Questioning my Practice Direction
After some extensive thinking over the last few months, and observing the way I work with clients and where my skills are best used, I have decided to rework my offering within my clinic so that I can better support my clients and ensure that I am attracting the clients I am best suited to help.
It is common when qualified in Functional Medicine to want to help with any condition – particularly because the models and training we receive are so universally applicable. And whilst I will still retain ongoing education in all fields (mainly because I am endlessly fascinated by all realms of human biology, function and nutrition), I have decided to really focus my practice to specialise in the areas in which I find myself working most often, and most rewardingly.
Going forward, I am going to specialise in the field of digestive health, and, alongside that, focus on immune dysregulation and autoimmunity, particularly that which involves multiple intolerances and sensitivities.
Given my own conditions, I will continue to work closely with those clients who have genetic conditions affecting digestion/inflammation/oxidative stress/autoimmunity etc.
The Interconnected Human Being
I am obviously still going to look into all Functional testing and analysis for clients, as the whole tenet of Functional Medicine is founded on the knowledge that everything is connected. In particular (because of their connection to digestion and immunity) I will still retain a keen interest in both hormonal analysis (both adrenals and sex hormones) and also researching into MTHFR, SNPs and nutrition’s role in mental health.
Why Gut Health?
However, my reasons for focusing my practice in the area of digestive health, immune dysregulation (and genetic conditions which give rise to issues in these areas) are partly due to having done most of my study and research in these areas – but also because these are the areas in which I have the most personal experience. I believe that, on top of my training, it is my personal journey in these areas that enables me to work most effectively with clients dealing with these issues.
I have done every diet and followed every protocol imaginable for digestive wellbeing. I have done multiple rounds of treatment protocols, antibiotics and herbal antimicrobials, and lived through a vast array of different issues – from GERD and gastroparesis to non-coeliac-gluten-sensitivity, SIBO, parasites and more.
I have also dealt with the complex minefield that is dealing with genetically inherited conditions which give rise to autoimmunity, generalised immune dysregulation and multiple, heightened sensitivities (including the associated conditions of POTS, histamine intolerance etc.) My encyclopaedic knowledge on all things ‘gut and immune health’ is, therefore, the result of both extensive study and personal experience. All of this means that digestive and immune health have become my deepest area of expertise.
(As a brief aside – as part of my continued training in the world of gut health, I am currently amongst the first group of practitioners going through Invivo Clinical training, with the peerless Dr Allison Siebecker, to become Certified in the treatment of Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO). Though I have been treating SIBO in my practice for a long time, I am truly committed to staying current with the latest data to ensure that I am serving my clients using the best information possible.)
Coaching for Digestive Healing
My strength lies not only in mastering the vagaries of digestive challenges, but also in incorporating the very necessary psychological, emotional and ‘self’ work that is often required when conditions are chronic and/or genetic in origin. If you read my latest blog on the psyche in immune health you will know that I enjoy helping clients work on the psychology of eating, the mindset regarding healing from immune hypersensitivity and the emotional tools to tackle wellbeing.
The way we face into our health challenges often requires a strength of character which I have had to find in myself, particularly in the face of constant digestive symptoms and endless iterations of dietary protocols and treatments. I know from experience how vital feeling supported in this process can be. I also know how impactful digestive illness and immune dysregulation is on life – from intestinal permeability causing systemic inflammation, to seemingly insurmountable food intolerances making eating anything at all a misery.
For that reason, I believe my greatest strength is found in not just treating, but SUPPORTING people through these conditions.
I am particularly keen on finding ways to optimally assist my clients through the process of treating digestive concerns. This is rarely, if ever, achieved in just one or two consultations – but often requires working alongside a professional for 3-6 months, depending on the condition.
I must say, I am NOT a fan of ‘bulk’ packages which combine extensive testing, consultations, supplements and ongoing support, charging thousands of pounds for the privilege. I don’t believe every client needs every test and will still use an initial, full-length consultation to completely hone any further testing and treatment programme recommendations to each individual client.
However, I do feel that, after this initial assessment, an ongoing commitment to working with a consistent practitioner ensures both client compliance (i.e. sticking with any protocol for long enough) and client success – by which I mean truly helping a client transition from a place of “treatment” to a place where they are eating the broadest and most nourishing diet possible in their unique situation.
My aim has always been to allow my clients to find a place where they feel finally safe within their bodies and their food choices, not left at the end of any programme with only a handful of ‘safe’ foods and a general fear of eating anything off their ‘plan’.
Revamping my Consultations, Packages and Services
For this reason, I am going to be revamping my website in the coming days – to focus it more on the digestive wellbeing, autoimmunity and genetic conditions which I will be treating going forward.
I will also be changing my consultation section to detail the full packages of support which I will offer – currently planning to bring these into play from 13 February 2017.
As stated above, I will not be including testing and supplements in these packages, as these will continue to be selected for each individual client. However, I am going to switch to offering my digestive health clients affordable packages which will include regular check-in consultations and email support from me. This will enable me to spend more time and attention on each client, truly helping and coaching them throughout their treatment and until their wellbeing reaches the point where they feel confident in their ability to continue remaining (and becoming ever more) healthy.
I hope that this work will result in a practice that is more fulfilling for me, more focused and clear for my prospective clients, and more attentive and successful in helping those who seek my help. If you have a digestive condition that you are battling with, or immune hypersensitivities or genetic conditions which are making life challenging for you – please do get in touch with me today, or send me an online enquiry form. I would be delighted to help you going forward and support your process to becoming truly healthy.