What is a Functional Nutritional Therapy Practitioner?

Updated: Sep 3, 2021

i Am a Functional Nutritional Therapy Practitioner (F.N.T.P). What does that mean? Functional means the inclusion of diagnostic methods that focus on physiological function as a marker for health, rather than just the presence of pathology or tissue change as a marker of disease. Treatment addresses the underlying causes of dysfunction.


i Am a practitioner who provides nutrition and lifestyle recommendations as means of therapy for physical and mental health results, including cellular repairing. I use a deep foundational and bio-individual approach to balance body chemistry. I listen and provide guidance and nutritional solution paths to achieve optimal performance for any everyday living activity. Like in any practice, the more results the client wants to see, the deeper the practice and participation. If you are examining your body and habits regularly, chronic disease and illness prevention are inevitable. It's always better to catch things early. Everyone needs assistance in monitoring; that's why you have all sorts of options. All physicians and practitioners matter because the whole body matters.


The core of my practice focuses on bio-individuality, self-care, and personalized performance nutrition. The result of recommendations includes, but is not limited to, herbal supplements, detox & elimination programs, personalized cold-pressed juices, high-quality supplements (nutrients), lifestyle recommendations, or a combination of all 5.


I use epigenetics (history), assessments, comprehensive physical examinations, lifestyle patterns, and lab work (saliva, blood, or stool) to curate a plan and roadmap for each individual. We will explore some of this further.


I strongly believe in bio-individuality. My journey with food is going to be completely different from yours. My biological chemical make-up also matters- epigenetics, DNA, family history, location, etc.…I believe in the power of supreme nature and the body's ability to heal itself once put on the path to doing so. This journey is less about perfection and more about restorative and preventative healthcare. Nutrients are chemicals that feed our cellular system.

This conversation includes a few clinical procedures/techniques I use as an FNTP. You wouldn't believe all of the processes within the body before, during, and after consumption. Every part of your body is involved in the process of consumption, and the side effects are minor signs.

Lower animals and mammals, except most humans, rely on their innate senses to determine when and what to eat. I believe that natural abilities are disabled for humans due to the evolution of the food system. The original food system- eating local, whole (unprocessed), seasonal, and nutrient-dense- evolved into the food industry. Humans can choose, but intellect gets in the way, and our senses have been tainted or manipulated by the imprint of chemicals and additives in our food, marketing ads, and the neglect of proper nutritional science in education. A good example is a product, I can't believe it's not butter. Then what the hell is it? The side effects of these types of products show up in liver issues and fatty acid deficiencies. Some manifestations include gallbladder issues, motion sickness, hemorrhoids, varicose veins, tension headaches at the skull base, headaches when out in the sun, dandruff, and so much more. When all these symptoms start to combine over time, it manifests as chronic diseases like Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, cancer, obesity, addictions, etc.


Food and hydration are two vitalities in life introduced to your system during the womb by the carrier and their environmental influences. Childhood imprints become adult habits. Most adults' eating habits stem from childhood/adolescence.


By the time you come to me, several things are going on. I conduct an informative interview, assessments, and various testing methods to provide a clinical nutritional and lifestyle recommendation plan for maintenance, growth, or recovery. I allow you and your body to tell me the story so we can work together to restore homeostasis and achieve your health and wellness goals.


Where do I begin?


The Nutritional Assessment Questionnaire (NAQ)


As mentioned previously, every part of your body is involved in the process of consumption, and the side effects are minor signs and symptoms.


The initial meeting with a client includes a digital comprehensive Q&A intake session called the Nutritional Assessment Questionnaire (NAQ). It is a guide and an excellent tool for gathering information and reassessments. It covers Diet, Lifestyle, Medication, and 15 vital organ systems of the body. In my practice, I initially focus on the eight foundational triggers of health, including hydration, digestion, blood sugar regulation & adrenal health, mineral balance, fatty acid balance, lifestyle, current nutrition habits, and performance (daily activities including work). Also, we discuss any pertinent medical history or pre-existing conditions, notes/restrictions/recommendations from internal medicine doctors or specialists. The initial meeting allows me to get a big picture view of what is happening in my client's body daily and consistently and make a formal initial recommendation and course of action.

