‘Hippocrates once said, “Let food be thy medicine.” This sentiment guides many integrative healthcare practitioners to heal and prevent disease through food. The field of integrative and holistic nutrition extends Hippocrates’ sentiment to individualize each patient’s nutrition prescription. Holistic nutrition aims to discern the root cause(s) of patient’s ailments or system imbalances in order to improve patients’ health.
This cutting-edge, evidence-based approach to care combines aspects of complementary and integrative medicine, medical nutrition therapy, and mind-body practices to help each patient achieve optimal health.
As Healthie community member and functional nutritionist Rita Batheja, MS, RDN, CDN, FAND AFMCP describes it, “Integrative and functional medicine takes a systematic approach… practitioners learn about the individual, healing them from the root cause of disease.”
Nutrition professionals, including nutritionists, dietitians, physicians, and health coaches, are incorporating more integrative and holistic nutrition practices into their businesses to help patients even more.
There are numerous certification programs available, like the one from the Integrative and Functional Nutrition Academy. But even if you haven’t received an integrative nutrition certification, there are aspects of integrative and holistic nutrition that you can safely include in your practice.
Here are 3 ways to use Healthie to include integrative and holistic nutrition in your practice:
1. Create and share individualized nutrition and wellness plans
No two clients are exactly the same. Honoring individuality is at the forefront of integrative nutrition. Integrative and holistic nutritionists use a systematic approach to learn about their patients from top to bottom. They utilize a comprehensive evaluation to tailor their nutritional counseling to each individual.
Using Healthie, you can securely share personalized meal plans and detailed counseling notes in the Documents section of the platform. Each of your clients can have his or her own folder where you can upload customized educational materials, as needed. In real-time, your clients can access these unique resources.
Personalizing your services to meet your clients’ specific needs is a great way to include integrative nutrition in your nutrition practice.
2. Learn how to coach your clients
Holistic or integrative nutrition doesn’t only focus on what individuals eat, but also body, mind and spirit. As a nutrition professional, you have extensive knowledge about nutrition therapy; however, you may have no formal training in how to be a wellness coach for your clients.
Learning new techniques – like how to speak with clients about overall wellness, how to motivate change, and how to be a coach – can help you become a better nutrition practitioner. The next time you’re looking for continuing education, seek out more than just nutritional science information, but also courses that help improve your coaching and counseling skills.
Healthie can also help you become a better health coach. Healthie’s photo food logging feature and easy to use, client-friendly mobile app helps you interact with your clients on a more consistent basis. This lends more opportunities for you to provide positive reinforcement through secure messaging. Plus, Healthie’s goal and sub-goal features help you and your clients track their accomplishments. Additional points of contact and accountability in between counseling sessions increases client retention and compliance. More client engagement, as able with Healthie, helps you stay connected to your clients, improving the client-provider relationship.
3. Create lasting changes to transform your client’s health
Integrative and holistic wellness practices do not only focus on what clients are eating, but also how they are sleeping, moving, managing stress, and more. To use a holistic approach in your practice, you will need to look beyond your client’s photo food log to many lifestyle factors that impact their health. As such, transforming your client’s health in a couple of sessions isn’t going to happen! Instead, create a long-term relationship with your clients.
You can help your clients transform their health through holistic nutrition by creating packages to fit your clientele’s needs. Developing sustainable healthy changes takes time. With recurring subscription services, you will have more time to accomplish the transformations you know you can achieve! Most commonly, we see 3, 6 and, 12 month packages, with automatic payments every month, but if you want help developing perfect packages for your ideal clientele, contact us. We’re happy to help!
If you’re looking to include more holistic and integrative nutrition practices in your practice, consider receiving advanced certification. Integrative and holistic nutrition practitioners in the Healthie community have received advanced certifications from a variety of programs, including: