As Nutritional Therapy Practitioners (NTPs), we are often asked "What is Nutritional Therapy?" and "What does a Nutritional Therapist do?" So, we have developed this FAQ page to help answer some of the more common questions about Nutritional Therapy an the processes of being a client of Wise Bear Functional Nutrition. If you have a question that is not addressed here, please feel free to call Wise Bear or use the contact form.
Q: What is Functional Nutrition?
Functional nutrition operates our of the philosophy that our bodies are resilient, and were created with the innate ability to seek and find balance, and live with vitality.
It focuses on health as a whole, including the Foundation and Pillars for Health from a Nutritional Perspective (a properly prepared, nutrient-dense diet; digestion, hydration, blood sugar balance, essential fatty acid balance, and mineral balance) as well as the Foundations for Health from a Socio-Psychological Perspective (proper sleep, healthy relationships, brain state regulation, and physical movement). It also aims to provide user-friendly, practical eduction so that you can make informed decisions toward your health and wellness goals for your future.
This means that whether you are looking to achieve and maintain your ideal weight, address food sensitivities, find a sense of peace and tranquility, or increase endurance and optimize recovery in training, our philosophy stays the same: A balanced body promotes vitality.
Q: What is Nutritional Therapy?
Nutritional Therapy is the process by which we utilize the principles of Functional Nutrition to develop your Personal Achievement Plan for you to attain your goals.
It is a comprehensive, evidence-based approach, focused on the body as a whole while seeking the root source of health concerns, rather than simply chasing the symptom, in order to help clients achieve their health and wellness goals.
Nutritional Therapy supports the body's natural ability to be nutrient-sufficient, therefore, promoting optimal health by balancing body chemistry and reducing, or even eliminating, disfunction. Nutritional Therapy, as practiced by a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner (NTP), focuses on maintaining the Foundations through bio-individual dietary, lifestyle, and supplement recommendations, and advocates a properly prepared, nutrient-dense, whole foods diet in order to maintain nutrient-sufficiency.
Q: What is a Nutritional Therapist?
A Nutritional Therapist is a paraprofessional* certified by the Nutritional Therapy Association Inc.® (NTA) to perform Functional Evaluations and use other evaluative tools in order to make bio-individual nutritional recommendations to balance body chemistry and achieve wellness, and provide education, resources and support to clients throughout the Nutritional Therapy process. An NTP does not treat or diagnose illness/disease. Rather, an NTP understands that health is built on certain biochemical Foundations and that balancing these Foundations through healthy dietary and lifestyle choices will promote optimal health and vitality
We are focused on the bio-chemical individuality of each client, and recognizes that there is no "one-size fits all" approach to diet and wellness. Since every person has a unique health history and presentation, with different nutritional deficiencies, different toxic burdens, different lifestyle and eating habits, and different physiological function, we focus on the unique needs of each client in order to provide a finely tuned, bio-individual nutritional program designed to help achieve lasting impact. No other nutritionist or dietician uses this comprehensive, individual approach to nutrition.
Q: Who do we Serve & Who would benefit from Nutritional Therapy?
We serve YOU!
Nutritional Therapy is designed to serve many people with may health presentations and goals over a wide age range. Whether you suffer from a specific condition, collection of symptoms, lack of energy, or simply want to be healthier, Nutritional Therapy can benefit you!
Here is a list of some of the symptoms and issues we've helped our clients overcome:
- Digestive distress (acid reflux, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, flatulence, burping/belching, stomach aches, etc.)
- Weight imbalance
- Energy problems
- Mental fog
- Body aches
- Skin issues (eczema, acne, etc.)
- Blood sugar balance issues (diabetes, pre-diabetes, hypoglycemia, reactive hypoglycemia, metabolic syndrome, etc.)
- Autoimmune issues
- Seasonal allergies
- Hormonal issues and Women's health
- Prenatal and healthy pregnancy care
- General support for greater wellness and health
We are here to show you that eating Real Food does not require a culinary degree, or spending hours in the kitchen. Real Food does not have to break the bank, or be bland and flavorless. Real Food can be made on a budget, require minimal time in the kitchen, and taste absolutely delicious.