In-Person Comprehensive Exams:


As mentioned, I use a series of data, exams, testing methodologies, and lab work. Below I am going to focus on two testing methodologies specific to FNTPs. Two combined in-person comprehensive testing methods include the Functional Clinical Assessment (FCA) and the Lingual Neuro Testing Assessment (LNT). The central and autonomous nervous systems, lymphatic systems, and foundational organ systems (Upper GI, Liver & Gallbladder, Small & Large Intestines, Blood Sugar regulating organs, Fatty Acid & Mineral balancing organs) play a vital role in these exams and are my main focal point. Each one allows me to communicate with the client's body to identify root causes behind symptoms indicated on the NAQ and create a personalized bio-individual recommendation tailored for each client.

What is Observed?


· Physiologic indicators like the heart rate

· Sensory function of the mouth, brain, and the central nervous system (CNS)

· CNS value recognition of what nutritional supplement in the mouth

· CNS immediate change in physiologic gauge in response and proportional to the recognized value of a particular nutrient resulting in a recommended nutrient for functional deficiency

· The vital organs impact health foundations (hydration, digestive system, blood sugar regulation, fatty acid balance, mineral balance, reproductive system, pituitary, thyroid, cardiovascular, kidney & bladder, & immune system).


The Functional Clinical Assessment (FCA)


The physiological Functional Clinical Assessment allows me to evaluate the nutritional imbalances and deficiencies at both the body system and organ level unique to the specific client and identify primary dysfunction and root causes behind symptoms. This part of the examination is heavily focused on physiological reflex testing using a combination of three different methodologies- neuro-lymphatic, neurovascular, and nutritional reflexes. We rate your tenderness reflexes on a scale of 0-10.

Neuro-lymphatic reflexes- Discovered by Frank Chapman, D.O. Chapman's reflexes are inflamed points located all over the body that, when palpated, result in tenderness in the patient and findings of plaque-like changes of stringiness of the involved lymphatic tissues. The lymphatic system bathes the muscle tissues with nourishment and cleans away toxic waste. When lymphatic flow is inhibited, normal muscle function is impaired, often leading to pathology and disease. Stimulation of the Chapman's reflexes can produce a change in the lymphatic drainage of a particular organ, promoting the health of the organs.


Specifically, these reflexes are found in the soft tissue at various points along both sides of the sternum, the proximal head of the humerus, distal and proximal clavicle, occipital ridge, cervicals, ribs, scapula, thoracics, lumbar, sacrum, coccyx, pelvis pubic, fibula and medial head of the tibia.


Neurovascular reflexes- Established by Terence Bennett in 1930. Neurovascular reflex areas relate to each organ of the body: the reflex points are either over the location of the organ or area reflexes of the organ.


Bennet discovered that blood flow to the organs would be improved by gently touching specific points on the head and the body, for instance, an intense migraine that gives you an ugly cry, you usually touch these points unaware that you are bringing blood from the back of the brain (the logic centers) to the forebrain (the emotional centers) diffusing stress.


Nutritional reflexes- Also known as Riddler reflex techniques made famous by the chiropractor Robert Riddler. It is a system that utilizes nutritional reflex points on the body to determine specific nutritional deficiencies. We test a trigger point for tenderness and muscle weakness, introduce a nutritional supplement, strengthen muscle, and tenderness decreases or goes away.


All reflex points exist, so our bodies tell us what we need. Our nervous system can identify foods beneficial to the body, even when manipulated by "food." After FCA, I LNT.


The Lingual Neuro Tasting (LNT)


The LNT is a valuable biofeedback tool that enables me to determine the usefulness of a nutritional supplement before it is recommended to a client. LNT assesses the body's innate ability to discriminate between what it needs and what it does not need to rebalance a specific problem- a weak organ or a nutritional deficiency.

