Nutritional HealingDiscover nutrition’s role in chiropractic health.By Pattie Stechschulte – Read the original article here
People do understand the need for proper nutrition and they want to learn how to eat healthier, according to the 2000 HealthFocus Survey. The majority of consumers claimed they recognized that making healthy choices positively affects them on an emotional, health and cosmetic level. Over half of the consumers reported that they are interested in learning more about nutrition and how it can affect their health.
Working with Nutrition Professionals
According to the American Dietetic Association, dietetics professionals are uniquely positioned to be the primary information resource regarding the relationships among diet, health and disease prevention. They are trained in the relationship between food and health throughout the life cycle and thus are able to communicate this relationship to other members of the health care team, educators, policy makers and the public.
The ADA’s Nationwide Nutrition Network has a national referral service on their website that links the public and health care providers with dietetics professionals who provide reliable, objective nutrition information. ADA members are Registered Dietitians or Dietetic Technicians, Registered.
Another option is to work with a Certified Clinical Nutritionist, who is a highly qualified professional trained extensively in assessing a person’s nutritional needs to achieve normal physiological function.
The Importance of Proper Nutrition
If your body is getting essential nutrients including carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins and minerals, it will help your body function, which includes digesting, absorbing, metabolizing and excreting which leads to homeostasis.
Bad eating habits that include diets high in sugar and fats, may lead to fatigue and possible diseases like diabetes, heart disease and cancers.
“Nutrition goes along with the chiropractic philosophy – treating the whole person by helping the body to naturally heal,” explains Christina Caro, M.B.A., R.D., L.D., dietetic internship coordinator, Life University’s Department of Nutrition. “To neglect the diet when helping a patient is very naïve. The old saying, ‘You are what you eat,’ is somewhat true.”
Chiropractic and Nutrition
Many chiropractors believe that proper nutrition is an essential part of preventive health care along with exercise, rest and spinal adjustments.
Dr. Wayne Neal, who practices in Smyrna, Ga., believes there is a natural fit between chiropractic and nutrition. “Chiropractic is trying to heal the body naturally. When you are eating natural foods, it helps the body with the ability to heal itself,” says Dr. Neal.
“Nutrition can directly impact subluxations from the standpoint that improper nutrition can affect fluid levels on a cellular level which affects nerve transmissions. Proper nutrition may help patients hold an adjustment longer,” explains Caro.
Helping Patients with Nutrition
Neal first became involved in nutrition and weight management after reading the The Maker’s Diet: The 40 Day Health Experience That Will Change Your Life Forever by Jordan Rubin.
“I was at a conference when I saw the maker’s diet book at a booth and I remembered that my nutrition teacher recommended the book. It was based on foods mentioned in the Bible, so I decided to read it and try the diet myself,” said Neal. “I found that I was holding my adjustments longer, so I began sharing it with my patients.”
“I believe it has been building up my tendons and allowing me to hold adjustments longer. The book recommended replacing artificial products with natural products like using honey instead of artificial sweeteners,” said Neal. “I began to notice that when my patients changed their diets, they became healthier.”
He advises other chiropractors to try the diets themselves before recommending it to their patients. “I will research the diet on myself first, to find out if it works before I start recommending it,” says Neal.
He also admits that if he has a complicated case, he will refer his patients to a professional with an extensive background in nutrition and allergy testing.
Many patients are looking to chiropractors who are helping them manage specific health problems through an integrative approach that encompasses nutrition. Integrative health care focuses on how biochemical individuality, metabolic balance, ecological context, genetic predisposition, lifestyle patterns and other factors have the potential to strongly influence human physiology and the push pull dynamics of health and disease as defined by Great Smokies Diagnostic Laboratories.
Using patient samples of stool, urine, saliva, blood or hair, these integrative tests can provide focused and advanced insight into key areas of physiology, including gastrointestinal function, cardiovascular disease, nutrient metabolism, immune/antibody response and hormone secretion/activity.
As an example, some parents of autistic children have found that following a diet free of gluten (grains) and casein (dairy) products may improve the child’s behavior based on extensive testing of their digestive system which does not produce the necessary enzymes to break down these specific foods.
Chiropractors who include clinical nutrition or nutrition therapy/services in their practice start out by assessing the patients a case history, testing, physical examination, review of current diet and lifestyle.
After the evaluation and testing is completed, qualified chiropractors will be able to make recommendations on what foods to eat, what foods to eliminate, how to remove toxins, possible supplements for specific needs and exercise.
“Chiropractors already have a background in science which should serve as a base of knowledge to understand how nutrition affects the body,” said Caro. “The average person knows very little about nutrition. They know the basic facts that fatty foods are bad or to avoid too much sugar, chiropractors can do a great deal in educating and motivating their patients.”