Nutritional Therapy is a recognised complementary medicine. Considered particularly suited to those suffering chronic conditions and looking to optimise their health. It uses nutrition science and is focused on a personalised approach to support individuals. A variety of tools are utilised to assess a persons current health status and identify potential nutritional imbalances.
What is involved?
Below is an overview of the process of working with us. To find out more about how we work and the structure of our appointments, please see our Consultations page.
Functional & Lifestyle Medicine
A key aspect of the functional and lifestyle medicine approach is not seeing an individual as having ‘x’ condition or symptom. Instead the approach is holistic. By that we mean to assess the whole person including genetic predispositions, plus modifiable factors of; wider environment, food intake, lifestyle, stress, sleep habits and support networks.
For example, for some, it might not be the what we are eating, but the how e.g. rushed & on the go, compromising our ability to digest our food, making it harder to obtain the most from the food.
What is the difference between a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, Nutritionist, Dietitian & a Health Coach?
There are various professions and titles within the nutrition and wellness industry. These titles can be confusing for those not familiar with them, so here is a run-down of the different professions.
To note, Spriggs Nutrition works within private practice and has Registered Nutritional Therapy Practitioners that work in 1:1 consultation settings, with appropriate insurance and memberships to professional bodies including BANT & CNHC.
Registered Nutritional Therapy Practitioner & Nutritional Therapist
Whilst neither of these are currently a protected title by law, those who are looking to ensure they have credibility have undertaken training that is reviewed by The Nutritional Educational Commission (NTEC). This helps ensure standards are set and there is an adherence to the National Occupational Standards.
To be a Registered Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, you must be registered with the Complimentary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC), which was set up by the government to protect the public and is regulated by the Professional Standards Authority. To be CNHC Registered, as a therapist you must adhere to the Nation al Standards of Practice and be a member of British Association for Applied Nutrition & Nutritional Therapy (BANT), & complete at least 30 hours of Continual Professional Development per year. You can only join BANT if you have an NTEC accredited qualification in Nutritional Therapy and appropriate insurance. Being a member of BANT with appropriate insurance allows you to practice as a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner and carry out one to one consultations.
The approach taken by Nutritional Therapy Practitioners is an individual, personalised and tailored to each person, based on their medical history and presenting symptoms. It is common place to have on-going dialogue with other healthcare and complementary therapy professionals involved, ensuring all parties are aware of the nutritional therapy recommendations given. Suggestions made are done so taking into consideration current prescribed medications or treatments, and would never advise a client to stop these. Equally if a patient presents to a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner they would assess and refer that individual to their primary care physician (GP), or appropriate medical doctor when appropriate.
Some individuals use the title Nutritional Therapist or similar, having only completed a short course, often online, with no accreditation, and certainly no supervised clinical training. Seeking out a practitioner that has accredited training and is insured to work with individuals in a clinical setting is the first port of call.
This term is sometimes used as an umbrella term for Nutrition professionals, however it is its own title, but not a legally protected one. This term is used by our practitioners when operating outside of one to one consultations, i.e. when undertaking health or corporate talks about nutrition and speaking at events for example. If this is the case our practitioners will use the title Registered Nutritionist mBANT, to show they are registered with BANT to operate in this way.
Those who are part of the UK Voluntary Register of Nutritionists (UKVRN) which is regulated by the Association of Nutrition are permitted to call themselves Registered Nutritionists. As with the majority of associations there are required credentials to obtain membership and a requirement to uphold professional standards set out.
Often AfN Nutritionists work in the public sector providing advice, information and guidance on health and nutrition. They can also be found working in research, the wider food industry where they apply their knowledge, but not working clinically one-to-one.
Most dietitians work within the National Health Service and as a legally protected title they are regulated by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). Dietitians have their own professional body, the British Dietetic Association (BDA) and main focus is to devise eating plans to support the treatment of overall medical conditions, not specific individuals. As a result they often work as part of a wider team within a healthcare setting. In addition providing guidance to individuals, groups and communities in regards to food choices for good health. There are specific dietetic specialities including Renel, Bariatric, Gastroenterology, Enteral Feeding, Elder Care Dietitians, as examples.
Dietitians must register with the HCPC and therefore have appropriate qualifications as well as having valid indemnity insurance allowing them to work with the public in both public and private health care settings.
Health coaches are individuals to support your journey of implementing change. There is no set standard of education, formal qualification or regulatory body. Training courses usually provide a certification, with each training organisation setting their own standards and curriculum.
A health coach usually there to support behaviour change to incorporate recommendations made by a qualified nutrition professional, e.g. a Dietitian, Registered Nutritional Therapy Practitioner or even a Medical Doctor with addition nutrition training. Some of these professionals may have acquired a health coaching certification as well, or covered this skill set as part of their formal nutrition training.
It is outside of a Health Coaches remit to recommend specific dietary changes, supplements, or clinical testing.
- The Institute for Functional Medicine: https://www.functionalmedicine.org
- Nutritional Therapy Education Commission: http://www.nteducationcommission.org.uk
- Complementary & Natural Healthcare Council https://www.cnhc.org.uk
- British Association for Nutrition and Lifestyle Medicine: http://bant.org.uk
- Association of Nutrition http://www.associationfornutrition.org
- Health & Care Professions Council: http://www.hcpc-uk.org