Over the years I have studied and fine-tuned an effective approach to helping my clients to improve their health. This approach which is based on the principles of Functional Medicine, assesses the possible underlying causes of each person’s ill health, including nutritional and lifestyle factors. It is a very personal approach to helping my clients to resolve their health problems.
It is a science-based, “patient-centered” healthcare approach to assessing and treating health conditions.
My approach first and foremost involves assessing my clients’ diet.
It also involves considering biochemical imbalances such as stress levels (e.g work/home), vitamin and mineral deficiencies or excesses, the digestion and absorption of nutrients, the medications a person may be taking, possible food intolerances, imbalanced thyroid function, emotional issues, past and present trauma, structural integrity and their gut function. Genetic issues and long-term medication use may also need to be considered.
All these factors and more could have an effect on a person’s ill-health so need considering and exploring – as relevant to the individual and their personal needs. This approach helps to improve the health of the whole person, not just address the symptoms he or she is experiencing.
In Functional Nutrition, predisposing factors such as genetic and environmental issues and triggering events are all considered to help understand why a person’s health has gone wrong. Once the underlying issues are discovered, these can be address to help a person’s recovery from their health problems.
Functional Nutrition therefore addresses the causes, not the symptoms that a person is experiencing and respects the fact that the causes for each individual may be very different although the “diagnosis” may be the same.
Likewise the same causes – for example, high stress, gut problems, low thyroid function, poor sleep patterns and low Vitamin D status – may manifest as different health problems in different individuals.
It is therefore important to explore what has caused a person to become ill, so that these factors can be addressed to help him or her to recover their health. See the diagram below which I use with every client that comes to see me and is individualised according to their particular health issue. I work in partnership with each client I see and help them to understand why their health has gone wrong and how they can take control of improving their health with my help.
It is a science based approach, thus specific tests are often used to evaluate the underlying contributory factors. These can vary from one test, such as assessing the level of Vitamin D in the blood, to a range of tests including stool tests to assess imbalances in the gut, blood tests to assess levels of vitamins or minerals, saliva, blood or urine tests to assess hormone levels and blood tests to assess the impact of past or present viral infections.
Some tests can be requested via a client’s doctor and others have to be done through professional private laboratories.
As part of the therapeutic process, I may recommend if relevant, that a client consults other therapists, such as an osteopath/chiropractor, a psychotherapist/counsellor, a hypnotherapist, a personal trainer, does daily meditation, takes Pilates or yoga lessons or has Alexander Technique lessons.
As you can see, it is a highly personalised approach to address the root causes of illness and is always tailored to the individual’s health issues and needs.