THE ROOT CAUSE APPROACH
Holistic Nutrition is a form of functional medicine that treats the body as a whole, while addressing symptoms by finding the root cause of their manifestation.
The body is self healing, it is always trying to maintain homeostasis (balance). Symptoms are warning signs from the body that something is off balance. The way that your body expresses disease depends on many factors including genetics, stress levels, pathogens and emotional or physical trauma.
WESTERN vs FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE
In my experience, working with MD's for the majority of my career I can confidently say that western medicine is designed to treat the symptoms.
ie. if you have high blood pressure you will be prescribed a blood thinner or an ACE inhibitor to prevent the body from behaving this way.
Holistic nutrition asks the question WHY is the blood pressure elevated, and treats the root cause naturally by restoring balance in the body so the symptoms go away on their own.
Western medicine is life-saving in acute situations (ie a heart attack) however it innately views each organ in the body as separate entities, assigning specialists for each one. Holistic health views the body as an orchestra-every organ works together to keep you alive. Treating the symptoms ignores this fact, and can lead to damage of other vital organs, or development of negative side effects.
There is a place for BOTH western medicine and functional
medicine in recovery, my experience working with medical doctors has shown me the value in combining both functional and western approaches to healing.
NUTRITION & PSYCHOLOGY
Gut Brain Connection
The stomach and the brain are connected through a large nerve called the Vegas Nerve. The food that we eat gets broken down into tiny little particle and reassembled into nutrients and neurotransmitters that play a role in our behaviour. Over 90% of serotonin is produced in the gut. In my practice I have seen an uncanny amount of clients with mental health disorders that also suffer from digestive disturbances.
There have also been multiple studies linking mental health disorders to brain inflammation. The brain can become inflamed from food intolerances, toxins, pathogens, or physical and emotional trauma.
Holistic Nutrition looks at the foods and other factors that are neuro-inflammatory and contributing to mental health disorders.
Psychology of Disease
The nervous system (brain and spinal chord) dictate our entire human experience. If you were to stub your toe, you would not feel pain unless your brain tells you to!
If you are exposed to a virus or pathogen, the nerves send a signal to the brain and the brain responds by telling the immune system to fight it off. This means that the thoughts we have contribute to our behaviour and our unique experience.
In my experience psychology is very closely related to the overall health of my clients.
Most of my clients have a goal of losing weight, or adopting a healthier lifestyle but continue to behave in ways that contradict their goals. This is because thought patterns that exist in the subconscious may be contributing to self-sabotaging behaviours.
Additionally, dealing with chronic illness is taxing on the nervous system and can promote feelings of despair or hopelessness.
The mind is not separate from the body, and emotional distress is often at the root of many physical ailments.
The Mind-Full Clinic addresses illness from a psychological and nutritional standpoint to rewire neural pathways and help you develop a new identity of the "self".