And why you should consider these when looking for a health practitioner.
If you have looked at my website or facebook posts you may have noticed that I talk about Functional Medicine and Integrative Health a bit, I'm a huge believer in both of these, and you may or may not have heard about them.
This type of healthcare is gaining huge traction in America and in some parts of Europe but did you know that in some way both of these have been around for thousands of years? Let me tell you a bit more about them and why you should consider these when looking for a good health care practitioner.
Have you ever been to visit your main health care practitioner and felt like you were in and out without finding out what was really going on with your body? Have you been to visit your practitioner on a number of occasions and still felt like you were only just scratching the surface?
Let me take you back in time, when it used to be that you would go to your Doctor and be there talking to them for at least 30 min and in some cases longer! When they would ask you a whole bunch of questions around your symptoms, take a look at your tongue, nails and eyes and try to work out what could be going with you to present with your symptoms.
This style of consultation still exists in what is currently regarded as “alternative” or “complementary” medicine such as Traditional Chinese Medicine or Ayurvedic Medicine. Questions around all of the body systems are asked not just on what you are presenting with. Digestion is usually covered off in great detail and questions around stress and family support are checked off too.
This is the core of Functional Medicine - identifying and addressing the root cause of disease and looking at the whole body with all of its systems, and not just a collection of independent organs. In this way Functional Medicine treats the whole system and not just the symptoms.
There are some amazing Functional Medicine Health Care Practitioners here in New Zealand and overseas and they are all about getting to the root cause of what is actually going on with your body. You may have heard Dr Mark Hyman, or Dr David Pearlmutter or even the amazing Dr Terry Wahls, there are many more but these guys are advocating for a better healthcare system where we look at the body as a whole, not just organs in isolation as a way of improving our immediate symptoms but also promoting healthy ageing along the way.
I myself have seen this in my clinic in Christchurch so many times. One great example is one of my earliest clients who came to see me for rosacea and arthritis. Our consultations were many, and we did carry out a Functional Test to find out what was driving her symptoms, working together we were able to get her skin looking great and and inflammation came right down allowing her to be more active and mobile.
Example of Functional Test: Dunwoody Food Allergen Report
So what is Integrative Health?
Where Functional Medicine looks at the body as a whole, Integrative Health is about using more than one treatment or health modality to treat the whole body.
A perfect example I have used in clinic many times is suggesting someone use acupuncture, a functional exercise personal trainer or physio etc to help them on their health journey. Yes I believe that nutrition is the foundation of good health, but it's by no means the only health modality that may help a person. It takes a team of caring practitioners to work together to help you on your journey.
The Cleveland Clinic in the States is the perfect example of a leading Functional Medicine Centre which also promotes in house Integrative Health. This clinic is regarded as one of the top health/hospital systems in the States and the world due to their wrap around holistic approach to health.
When you book in to see a specialist there you are seen not by just the specialist but also by a Nutritionist, a Health Coach, Nurse and any other health practitioner specific to your health needs. They are very much about preventative medicine something that I personally believe in. I hope that the future of healthcare in NZ looks like similar to this!
This quote sums up how I feel about Integrative Health.
We is the you, me, and any other practitioner such as GP, acupuncturist, physio, chiropractor etc
working together to help you with your health.
Just as the body systems do not work in isolation, neither should your "team" of health practitioners.
It is my goal to work with all other integrative health practitioners so we can achieve your health goals.
What is Nutri Viva?
And why I promote Functional Medicine and Integrative Health.
I sometimes get asked why an initial consultation with me is 90min, or why don't I just hand out a snazzy glossy food plan.
Well, it's because I believe that our bodies deserve better than a glossy food plan. I also believe that good healthcare needs to be better than a quick appointment.
Nutri Viva is Nutrition for Life and Living - that is nourishing our bodies for optimal living and for a long and healthy life. By the way - this does not happen in a 4-6 week food plan!
For me it is working out how to nourish you based on your specific metabolic and biochemical needs. Following up with you to work out what has and has not worked is a vital part of this - ensuring that you are hitting your goals week by week, month by month and in some cases year by year (yes I have had clients come back to me after a year of not seeing them asking me to help them out again for their new health goals).
Want to know more about how food and supplements can help you on your journey of health then flick me a message I will be more than happy to answer any questions you might have!
Take care everyone!
Clinical Nutritionist DipNut GradCert. HPN
Cleveland Clinic info: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/departments/wellness/executive-health
TCM as functional medicine: https://chriskresser.com/chinese-medicine-demystified-part-i-a-case-of-mistaken-identity/
Ayuverdic medicine as functional medicine: https://patriotdirectfm.com/2018/02/the-integration-of-ayurveda-and-functional-medicine/
Integrative Health coaching: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3833534/