What is Nutritional Therapy?
Nutritional Therapy is the application of nutrition science in the promotion of health, peak performance and individual care, recognised as complementary medicine. Nutritional therapy practitioners use a wide range of tools to assess and identify potential nutritional imbalances and understand how these may contribute to an individual’s symptoms and health concerns. This approach allows them to work with individuals to address nutritional imbalance and help support the body towards maintaining health.
Practitioners consider each individual to be unique and recommend personalised nutrition and lifestyle programmes rather than a ‘one size fits all’ approach. Practitioners never recommend nutritional therapy as a replacement for medical advice and always refer any client with ‘red flag’ signs or symptoms to their medical professional frequently working alongside a medical professional.
"Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live." - Jim Rohn
I became interested in nutrition a number of years ago whilst investigating solutions to my own health/medical issues. As I began to investigate and research possible reasons for my ill health, I began to realise that our bodies need the right balance of nutrients to function well.
Today after successfully modifying my diet and adding in some good exercise I am much healthier and living life to the full, something I would have never dreamed could happen 15 years ago.
During my journey, my passion for natural nutrition grew and finally I began my nutritional career in July 2008 when I obtained a holistic qualification and began to see clients. I decided to further my qualifications and enrolled in a Nutritional Therapy course in 2008 with Premier International. I qualified with a Distinction in a Diploma in Nutritional Therapy in October 2010. I am now eager to pass on my knowledge and maybe help you to improve your health too.
I am a registered member of the British Association of Applied Nutrition and Nutritional Therapy (BANT) and Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC) and abide by their strict code of conduct and I have recently attended various post graduate courses in the management of nutritional needs to further my knowledge.
In 2019 I began studying with the National Centre for Eating Disorders (NCFED) and have gained a degree-level qualification ‘Master Practitioner of Eating Disorders & Obesity’. This course is approved by the British Psychological Society Learning Centre for the purpose of Continuing Professional Development; the title encompasses, Eating Disorders, Nutritional Interventions and Obesity and combines nutrition and psychotherapeutic interventions.
Based in Southend on Sea at a clinic in Thorpe Bay and on-line I can work with you to understand your own nutritional requirements through nutritional therapy.
Barbara Shead Registered Nutritional Therapist (Dip) MBANT, CNHC
Master Practitioner for Eating Disorders & Obesity NCFED
MORE ABOUT NUTRITIONAL THERAPY
Individual nutritional & lifestyle support
Our bodies need the right balance of nutrients to function well, sometimes our individual needs are not met and this can be a factor in health issues. If you want to look and feel great, in my opinion you need to consider eating a balanced healthy diet, however busy lifestyles, hectic work schedules and reliance on foods and drinks packed with salt, sugar, fat and chemicals may make it difficult to be sure your diet is providing all of the nutrients your body needs.
Some people simply want to check that they are on the right track with regard to healthy eating. Others may want to lose weight or get help with their symptoms.
Nutrition and lifestyle approaches to healthcare have been shown to support the health of all the major systems of the body (skeletal, muscular, nervous, respiratory, cardiovascular, digestive, excretory, endocrine, immune, reproductive and integumentary (skin, hair, nails). Typical priorities in nutritional therapy consultations are support to achieve optimum energy levels, healthy blood sugar balance, emotional and psychological wellbeing, optimum gastrointestinal health and tolerance to a broad range of food groups.
Nutritional Therapists are trained in the assessment of food and lifestyle practices and, amongst other things, how they impact on both short and long‐term weight gain, and also recognise and understand that specific dietary and other lifestyle behaviours may affect the success of the simplest, yet not always successful, “eat less and exercise more” strategy for preventing long‐term weight gain. Specific dietary and lifestyle factors are independently associated with long‐term optimal weight maintenance.
Before the first consultation, I the practitioner will usually provide a health and nutrition questionnaire for you to complete. An initial consultation typically lasts 60 to 90 minutes, and in this time, I will ask detailed questions about your current health concerns, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment, medical history, family history, lifestyle, levels of physical activity, use of medication, supplements and diet. As your practitioner I will then evaluate individual needs and use the extensive evidence base for nutritional science to develop a personalised, safe and effective nutrition and lifestyle programme.
Follow up consultations are generally after four weeks in order to monitor progress and make any necessary adjustments. Further follow-ups may be required depending on each individual situation.
Weight Loss coaching & eating disorders (including binge eating)
Since March 2019 I have been studying with the National Centre for Eating Disorders and now hold the title of Master Practitioner in Eating Disorders & Obesity, a degree level qualification approved by the British Psychological Society Learning Centre for the purpose of Continual Professional Development, and regularly take specialist clinical Eating Disorder supervision. I am able to work with clients professionally and competently including clients aged over 16 years with Anorexia, Bulimia, Binge eating disorder, body dysmorphia and Night Eating Disorder.
I am very fortunate in being able to bring together my qualifications and experience in Nutritional Therapy, Eating Disorders and Obesity Training (with the National Centre for Eating Disorders) and psychotherapeutic therapies such as CBT and BWRT to help clients restore their relationship with food physically and emotionally to enable a healthier lifestyle and emotional well-being.
Here I bring together my qualifications and experience in Nutritional Therapy, Eating Disorders, Obesity Training and psychotherapeutic therapies to help clients restore a healthy relationship with food and enable a healthier lifestyle and emotional wellbeing.
I even get to eat some chocolate!!… I originally made an appointment with Barbara for weight loss. One of the best things I found about Barbara was that she asks you what your favourite foods are, and gives you healthier versions instead. Therefore I didn’t feel like I was being deprived of things I love – I even get to eat some chocolate!!
If I had to sum up my experience with Barbara in one sentence it would be, it is like visiting a friend – but one with a lot of knowledge of nutrition! There is no judgment if you haven’t been sticking to your healthier way of life, just support and suggestions as to how to get back on track. If you are thinking of seeing a nutritional therapist I highly recommend Barbara, I look forward to each appointment.
– Nicky D, Southend –