An introduction to Nutritional Therapy
Food’s influence on our health was recognised over two thousand years ago by Hippocrates who said, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food” and this is upheld by research, which is beginning to demonstrate the enormous potential that many nutrients have in the treatment of degenerative diseases, chronic conditions and even the common cold. Yet despite this, many people still choose food for its convenience rather than its health benefits.
This may be because in our time-starved and hectic world eating is something we tend to squeeze into our day rather than making time to enjoy it and unfortunately this attitude to food can negatively impact our health and lead to chronic disease. So, if we want good health and an ability to prevent disease manifesting in the first place, rather than trying to eradicate it once it’s here, then investing in our health with good nutrition may be an important step to take. But how can we make this step and what will it entail?
Seeking the help of a Nutritional Therapist may be a good place to start. Nutritional Therapy treats the whole person, and in order to determine how a condition has manifested, takes into consideration a person’s past and family history and any diet and lifestyle factors that may be having an influence on their health. It recognises and respects that everyone is different and works with people according to their own individual needs. And whilst it doesn’t claim to miraculously prevent or cure disease, it does acknowledge that having a good nutritional base may support good health.
However, ridding ourselves of our ailments isn’t quite as simple as just changing our diets. Conditions that affect digestive health may have manifested due to a whole myriad of factors such as stress, food sensitivities and gut flora imbalance, whilst underlying causes of weight gain may include having a blood sugar imbalance or slow metabolism, and it’s these things that Nutritional therapists will seek to recognise.
Beginning with the completion of a detailed questionnaire, diet summary, and review and analysis of the questionnaire, a Nutritional Therapist will present their findings and recommendations in a 60-minute consultation, where they will work with the client to put together an easy to follow action plan. A follow up will take place five to six weeks later where the client’s progress will be assessed and any residual symptoms dealt with.
Having a Nutritional Therapist there to guide you towards your healthy eating goals can be an enlightening experience. As well as helping you to avoid the pitfalls which befall so many as a result of the myriad of mixed messages about food from the media, internet and even friends and family, a Nutritional Therapist can provide you with the support you need to build good foundations for lifelong health and wellbeing.
Bio: Elizabeth Cooper is a Nutritional Therapist who runs several clinics, both privately and for a leading health charity, around Leeds and Harrogate. She is also co-author of a healthy lifestyle booklet for children and adolescents.