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‘Nutritional Therapy...a Life Changing Tool for All!’
‘Nutritional Therapy...a Life Changing Tool for All!’
I came to Nutritional Therapy, quite by accident as many do. Following the ill health experience of my daughter and her own personal successes, studying for a new career wasn’t the first thing on my mind, but life has a remarkable way of surprising us sometimes!
My daughter became ill during her standard grade year with Glandular Fever and unfortunately went on to develop Chronic Fatigue, Fibromyalgia and the most severe debilitating migraine you could imagine. To cut a very long story short, this was very distressing, often crippling for Belinda and for us all as a family and since the conventional routes offered little or no support, we were on our own. There comes a point where cuddles, good food and encouragement just aren’t enough and so a period of earnest research ensued. Praise the Lord, we found the answers in Nutrition! The possibility of food intolerance was logical to me and my daughter as we were already aware of particular reactions to foods. However, it wasn’t until we took the bold decision to take both gluten and dairy foods out of the diet that our old daughter began to come back to us and I have to say the changes in her health were a joy to behold! There was a time when we couldn’t have imagined getting Belinda back into education full time (she had 2 years out!) but get back she did! I am delighted to say that she has now just completed her third year at Edinburgh University studying English Literature. Awesome!
Of course, the last few years have been a learning curve for us all, with constant tweaking and changes for all the family as far as diet and lifestyle are concerned. The interesting thing about our story is that we were already ‘healthy eaters’, cooked our own meals, drank herb teas and did all the ‘healthy stuff’, but even we succumbed to ill health! One day while doing my research, I came upon an advert to train as a professional Nutritional Therapist. This meant a pretty arduous 3 year course of study plus 200 hours of clinical practice, to say nothing of the travel from Aberdeen to Edinburgh and latterly London! However, sometimes life just gives you an unexpected push and before you know it you are swimming without arm bands!
One of the exciting things about Nutritional Therapy is that it allows us to uncover not only the foods but also behaviours, lifestyle, current drug therapies and general habits which may unwittingly be serving as triggers or drivers in our own health. You see, disease doesn’t just appear out of nowhere. There is a journey and just like we choose our means of travel between Newcastle and Nice, we choose our pathway to health challenges by what we eat, what we don’t eat, what we absorb of what we eat, our sleep and how we manage stress, all of which play a part in how and when and what our bodies succumb to when it comes to disease.
There is a fascinating field of study known as Epigenetics, which considers how it’s not only our genes which influence our disease risk but the environment of those genes. In other words, if you had a set of twins both with the same genes but one develops an illness and the other doesn’t then we can look straight at diet, lifestyle and stress levels to see that there are very different environments. A twin eating a plant based organic diet with grass fed meat and a chilled out persona is a world away from the twin who lives on her nerves along with a diet of pizza, diet coke and cigarettes! Nutritional science also tells us that certain foods create inflammation in the body and this inflammatory cascade and resulting biochemical changes allow certain genes to express themselves. The good news is that science also tells us that simple modification can significantly reduce our own risk factors by silencing particular genes. Exciting stuff!
In fact, Nutritional Therapy can support everything from Cancer to the common cold, but common ailments finding their way to our door are Asthma, Eczema, IBS, IBD, Hormonal imbalances, PMS, PCOS, Mental health issues including depression, anxiety, ADHD, Autism and the many auto-immune conditions e.g., underactive thyroid, MS and Rheumatoid arthritis. Diabetes type 1 and 2 of course both benefit from Nutritional Therapy and having worked as a Diabetes specialist in a previous life for a Pharma company, I have a specialist interest in these areas. The consultation process involves taking a detailed medical history which goes through all body systems. This is where Nutritional Therapy comes into its own, as it is ONLY through an assessment of all our body systems and supporting any imbalance that we can work towards optimal health irrespective of symptoms! Therapy involves making appropriate changes to the diet and possibly supplementation to correct deficiencies and possible imbalance. Further testing may also be recommended via your GP or privately. Modifying habits and behaviours are also critical to the success of any plan and so lifestyle change and possibly referral to other therapies may be suggested.
Ultimately, any Nutritional Plan suggested following a consultation is YOUR plan and is very much a work in progress, as like us you tweak and change as appropriate along the way. Clients who do completely embrace and take full ownership of their plan, say it is one of the most life changing experiences they could possibly have the pleasure of. It surely was for my daughter and is the most precious gift I could have given her!
If you would like to make an appointment with Beverley, clinics are available in Aberdeen and Edinburgh. Beverley also works with clients via skype appointment and welcomes clients from the UK and overseas.