In the years that I’ve been working for myself I’ve come to realise that a lot of people (even family, friends, colleagues and passers by) don’t actually understand what it is I do for a living. I must admit although I understand my chosen path on an intellectual level, it’s taken me a while to be able to articulate it in a meaningful way. On here you’ll see me posting recipes/ images of my partner’s culinary creations (he’s the chef in the household) and blogs and articles but might still wonder...what is it that Genna does? For me a huge element of the understanding is context, so here goes:
Professional title: Naturopathic Nutritional Therapist
Studied: College of Naturopathic Medicine
Graduated: October 2016
Business name: Genna Nelson Health and Wellness
What is a Nutritional Therapist: Well....in short I educate people on the connection between diet and lifestyle and disease. I empower them to make positive changes in their life and support them on that journey.
The first year of my diploma was exactly the same training that a doctor gets at medical school. The following two years was then specialising in human nutrition combined with many, many hours of practical clinical supervision. The methodology of my training is based around root causes. What this means is when I work with a client I am not “treating” their symptoms but using the symptoms to guide me to what the possible root cause might be.
I often don’t resonate with the title of Nutritional Therapist because it implies it’s all about the food, and it is mostly but it’s not the whole picture. I work holistically which to me means I’m not only looking to understand my client’s diet but I also want to know how well they sleep, are they stressed, are they on medication, is there a family history of illnesses and most importantly, do they want to feel better?
A consultation with me takes from 60-90 minutes depending on the client. I ask each client to complete a health history form which helps me to build a timeline of events. I’m looking for a) triggers - what may have caused a health issue and b) drivers - what’s making this symptom worse?
Depending on the client, I tend to see them over a period of 18 months. Initially we will work intensively for around 12 weeks depending on how much support they need and we’ll meet 3 times in those 12 weeks.
The types of conditions I’ve worked with range from people wanting to loose weight to type 2 diabetes, Crohn’s Disease, IBS, Fibromyalgia, allergies, Thyroid disorders and Coeliac Disease.
These are all heavy hitting conditions that have a real impact on people’s lives. I usually will see a client when they have tried every other option and sadly also, they feel let down by our sick-care system. I think the act of giving a person undivided attention for 60 minutes is powerful in and of itself.
Step one is to help clients begin to tidy it up their diet ie do they need to remove gluten/dairy/sugar for a period of time? Do they need to add more veggies, do they need to get in a regular sleep pattern? Do they have crazy blood sugar? Once we know what we’re dealing with I can then help by sharing my knowledge in small, meaningful ways so they can begin to change their diet. I work in a style of coaching because I know first had how hard it can be to implement changes. I know all the hurdles and have heard all the excuses a thousand times. I’m most passionate about helping people break down their seemingly insurmountable barriers and seeing them help themselves to feel well again.
I’d describe myself as an idealist. I don’t see each person as their illness. I see each person as an opportunity to discover wellness. Not every client sees a complete transformation in their health but if they leave me feeling a little better because they can sleep all night or have more energy then I view that as a success.
I’m passionate about sharing the truth. For too long now we have been and still are being fed a narrative about health that’s based on misinformation. The research is there and the facts are robust. People need to educate themselves on what they are putting into their bodies and not following what the media outlets tell them to. I see myself as part of that education.
So, if you or anyone in your family/friends is living with a chronic health condition there is a very good chance that me or someone like me could help them to unpick their symptoms and maybe even help them to feel well again.
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