Nutritional therapy uses food and supplements (vitamins and minerals) to encourage the body’s natural healing. Unlike dieticians, who follow medical guidelines to advise people how to meet government minimum recommendations, nutritional therapists take a more holistic approach to illness.
The aim of the nutritional therapist is to detoxify the body, correct vitamin and mineral deficiencies, restore healthy digestion and help the client develop a positive mental attitude.
Nutritional therapists believe that many health problems are caused or aggravated by nutritional deficiencies. Deficiencies are not always caused by poor diet, but may also be due to infections preventing effective absorption of nutrients in the body, allergies, or excess toxins in the body.
By combining the principles of naturopathy, environmental medicine and nutritional research, therapists look at what nutritional elements may be missing and then use special diets or nutritional supplements to correct defi- ciencies and promote detoxification in the body. Once any nutritional defi- ciencies are taken care of, symptoms usually disappear.
To begin with, clients will usually be asked a series of questions about their medical and family history, current symptoms, lifestyle and diet. The therapist may also suggest carrying out tests such as hair mineral analysis, hormone tests or food intolerance.
Based on the information gained, the practitioner will identify areas for further questioning to ascertain whether the client has allergies, deficiencies, or toxic overload. Having formulated a diagnosis about what may be causing the problem, the client is provided with a health programme, suggesting foods to eat, foods to eliminate and possibly some dietary supplements.
These suggestions are normally carried for out for around 2 weeks, after which the client attends a series of follow-up appointments (up to 12 sessions). At these follow-ups the therapist assesses the client’s changing symptoms and adjusts the programme accordingly.
Once the course is finished, the therapist will prescribe a maintenance programme for the client, which is designed to maintain the long-term health benefits of the treatment. Clients with chronic serious health problems may require longer treatment.
As with many other complementary treatments, nutritional therapy doesn’t just treat specific diseases but has wider repercussions on general health by boosting the immune system, enhancing energy levels and having a positive effect on mental attitudes.
Nutritional therapy is claimed to benefit long-term halth problems with less clearly-defined symptoms such as headaches, chronic fatigue syndrome and muscular aches and pains, in addition to asthma, eczema and allergies, arthritis, menstrual problems and irritable bowel syndrome.
Nutritional therapy has few negative side effects, as it is a non-invasive treatment.
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