Many individuals benefit from getting their Foundations in balance, and see increased energy, mood stabilization, and digestive function as a result.
Q: How does Brain-Based Nutritional Therapy work?
Brain-based Nutritional Therapy works by focusing on the Foundation and Pillars for health from both a Nutritional perspective, as well as a Socio-Psychological perspective.
The FOUNDATION and PILLARS FOR HEALTH from a NUTRITIONAL PERSPECTIVE:
- Nutrient-dense Diet (the foundation)
- Blood sugar balance
- Mineral balance
- Fatty acid balance
The FOUNDATIONS from a SOCIO-PSYCHOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVE:
- Proper sleep
- Healthy relationships
- Brain state regulation
- Physical movement
As NTPs, we believe that weaknesses in The Foundation and Pillars lead to the degenerative health problems that plague our modern world. In order to balance these Pillars from a nutritional perspective, we always ask the "BIG 3" Questions:
- Are nutritional deficiencies or imbalances present?
- What particular nutrient(s) will work to bring the client back into balance?
- When has the client reached sufficiency?
We believe that our bodies were created with an Innate Intelligence designed to govern the innate and autonomic workings of the body. This Innate Intelligence lets us know when we are hungry, or thirsty, or need to sleep. It guides us to choose the ripest fruits and the best time of year to plant seeds to yield our crops. By getting back in touch with our Innate Intelligence, we can balance our Foundations even faster.
However, also we recognize that there are other important factors for health that lie outside the scope of Nutritional Therapy (for example, things like: electromagnetic frequencies, emotional issues, and structural challenges), and that these factors need to be considered in order to achieve optimal health. This is where we utilize our Brain-based approach to help guide you in the right direction for the Socio-Psychological factors listed above.
*Paraprofessional: a person to whom a particular aspect of a professional task is delegated but who is not licensed to practice as a fully qualified professional. A Nutritional Therapist is not licensed or certified by any state. However, a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner™ is trained by the Nutritional Therapy Association, Inc.® which provides a certificate of completion to students who have successfully met all course requirements, including a written and practical exam.
Q: What tools does an NTP use?
- Initial Interview & Consultation
- Provides an opportunity to gather information, better understand your health concerns, and get to know a little bit more about your bio-individual needs.
- Food Journals
- Provides information about dietary habits so we can give specific dietary recommendations for optimal nutrition.
- Nutritional Assessment Questionnaire (NAQ/Nutri-Q)
- Provides a detailed look at your particular presentation and/or symptom burden.
- Functional Evaluation (FE)
- The hands-on Functional Evaluation is unique to Nutritional Therapy. It takes bio-individual nutrition to a whole new level and allows us to provide bio-individual nutrient recommendations. The FE is a gentle, non-invasive, hands-on health assessment that provides your practitioner with clinical information about potential nutrient deficiencies and identifies specific areas Foundational weakness. The FE involves the use of various neuro-lymphatic and neuro-vascular reflex points, as well as other assessment techniques, such as blood pressure assessment and pupillary response test. (For more information on the FE, please read below.)
- Lingual-Neuro Testing (LNT)
- Enables us to determine whether a particular nutritional supplement or food is “right” for you and gives us the ability to fine-tune a nutritional program to meet your unique needs.
- Follow up Assessments
- Provides us with the ability to track and monitor progress as well as provide additional support and continue to fine-tune your nutritional program to your needs.
Q: What is the Functional Evaluation (FE) & Lingual-Neuro Testing (LNT)?
The Functional Evaluation is a gentle, non-invasive, hands-on health assessment tool that provides your practitioner with clinical information about potential nutrient deficiencies and identifies specific areas Foundational weakness. The FE involves the use of various neuro-lymphatic and neuro-vascular reflex points, as well as other assessment techniques. These techniques are most commonly used in conjunction with nutritional supplements and herbal remedies, however, foods can also be used. These test help NTPs to determine the effectiveness of diet or lifestyle therapies and evaluate long term changes in the body’s systems.
