An Overview of Holistic Nutrition
Holistic Nutrition is an alternative form of health care that addresses imbalances of the body using diet, nutritional supplements, herbs, and other natural therapeutics. Symptoms that relate to nutritional deficiency are addressed with specific foods intended to replace what is missing in the person’s diet. There are many signs of nutritional deficiency that show up when the diet is refined or overly processed. Supplements are used in addition to a diet that provides a rich supply of nutrients to correct those underlying deficiencies. Over time the body is restored to balance once deficiencies have been addressed.
The practice of Holistic Nutrition is currently unregulated in BC and in Canada. As such there are no regulatory bodies which governs the scope of practice. Practitioners are commonly educated in Diploma programs that provide an average of at least 1000 hours training. There are professional organizations that give credentials to Holistic Nutritionists, such as the International Organization of Nutritional Consultants of Canada, or the Canadian Association of Natural Nutrition Practitioners. These organizations are in place to ensure that practitioners using their designations meet a standard of education that represents excellence in the field. Credentials are also given by the individual schools that offer training.
What Does a Typical Consultation Look Like
The first appointment is mostly for intake and health history recording to establish a baseline of health. Practitioners will generally review lifestyle, symptoms, habits, and anything that could contribute to an understanding of how the body is function with a goal of wellness. Nutritional supplements can be used therapeutically to act in the right way to shift the biochemistry. In Holistic Nutrition, understanding the root cause of the symptom is more important than treating it. With the right diet and lifestyle a healthy balance is easier to achieve.
Followup appointment are for starting a program. Not everyone needs a program, and many Holistic Nutritionists will consult about health and in one appointment a new understanding can emerge. For clients that wants a program, a diet and supplement plan can be created based on their health intake and history. these programs may typically run from 4-8 weeks, and it is normal to meet again and reevaluate.
Prevention Over Treatment
It is said that an “ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. Ayurveda teaches that for every year of illness, it takes one month to recover with the correct way of life. Each person’s constitution in Iridology shows where organ function is weak, indicating possible treatment options. Since certain nutrients concentrate more in particular organs, tissues, and glands, specific foods can be eaten that will fortify those structures, as well as balance the systems that they are part of. Illness comes at a time when the body can no longer keep in balance with the resources that it has.
Practitioners will often use secondary assessments to determine where in the person’s body needs to be fortified. Constitutional strength gives our capacity to heal and happens in a context that includes stress factors, psychology, economic status, diet, emotional state, spiritual connection, and nature. The nutritionist tries to balance all these factors so that the conditions are favorable for healing. It ultimately is the person who makes changes happen.