bicycleNutritional Therapy is the application of nutrition science in the promotion of health, peak performance and individual care.

Registered Nutritional Therapists use a wide range of tools to assess and identify potential nutritional imbalances and understand how these may contribute to an individual’s symptoms and health concerns. This approach allows them to work with individuals to address nutritional balance and help support the body towards maintaining health.

Nutritional Therapy is recognised as a complementary medicine and is relevant for individuals with chronic conditions, as well as those looking for support to enhance their health and wellbeing.

Practitioners consider each individual to be unique and recommend personalised nutrition and lifestyle programmes rather than a ‘one size fits all’ approach. Practitioners never recommend nutritional therapy as a replacement for medical advice and always refer any client with ‘red flag’ signs or symptoms to their medical professional. They will also frequently work alongside a medical professional and will communicate with other healthcare professionals involved in the client’s care to explain any nutritional therapy programme that has been provided.

Functional Medicine

If you have seen any of the BBC's 'Doctor in the House' with Dr Rangan Chatterjee, then you have seen functional medicine in action. Functional medicine addresses the health needs of the 21st century by addressing the underlying causes of disease. It is a person centred approach, looking for the imbalances causing disease not just addressing isolated symptoms. The interaction between genetics, environment, life-style as well as nutrition may all influence health. Functional medicine will explore these interactions to support the individual.

“Functional Medicine integrates traditional Western medical practices with what are sometimes considered ‘alternative’ or ‘integrative’medicine, creating a focus on prevention through nutrition, diet and exercise: use of the latest laboratory testing and other diagnostic techniques: and prescribed combination of drugs and or botanical medicine, supplements, therapeutic diets, detoxification programmes, or stress management techniques” Institute of Functional Medicine 2008.

Everyone can benefit from nutritional therapy, whether you need additional support for a chronic or recurrent illness or you just don't feel right.

 What are the benefits?

Improving chronic conditions may take time, but short-term benefits could include:

  • Increased vitality and energy
  • Sustainable weight management
  • Healthier skin, hair and nails
  • Improved sleep and general wellbeing

 

What is the difference between Nutritional Therapists, Dietitians and Nutritionists?

Registered Nutritional Therapists

Nutritional therapy practitioners are fully independent professionals who assess the whole health status of the individual and work with the client to achieve and maintain health through nutritional means. They often work with clients who have chronic health problems that conventional medicine sometimes finds difficult to treat. These include allergies, digestive and bowel disorders, hormonal imbalances, fatigue, depression or stress, auto-immune conditions, migraine and skin disorders. Increasingly, parents with an overweight child and/or a child with learning and behavioural difficulties may seek to support their child with nutritional therapy.

 

Dietitians

Dietitians work principally in the National Health Service and are regulated by the Health Professions Council. Their professional body is the British Dietetic Association. A dietician uses the science of nutrition to devise eating plans for patients with various medical conditions. They also work to promote good health by helping to facilitate a positive change in food choices amongst individuals, groups and communities. They may also specialise in the field of artificial nutrition support, or work in the medical nutrition industry or in private practice.

Dietitian is the only nutrition title protected by law.

 

Nutritionists

Nutritionists often work outside of the clinical context, in research, industry or education. The Nutrition Society is a learned society whose aim is to advance the scientific study of nutrition and its application to the maintenance of human and animal health. There is a national voluntary register for nutritionists who are qualified to provide general information about food and healthy eating but are not trained in clinical practice or to give specific information about individual therapeutic diets.

 

Information from the Nutritional Therapy Council

Only dietitians and Registered Nutritional Therapists are trained in clinical practice to give one-on-one personal health advice. Both groups must practise with full professional indemnity insurance.