So… What is it?
According to the Nutritional Therapy Association, a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner (NTP), “is a specialized practitioner that performs a hands-on clinical assessment to discern a client’s bio-individual needs and utilizes advanced nutritional therapy skills to restore balance and functionality in the body” (1).
Well, that sounds great but what does that mean? A lot of things! As a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, we work on what we like to call The Foundations; i.e. the foundations of health. These categories are blood sugar regulation, digestion, fatty acid balance, mineral balance, hydration, and the overarching foundation of a nutrient dense, whole foods diet. The recommendations we give you are tailored to balancing these six foundations, and thus improving the overall foundations of your health!
A Bio-Individual Approach
As NTPs, we place a huge focus on bio-individuality. What this means is that we believe there is no one size fits all diet. Every body is unique in every way. A ketogenic diet may work wonders for your coworker, a plant based diet for your neighbor, and a nightshade free diet for your best friend. Point is, what works for someone else may not necessarily work for you. Thus, it would be a great disservice to you to take a blanket approach to your health. Our goal is to find the specific foods, supplements, and lifestyle that work best with your particular genetic makeup.
Hands-On Clinical Assessment
Nutritional Therapy Practitioners are trained to perform two clinical assessments known as the Functional Clinical Assessment (FCA) and Lingual-Neuro Testing (LNT). The Functional Clinical Assessment is a series of palpations and tests (pulse, blood pressure, etc.) that help NTPs understand organ function and potential nutrient deficiencies in your body. It is not an invasive procedure and it is completely optional. We never perform a palpation without your express permission and ensuring your comfort first. It is simply a tool we as NTPs use to gather more information about your body and where there is potential stress/deficiencies.
The Lingual-Neuro Testing process is used in line with the FCA to further understand particular supplements that may be helpful for you. Based on the information we gather from the FCA, we select a few supplements to test. An NTP will have you put a small amount of the supplement on your tongue to taste and hold in the mouth without swallowing. Then the practitioner will re-palpate the point previously tested to see if your tenderness rating goes down. If it goes down significantly, then it is a nutrient that would be beneficial for you to take and support your health! This works because the brain is intimately connected to your nervous system and they are in constant communication with each other. So the supplement you are tasting is giving feedback to your brain, which is then providing information to the rest of your nervous system which is what can cause your tenderness rating to go down. I know it all sounds a bit crazy! I was skeptical of it at first until I saw pretty amazing results on myself and others I have worked with. I am a believer now!
Who is Nutritional Therapy for?
I would argue it’s for everyone, but of course I am biased! Nutritional Therapy is helpful for people with chronic health problems that have struggled to manage and ameliorate them. This can include arthritis, digestive distress, hormonal problems, etc. Oftentimes these people have seen multiple doctors and practitioners to no avail. Working with an NTP to support the foundations of health will go a long way to improve your overall condition as well as the chronic health problems you have had difficulty controlling. When you support the foundations, everything else falls into place.
Another population that would benefit are people who are interested in living a healthy lifestyle but simply don’t know where to begin. There is a ton of conflicting information out there, especially on the internet. It becomes increasingly difficult to discern truth from myth. If you don’t have a solid footing in nutrition knowledge, it can feel practically impossible to know what you have to do to live a healthy lifestyle. Working with an NTP can cut through all that cognitive dissonance and assist you in finding what works best for you. Bio-individuality plays an essential role in discovering which lifestyle is most ideal for your body.
How to get in Touch
I am based in New Hampshire, willing to work with clients both near and far. The best way to reach me is through my email, firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also stay in touch by signing up for my newsletter, which automatically gives you a coupon code to my online Etsy store where I sell toxin-free, organic personal care products. The form is on the side of this page!
If you’re looking for an NTP close to home, you can search for one in your local area here.
Thanks for reading! I hope this has shed some light on what a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner does and how their services can benefit you 🙂