What is Functional Nutrition?
Functional Nutrition looks at the foundational way that food affects your body on the cellular level just as Functional Medicine approaches the body from the perspective of treating the root cause of disease.
We all know that food is energy in the form of calories. However, food is much more than that, food is information – and there are millions of molecules of information in every bite of food that you eat. These molecules come into your body, affect how your cells behave and how you feel.
Food is connection with memories, emotions and social connectedness all being linked with what we eat. Food is medicine. The largest therapeutic toolbox available to the functional medicine physician is food.
Functional Nutrition invites us to dive deeper to determine the cause and address it from the root. It supports healing from a cellular level.
What do you do?
As Functional Nutrition practitioners we aim to address the imbalances in the body by restoring function through food, lifestyle and supplement interventions. We transform dysfunctioning bodily systems into optimal, functional health.
There is an education and a communication gap in the traditional healthcare system. The doctor knows and speaks in medical terms. The patient knows how she feels, what she’s going through, and where she’d rather be (her goals.) That’s her language. This gap creates misunderstandings, lack of empathy, and decreased compliance. The healing process stops.
As Functional Nutritionists we aim to fill that gap by speaking the language of both parties in the therapeutic relationship. The language of the doctor is one of physiology and biochemistry and the interrelationships between the body’s systems. The language of the patient is one of managing their symptoms, getting through every day and navigating lifestyle changes as they create new habits. When we speak both languages, each party has more success and the healing process flows smoothly.
Functional Nutrition is the answer to some of the problems in health and healthcare today. It’s a modality that works to not just support, but educate the patient in what’s going on in their body and how making uniquely targeted diet and lifestyle modification will shift the terrain and help them to meet their goals.
How does it work?
Functional Nutrition is about figuring out what specifically is moving too fast or too slow, what is out of order, and then restoring balance to those processes.
Your practitioner cannot heal you. The goal is always to work with someone who will listen, understands your symptoms, the language of your body, can look at your health history and find the story in there. It is your practitioner’s role to create a program that works for you, and that will move you up the slope of health. Your practitioner however, can’t do it on his or her own. You have to be the one doing the work.
We, as practitioners, are committed to working with our clients until we find the answers we’re looking for. And when our clients are committed to the journey, we see great results.
The functional nutrition journey starts with a detailed medical history and symptom assessment, interpretation of lab tests and specific scientifically-proven dietary, supplemental and herbal recommendations (“the protocol” to address the root cause). We take stock at regular intervals, checking if the root cause has been eliminated and adjusting the protocol as per the client’s preferences. It is a journey of discovery for both the practitioner and the client, as they try to discover a life-long solution that works for them.
Functional nutrition is not a one-size-fits-all discipline. We are all unique, with our own genetic make-up, health history, lifestyle and emotional profile – therefore, we each require a customized strategy to achieve and sustain optimal health.