By Jessica Pantermuehl, NTP and Founder of the Holistic Entrepreneur Association
Mainstream medicine is beginning to catch up with what holistic practitioners have always known: that the path to optimal health lies in addressing the root causes of illness, as opposed to treating the symptoms.
As more and more consumers are shifting away from the disease-centered focus of traditional western medicine and reaching for a patient-centered approach, the need for incorporating functional nutrition into one’s practice is growing.
A practitioner trained in functional nutrition recognizes that the key to optimal health lies in balancing and strengthening the body’s own innate healing processes. The result? Causal factors are addressed directly, which can both resolve chronic health issues and prevent future problems from developing.
While many modern practices understand the benefits of functional nutrition and would want to incorporate this into their existing practice, many don’t know how to bridge the gap.
The Nutritional Therapy Association is providing the answer. Their graduates are trained in functional nutrition and come equipped with the tools to provide bio-individual nutrition plans and therapies to each patient and client. Known as Nutrition Therapy Practitioners and Consultants (NTPs and NTCs), their systematic protocols isolate key foundational imbalances and emphasize an address to the areas of digestion, blood sugar, fatty acids, mineral status, hydration and a properly prepared, nutrient-dense diet.
Bringing an NTP or NTC into your practice is actually quite easy and can benefit any modality. As an NTP myself, I speak from experience.
Take this case study of one:
I was busy building a successful practice of my own when a local integrative medical doctor asked me for help with her patients. It quickly became clear that this was a triple-win situation: the doctor was able to utilize functional nutrition in her practice with a designated practitioner; I was able to help a wider sphere of people and gain insight into the world of integrative medicine; and, most importantly, the patients began receiving a multi-faceted support structure that brought about marked and lasting results.
In the years that I have been partnering with her practice, I’ve learned three essential factors that are key to making such a collaboration successful and mutually rewarding:
1. Start by establishing just one or two days per week for the NTP or NTC to come into the practice.
During my first year working with her practice, I would come in to see patients at various times all throughout the week. This turned out to be highly inefficient, as I might only see two or three patients per day, scheduled far apart. Now, I work with the practice on Thursdays and Fridays only, when I meet with patients back-to-back throughout the entire day.
This allows me to continue to see clients in my own practice and even enables me to devote several days per week to running the Holistic Entrepreneur Association, a community I developed to provide tools, resources and motivation for fellow health and wellness professionals in building their own businesses and practices. This arrangement also benefits the doctor and the front desk of the practice, as scheduling conflicts are minimized
2. Create a system of tracking and coordination.
The key components that I developed with the doctor and found to be successful, include:
- Creating a separate section in the patient chart that is devoted to their nutrition sessions.
- Keeping a running spreadsheet of the patients I’m working with so that I’m able to track where they are in their nutrition program, which the doctor can view at a glance.
- Submitting a weekly summary to the doctor at end of day each Friday that lists which patients I worked with during that week and includes any coordination needed for the patients.
3. Have a willingness to communicate about what is working and what is not working.
As health professionals practicing in tandem with one another, we have the advantage of sharing a common passion for improving the lives of our patients and clients by improving their health. Keeping this goal in focus tends to make the logistics, such as scheduling, payment structuring and administration, easier to resolve.
Every arrangement is different, but a little experimentation with options and an open, ongoing dialogue will help you find the arrangement that works best.
The fact is, more and more patients today are becoming increasingly well versed in issues of diet and nutrition and seeking out practitioners who can provide a root-cause approach to healthcare. As a result, many health professionals are realizing that the best way to build a thriving practice is to fully service all of the needs of their patients, and thus holistically address the full scope of health issues they encounter. Joining forces with an NTP or NTC lends your practice a competitive edge in the holistic marketplace, provides effective and sustainable solutions for your patients and clients, and helps to forward a fundamental shift in the landscape of modern medicine.
Find out more about the Nutrition Therapy Association’s approach to functional nutrition at www.nutritionaltherapyassociation.com, and more about practical tools for building a thriving practice at www.holisticentrepreneurassociation.com.
About the Author
After establishing a successful practice of her own and serving as the Head of Nutrition Counseling for an integrative medical practice for several years, Jessica founded the HEA to provide her fellow health and wellness professionals with the essential tools, resources, systems and strategies necessary to build a thriving business along with a community of support and inspiration.