It provides insight regarding the connection of the mouth, brain, and the signals the brain disperses to the body resulting in a reaction. It is a beautiful skill set to access nutritional needs with respect to the biochemical individuality of my clients. The neurology behind LNT and the fact that the body can delineate nutritional needs are logical and consistent with the sciences we know and understand. By personalizing, LNT improves client outcomes and reduces the possibility of uncomfortable side effects.


There are two physiologic indicators- those that respond to LNT and those that change only gradually over time in response to improved health. Simply, the results are going to vary because everyone's condition and lifestyle are not the same. The presence of uncomfortable symptoms helps determine how and to what degree a client's health is compromised and sheds light on the motivation behind nutritional therapy in the first place.

How does the body communicate during this process?


I'm glad you asked. Once I introduce a nutrient (supplement) that complements the tender point, evaluate which supplement to recommend. As soon as the nutrient comes in contact with the taste buds, they inform the brain, and the body reacts. Receptor cells in the taste buds generate impulses in the rostral parts of the solitary tract of the medulla oblongata. The solitary tract of the medulla is a slender, compact fiber bundle whose primary sensory fibers convey information from stretch receptors and chemoreceptors in the walls of cardiovascular, respiratory, and intestinal tracts. This information travels from the taste buds, through the solitary tract and on to the point on the pons called the pontine taste area. From here, the pathways extend to the lateral hypothalamic area, the autonomic and endocrine control center, next to the ventral posteromedial nucleus of the thalamus, then onto the sensory cortex (just below the face area). The lateral horn in the spine, where signals from the taste buds are received, has descending fibers proceeding directly to the organs. This is where the decisions are made reflexively by the body- in the CNS. For FNTPs, it's where FCA & LNT come together.

I know it's a lot to take in.


I enjoy using all the toys and my toolbox. I also enjoy seeing a client's reaction to connecting the dots. The AHA moment is the best for me as a practitioner. It gives me joy because they feel like they have answers to things that cause suffering, which in the end provides HOPE. I love what I do!


Other tools in my toolbox:

· Evaluating lab work

· Evaluating food & mood journals (these provide insight into a client's day to day chemical intake)

· Preparing nutrient-dense meals

· Curating meal plans, recipes, lifestyle experiences

· Provide insight & recommendations on stress management, sleep, hygiene, and fitness

It is more challenging to listen to our bodies with all the information on what is healthy and not. Thus our rationale on food selection is more intellectual than intuitive. The way we consume food is evolutionary, yes, but also irresponsible. Word of mouth is prominent in the field of nutrition. How often have you taken a friend's recommendation on a restaurant? We all have. Who doesn't love a good date night? I know I do; however, like on any date, don't be afraid to ask questions. Is this chicken free-range? Is the salmon wild-caught? What oil was used during meal preparation? Even an excellent fine dining experience could be putting your health at risk. I can't wait to explore all of this and more with you guys. Thank you for your time.


-iAmChanti

If you have questions, shoot us an email @ contactme@iamchanti.com or book a consultation here.


References

Bath M, Nguyen A, Bordoni B. Physiology, Chapman’s Points. [Updated 2021 May 9]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2021 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK558953/


Nutritional Therapy Association. (n.d.). Functional Nutritional Therapy Practitioners. Retrieved from website: https://nutritionaltherapy.com/ntps-fntps/


Nutritional Therapy Association.(n.d.).Understanding the Physiology of The Functional Evaluation Points in Lingual Neuro Testing. Retrieved from website: https://nutritionaltherapy.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/Understanding-the-Physiology-of-FE-LNT-7.18.17.pdf



#nutritionaltherapy #nutritionist #healthandwellness #health #wellness #healthcare #functionalmedicine #coldpressedjuice #wellnessshots #selfcare #selflove

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