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  • Writer's pictureLucy Sparkes

What Is Nutritional Therapy & How Can It Help Me?

Updated: Jan 19

What is naturopathic nutritional therapy?

Lucy Sparkes


For members of the public, it can be, quite rightly, rather confusing to work out which type of therapist they need to engage to suit their health condition, lifestyle and ethics. When it comes to nutrition, this is a diverse area and one where people can get a little unstuck. I am an experienced and registered Naturopathic Nutritional Therapy Practitioner and I want to help you understand what I do and why I chose this space to practice in.


What is Naturopathy and what does it mean?


Naturopathy was coined in 1895 by Dr John Scheel, a German homeopath a term for a ‘nature doctor’ and the bringing together of natural healing systems. However, the notion lived long before this time, as the Father of Medicine Hippocrates is considered to be the first advocate of naturopathic medicine, it just wasn’t given the so-called name at the time, that came later.


How can Naturopathy help me?

In modern times, The Association of Naturopathic Practitioners describes Naturopathy as:

‘A system of health care which promotes the body’s own self-healing mechanism. It uses natural therapies such as Nutrition, Herbal Medicine, Acupuncture, Homeopathy, Hydrotherapy, Physical manipulations, Hydrotherapy, Fasting, Exercise and other modalities, in accordance with Naturopathic Principles’.

 These principles are kept in mind when a Naturopath takes a case, and when developing and offering treatment plans and maintenance support for long-term good health.

So, in reductive terms a Naturopath is like an alternative GP – he or she has many tools in their kit bag to use in order to bring the individual back to good health, and has training in all of these areas, but doesn’t solely specialise in one.

So, what is Naturopathic Nutrition?

When we consider Naturopathy and what that means, Naturopathic Nutrition differs from an orthodox nutritional intervention in that the practitioner is able to adopt additional naturopathic therapies to add to its practice such as tissue salts, homeopathy, Bach flowers, herbs and more. In terms of the nutrition element there is particular emphasis in the use of whole and organic foods and using differential diagnostic tools to ascertain the health of an individual such as Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda.

This is an adjunct dimension to nutritional therapy practice of applying nutrition science in the promotion of individual health.

In both Naturopathic Nutrition and Nutritional Therapy, practitioners consider each person to be unique and recommend personalised programs rather than a ‘one size fits all’ approach.

We look at the whole person not the condition in isolation.

Who is this person before me & what has led them to these symptoms, rather that what is this condition & how is the condition 'treated' ?

How does nutritional therapy fit into the group of nutrition-related ‘experts’?

It seems that everyone seems to be a nutrition expert these days as fast-track courses can be bought online for as little as $20, however, to study as a Naturopathic Nutritional Therapist and achieve certification it takes dedicated study and sound physiological knowledge to succeed. There is foundational training in Anatomy and Physiology, in-depth training in each system and modality, how to work safely with prescription medication and collaboratively with clinicians, and a further attainment of hundreds of live clinic hours to fully train and be able to gain insurance and open for business.

We are trained first and foremost as per the Hippocrates oath to ‘do no harm’ and furthermore to practice safely for our clients.

Practitioners who train in this way gain entry into prestigious bodies such as BANT – British Association for Nutrition and Lifestyle Medicine, ANP the Association of Naturopathic Practitioners and CNHC; the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council, all of which require minimum CPD (continued professional development hours) so that every practitioner keeps their knowledge up-to-date and the learning never ceases.

If you would like to find out more about how Nutritional Therapy might help you achieve optimal health then please hop across to 'Get In Touch' and drop me a line and subscribe to my mailing list for updates and Nutrition news & articles.

For more information on how I integrate Nutritional therapy with health coaching to make long-lasting change then please visit this article

Thank you for reading & wishing you good health & happiness,


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