The Functional Approach
What is the integrative or functional approach? It is a framework for exploring the different aspects that contribute to your health and how they interact. An integrative approach to healing takes into consideration your medical history, the problems occurring at various times in your life that lead to health issues, your work, social life, sleep patterns, exercise regimen, leisure activities, and of course, diet. In a word, it’s how you nourish yourself.
It is a method of searching for the root cause of the health issue. If a botanist looked at a plant and saw the leaves were turning brown they would not just spray paint the leaves green again. The botanist would look at the stems, the roots, and the soil for information which may provide the healing solution. This is how integrative or functional nutrition works.
Functional nutrition explores diet, your relationship with food, digestion, absorption, and elimination. It takes into account food sensitivities, food allergies, what you are getting too much of and what you are not getting enough of.
“You are that which you ingest, absorb, and do not eliminate.”
—Jeffrey Bland, PhD
There are many diet programs, but no single diet is right for everyone. This concept of bioindividuality is the foundation of integrative nutrition. Your body is unique in its needs and abilities to metabolize the food you ingest. However, food is not the only thing that “feeds” you. Your thoughts and emotions play a part in how you assimilate all that you take in.
Integrative or Functional Nutrition is the advanced practice of nutrition assessment, diagnosis, intervention and monitoring for the purpose of promoting optimal wellness while preventing diet and lifestyle related disease.