Being significantly overweight increases the risk of heart disease, diabetes, fatty liver and gall bladder disease, osteoarthritis and certain types of cancer. It can also cause a whole host of other problems, including sleeping difficulties, back pain, mobility and joint problems.

It is now becoming increasingly acknowledged that ‘good health’ is more than just absence of disease and it requires both physical as well as mental well-being. Nutritional therapy is a holistic form of therapy taking into consideration both the emotional and the physical state, aiming to bring each client into the state of perfect balance.

WHAT MAY NUTRITIONAL THERAPY HELP ME WITH?

Weight management issues
Food allergies/intolerances
Water retention
Frequent infections
Poor wound healing
Unpleasant digestive symptoms (indigestion, nausea, stomach pain / cramps, heartburn, bloating, gas, diarrhoea, constipation, etc.)
Digestive conditions (ulcers, IBS, gastritis, colitis, diverticulitis, candida albicans, parasites, Crohn’s disease, dysbiosis etc.)
Lack of energy
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Anxiety/depression
Headache/migraines
Blood sugar imbalances
Under/overactive thyroid
Female/male health problems
Skin conditions (dryness, eczema, psoriasis, rosacea, acne, etc.)
Asthma
Arthritis/gout
High blood pressure/high cholesterol
Pre- and post-natal nutrition
Cognitive decline
Dementia

HOW DOES IT WORK?

Before you attend your initial session you will be asked to fill in a questionnaire that will provide a detailed history covering all aspects of your physical, psychological and emotional health, including: current health issues, medical, dietary and family history, stress factors, lifestyle habits, digestive and immune health, menstrual problems, sleeping patterns, emotional difficulties, energy and physical activity levels. The details of your current state of health will be then discussed during the initial session. This is a very important stage of the process that ensures that all the relevant information that allows you to successfully achieve your health / life goals is obtained. This is followed by a discussion / explanation how your current symptoms relate to your psychological and emotional health, food and lifestyle choices, and personal circumstances. This is not a medical diagnosis but it provides clarification in what areas you need support. Specific objectives and a mutually-agreed course of action are then formulated. The information gathered during this session allows your therapist to design a personalised programme addressing your current health problems and outlining what you need to do in order to achieve your therapy goals, taking into account any time and financial limitations you may have.

A typical plan will include dietary and lifestyle recommendations, and possibly nutritional supplements, where appropriate. It is sometimes necessary to investigate further to pinpoint where issues lie, and your therapist may recommend non-invasive laboratory testing such as stool, saliva, urine or blood tests in order to identify biochemical imbalances.

HOW WILL I FEEL AFTER A THERAPY SESSION?

After your first session, you will feel empowered, positive and motivated to make the necessary nutritional and lifestyle adjustments that will enable you to reach your therapy goals. You will gain clarification what specific steps you need to take in order to achieve those goals. Your progress will depend on your commitment and how closely you follow your therapy programme.

WHAT DO I DO AFTER A THERAPY SESSION?

Once your therapy objectives have been formulated, you will be given specific recommendations that you should follow. You may be required to fill in a food diary and if a particular condition requires further investigation then appropriate biochemical tests may also be advised.

HOW MANY TREATMENTS DO I NEED?

The number and content of sessions is very individual and depends on the complexity and severity of the presenting issue. Some problems / conditions may be resolved within a couple of sessions while some others may require further sessions. The action plan, which clarifies how many appointments you need to achieve your therapy goals is agreed during your initial session. Many clients choose to return for regular “maintenance” health checks to ensure their health /weight remains optimal.

Alexis Prior