This probably should have been my first blog post! But lately, I’ve been getting a lot of questions: what’s the difference between a Holistic Nutritionist and a Dietician? What are some reasons why I would book an appointment with a Holistic Nutritionist? What can I expect out of a session with a Holistic Nutritionist? And what if I’m already on medication or other recommendations from my doctor or healthcare provider? Will I be asked to stop my medication and only take a “natural” approach to health
While I can only speak to my own practice and what sessions with me look like, I hope I can help to shed some light on some of these questions and to encourage more people to include Holistic Nutrition in their overall health care and wellbeing practices.
WHAT DOES “HOLISTIC NUTRITION” MEAN?
Holistic Nutrition is under the umbrella of natural health, which includes Naturopathic Doctors, Osteopaths, Chiropractors and many more.
In the world of Holistic Nutrition, we believe the body is always communicating to us: headaches, joint pain, acid reflux, and even through emotional and mental cues too. The body is always telling us “yes, this feels good” or “no, something is out of balance”. A Holistic Nutritionist is taking a natural healing approach to your symptoms or current health status, but ultimately, working to find the root cause, or the main reason why these symptoms are presenting themselves.
The word “holistic” refers to the concept of looking at the big picture. When it comes to our bodies, we are not just physical beings. We have emotions, we have our mental and spiritual health to consider, and many things that effect the wellbeing of those parts. A Holistic Nutritionist is providing clients with food recommendations, vitamins, minerals, herbs and lifestyle tips in order to address their individual and total health needs.
WHAT TYPES OF PEOPLE WOULD BOOK AN APPOINTMENT WITH A HOLISTIC NUTRITIONIST?
Because the concept of Holistic Nutrition basically applies to all aspects of health, any individual with any health condition or health goal could go see a Holistic Nutritionist. However, most Holistic Nutrition practitioners have a particular speciality or focus in their practice. The clients I typically work with come to me for support with:
Mood balance, anxiety, depression, mental health,
Hormonal balance: moodiness, acne, weight fluctuations, hair, skin and nail health, etc.
Blood sugar regulation.
Digestion: acid reflux, bloating, gas, constipation, etc.
If you’re looking to work with a Holistic Nutritionist for a particular health concern or goal, the best thing to do is to connect with them through their website, or call them directly. Many Holistic Nutritionists are open to a complimentary meet and greet, so you can ask questions, and they can tell you a bit about their practice and their speciality.
DOES MY HOLISTIC NUTRITION PRACTITIONER REQUIRE A REFERRAL, BLOOD WORK, OR EXAM RESULTS FROM MY DOCTOR?
A Holistic Nutritionist does not require any referrals or test results, but if you have these to provide, that will be helpful towards determining the root cause of your symptoms. In some cases, your practitioner will request that you refer to your doctor for an exam, blood work or a diagnosis, as Holistic Nutritionists do not provide these in their practice.
HOW IS A HOLISTIC NUTRITIONIST ABLE TO DIAGNOSE WHAT THE PROBLEM MIGHT BE?
A Holistic Nutritionist is not able to “diagnose” or refer to their practice as “curing” a condition. Those are terms that can only be used in medical practice by someone with the designation of “Doctor”.
However, a Holistic Nutritionist can make recommendations based on the symptoms that the client is presenting. For example, there are symptoms that the body presents that are directly linked and researched when it comes to blood sugar imbalance. While a Holistic Nutritionist would not be able to say “you have Diabetes”, they can determine that your blood sugar levels may be out of balance due to the symptoms you are presenting, and they can make food and supplement recommendations to help address that issue. Another scenario that is common to see in Holistic Nutrition practices is that someone will have already been diagnosed with something(eg. Diabetes) and they are looking for nutrition support to help manage their symptoms.
CAN I CONTINUE TO WORK WITH MY DOCTOR AND TAKE PRESCRIBED MEDICATION WHILE WORKING WITH A HOLISTIC NUTRITIONIST?
Yes, definitely! Working with a Holistic Nutritionist does not mean that you neglect the recommendations or prescriptions provided by other healthcare practitioners. Often times, what I see in my practice, is a natural decrease in the need for medication that has been prescribed, as we work on healing the body. But any decision to go off of prescribed medication would determined with a consultation and support from your medical doctor(ideally, the same doctor that prescribed the medication).
WHY WOULD I SEE A HOLISTIC NUTRITIONIST INSTEAD OF A DIETICIAN OR ANOTHER NATURAL HEALTH PRACTITIONER?
Working with a Holistic Nutritionist does not have to be an exclusive relationship, where you are choosing this over working with other practitioners. In fact, if we truly want to look at our health from a holistic perspective, it’s a good idea to work with different practitioners who offer a variety of specialities for your particular needs.
Holistic Nutritionist and Dieticians may sound very similar, but actually have completely separate certifications and designations. However they each provide support in different areas of your health, and many choose to work with a dietician as well as a Holistic Nutritionist towards their health goals.
HOW DO I BOOK WITH YOU?
My practice is run entirely online via video call. So that means I can meet with anyone from anywhere…and in their pyjamas if they wanted to! I always offer a 15 minute complimentary meet and greet, and clients can book that through the booking link on this page, or through my email(under contact information on this page). I would love to meet with you and work with you!