So where does Functional Medicine end and Nutrition begin? The answer will further highlight the flow in which this program is designed.
Health and Vitality are rarely enhanced when bouncing around from practitioner-to-practitioner, method-to-method, diet-to-diet, gimmick-to-gimmick. Even though I have developed skills in bodywork, movement therapy, nutrition and functional medicine and can provide these to clients all under one roof, I could still fall into the trap of providing a very haphazard and random approach of when I used each one, for how long, in which order etc.
Hence, the reason why, on this program, you will receive and experience a patient-centered approach that applies the best steps for the actual needs of the individual in a cohesive fashion. The assessments, diagnostics and feedback from the body will dictate what action is put in place – not the arbitrary therapy that happens to be in front of you at the time! This results in less hit-n-miss and crossing of fingers and more clarity and confidence in your path forward.
Therefore, Nutrition is not separate to FM, it is part of it. The insightful diagnostics about your function (e.g. digestion, immune, hormonal, detoxification) will inform us of which nutrition steps to take (and also what not to do). Your time and effort are valuable commodities so let’s not waste it on things that are not deemed a priority by your body.
Right here, I don’t think anyone will really benefit from me listing off and essay-writing all the benefits of eating fresh, organic, whole, real foods! There’s a time and place for that and it’s safe to say that healthy nutrition forms a foundational step of building optimal health. So much so that if you are reading this and you currently have health challenges that you want to resolve, that I can guarantee that within 5 seconds of reading your food diary I will be able to identify a potential change that will be part of the puzzle.
So, instead let’s dissolve the contradiction in the health industry as to why nutrition is such an obvious step, yet many people find it so complex and stressful to actually implement.
I call this the ‘Bookshop Conundrum’, or more likely ‘Search Engine Conundrum’. Consider going to a bookshop or the library (or typing into Google) and getting every book on nutrition and making a list of all the ‘superfoods’ and a list of all the ‘evil’ foods. What would we find? Fundamentally we’d find that someone somewhere has experienced, researched, written of, blogged, believes or has found an example of all foods being considered ‘good’ for us and a superfood and at the same time there will be examples of all foods being considered ‘bad’ for us and detrimental to health.
You may be thinking that surely nobody thinks that alcohol or processed sugar is healthy or that broccoli could actually be un-healthy. But there are always two-sides to every story and the greatest attribute is to be open to what your own body considers the truth. I’ve lost count of the amount of people I have worked with who have been brought up on the mantra “eat your greens”, yet begin to thrive once they cut out the copious amounts of broccoli, kale and cabbages. This only comes as a surprise if you are not aware of the apparent mechanisms by which these brassica and cruciferous vegetables can actually cause harm to the body.
And this is just one in a myriad of food topics that deserve such balanced and informed choice!
So where does that leave us? Usually confused and basing our decisions on bias and one-side-of-the-story, that we have been exposed to! Eating the bountiful amounts of the next superfood that we come across in the hope that it’s the magic cure? Or being fearful of the latest demonised food that we’ve just read about? Most of the people I begin working with are somewhere on this conundrum continuum and neither of these approaches are the most effective ways forward.
This cancelling-out effect is exactly why you cannot find the answers in a one-size-fits-all approach to nutrition.
In fact, the answer is right in front of us! Sharing this with clients is a really wonderful opportunity because for some, it’s the first time they’ve been able to trust the process and acknowledge that the answer is completely 100% individual. Instead of looking externally for the answer, they can release some pressure and relax as they begin to find out the answers from their own body.
The body has the blueprint, so why go in search of it elsewhere? Simple really.