What is nutritional therapy?
Nutritional Therapy is the application of nutrition science in the promotion of health, peak performance and individual care. Nutritional therapy practitioners use a wide range of tools to assess and identify potential nutritional imbalances and understand how these may contribute to an individual’s symptoms and health concerns. This approach allows them to work with individuals to address nutritional balance and help support the body towards maintaining health. Nutritional therapy is recognised as a complementary medicine and is relevant for individuals with chronic conditions, as well as those looking for support to enhance their health and wellbeing.
Practitioners consider each individual to be unique and recommend personalized nutrition and lifestyle programmes rather than a ‘one size fits all’ approach. Practitioners never recommend nutritional therapy as a replacement for medical advice and always refer any client with ‘red flag’ signs or symptoms to their medical professional. They will also frequently work alongside a medical professional and will communicate with other healthcare professionals involved in the client’s care to explain any nutritional therapy programme that has been provided.
What can you expect in a nutritional therapy session?
Before the first consultation, you will be asked to complete and return a comprehensive health and nutrition questionnaire. An initial consultation typically lasts 60 to 90 minutes. You may be asked detailed questions about current health concerns, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment, medical history, family history, lifestyle, levels of physical activity, use of medication and supplements and diet. Specific functional tests may be recommended to help confirm the best strategy for health optimisation. Having taken this information into account, a personalised, safe and effective nutrition and lifestyle programme will then be provided, using the extensive evidence base for nutritional science.
Follow up consultations are generally after four to eight weeks in order to monitor progress and make any necessary adjustments. Further follow-ups may be required depending on each individual situation. Changing health through diet is not a quick fix and often requires a reassessment of regular eating habits and preferences, and committment to change.