The FE utilizes a collection of reflex points on the surface of the body. Your NTP will palpate (apply light pressure to) these reflex points and determine potential nutritional deficiencies or sufficiencies across various systems, organs, and functions of the body.
Lingual-Neuro Testing (LNT) is the part of the FE process that helps your practitioner determine specifically which nutrients will be most beneficial to the body. LNT is a valuable biofeedback tool that enables your NTP to determine the usefulness of a nutritional supplement or food before it is dispensed to the client. One of the jobs of the taste buds in your tongue is to taste a substance, receive information about the substance's nutritional profile, and send signals to the appropriate receptor sites in the body in order to let them know that specific nutrients are on their way. This is how LNT accesses the body's Innate ability to discriminate between what it needs, and what it does not need, in order to correct a specific problem such as a weak organ or a nutritional deficiency. This simple and effective technique makes the difference between a generic nutritional therapy program and a personalized nutritional program.
Some clients prefer to skip the FE and LNT process and receive a generic nutritional program based on the practitioners education and experience working with other clients. This is fine to do, and works very well for distance clients. However, a client can choose to utilize the FE and LNT to receive a personalized plan that reflects both the value of the practitioners experience and the Innate intelligence of their body. This results in a bio-individual nutritional program that is fine-tuned to meet the client's specific needs.
Functional Test Sources include:
- Frank Chapman, DO – Discovered a series of neuro-lymphatic reflex points he used for diagnosis and treatment of disease
- George Goodheart, DC – Discovered the connection between the Chapman Reflex Points and Lingual-Neuro Testing
- Robert Ridler, DC – Developed a series of functional reflex points
- Terrance Bennet, DC – Developed Neuro-vascular reflex points
- Major DeJarnette, DO, DC – Liver Sign, Gallbladder Thumb Web, Thenar Pad Signs, Pancreas and Spine
- Various Medical Signs – Murphy’s Sign, Lowenburg’s Sign, Sanchez Cuenca Test, Ragland’s Sign
Ready to begin your journey to greater health and vibrancy?
Schedule your Initial Assessment Consultation now!
Still wondering if Nutritional Therapy is right for you?
Give us a call at (215) 22-4008 or schedule your free DISCOVERY phone call today!
NOTE: Nutritional Therapy is not intended to replace conventional medicines but to complement them, and, where necessary, dietary changes can be made under the supervision of a Medical Doctor. A Nutritional Therapy Practitioner (Nutritional Therapist/NTP) is not trained to provide medical diagnosis or treatment of any medical or pathological condition, illness, injury or disease. No recommendation or comment made by a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner should be construed as being medical advice or diagnosis. An NTP is certified by the Nutritional Therapy Association, and trained to evaluate a client’s nutritional needs, support normal function, and identify nutritional deficiencies. A Nutritional Therapy Practitioner makes recommendations of dietary change, lifestyle considerations, and nutritional supplementation based on evaluation using the Tools listed above.
Q: How can I learn more about your Membership and Maintenance programs?
Check out our Membership FAQ for more info!
Q: What forms of payment do you accept?
Cash, check, and all major credit cards. (Checks are preferred).
Q: Do you accept insurance?
At this time, Wise Bear Functional Nutrition does NOT accept any form insurance. However, some clients have successfully used their HSA/FSA accounts for consultations.
Q: WHAT IS THE NUTRITIONAL THERAPY ASSOCIATION, Inc.®?
The Nutritional Therapy Association, Inc.® (NTA)
- NTA was founded with the philosophy that the health problems of modern society are the result of poor nutritional foundations that do not support good health.
- NTA is an educational organization dedicated to helping healthcare professionals understand and reverse the ill effects of the modern diet.
- NTA members have access to a wide range of educational tools and a national network of practitioners in the healing arts.
NTA Mission Statement:
Nutritional Therapy Association, Inc.® (NTA) is committed to helping Healthcare Professionals reverse the ill effects of the modern diet.
We (NTA) are guided by:
- A profound respect for the teachings of the nutritional pioneers.
- A commitment to the concept of biochemical individuality.
- The belief that within each of us lies an innate intelligence that will guide us.
For more information about the Nutritional Therapy Association, please visit their website or contact them: