Frequently Asked Questions
What is Integrative Medicine?
Integrative medicine brings Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) therapies together with mainstream conventional medicine. It is a holistic, patient-centric approach to care, where the focus is on treating the whole person – including the mental, emotional, social and functional elements – rather than the symptoms and/or the disease in isolation. It emphasizes the importance of the patient-practitioner relationship, is informed by evidence, and as Dr. Andrew Weill has pointed out, “cherry picks the very best, scientifically validated therapies from conventional and CAM systems” to help patients achieve optimal health and healing.
What is holistic nutrition?
At the heart of holistic nutrition is the philosophy that an individual’s overall health and well-being is determined by the intricate relationship between the physical, emotional, social and environmental aspects of their lives. While the mind-body interplay is crucial, it is also important to take into account lifestyle factors such as exposure to toxins, food habits, personal stress factors and socio-economic conditions; Holistic Nutrition thus is about the ‘whole person’ and treats each client as a unique individual.
Unlike mainstream diets, the principles of Holistic Nutrition get to the root cause of a set of issues in the body. A holistic approach to nutrition engages the client in the process of healing, while guiding them towards a diet that focuses on nutrient-dense and organic foods. We at Pure Praana not only help a client use food to support their body but also their mental wellbeing.
Are Holistic Nutrition and Conventional Medicine compatible?
Yes. First, it is crucial to understand that holistic nutrition does not seek to replace or alter the protocol prescribed by a medical doctor. A holistic nutritionist works in tandem with a client’s treatment plan.; our nutrition and lifestyle recommendations always take into account a client’s medications and the advice given by their physician/s.
As holistic nutritionists, we recognize that conventional medications may be harsh on the body, often depleting the essential nutrients. We work with our clients to design a nutritional program that supports their body by mitigating the harsh effects of the medications, while also replenishing the essential nutrients.
Often, doctors may not have the time needed to explain the nuances of a good diet, or may lack the in-depth knowledge about nutrition. This is where a holistic nutritionist steps in. We interact closely with our clients, interviewing them about their medical history, understanding their food choices and life situations. We have the ability to spend more time with them, allowing us to better appreciate their challenges and their needs. These insights help us design individualized nutrition plans that specifically address a particular client’s health condition. It also gives us the opportunity to educate the client on the importance of making better choices and empowering them to take charge of their own healing.
How do we use the integrative approach in our practice?
We incorporate different modalities along with nutrition in our practice to create protocols that address each individual’s unique needs. We are strong believers in using the five senses as a gateway to healing. Ayurveda deems sensory perceptions as crucial for optimal health. Everything that we see, smell, hear, taste or touch not only nourishes our bodies at a cellular level, but also activates our inner Praana (Life Force) and determines our relationship with the outer world. Thus, we can make a conscious decision to engage in sensory experiences that foster both internal stability and external harmony. By working on the five senses, we can help restore the mind-body balance and holistically improve chronic conditions.
As Dr. Deepak Chopra has suggested, “It is time to awaken your inner pharmacy, using the tools provided by the Five Senses!”
What is Nutrition Counseling?
Nutrition counseling focuses on the use of nutrient- dense whole foods, herbs and well-researched dietary supplements for disease prevention and recovery. Every individual is different and therefore a plan that works for one, will not work for another. Nutrition counseling focuses on the unique needs of a client and creates a program that will teach you the optimal way of eating for your specific requirements and conditions. It will empower you to make the necessary diet choices; choosing the foods that are best for you and avoiding those that don’t serve you well.
Our therapeutic diet plans will introduce you to new ways of nourishing yourself and making these changes an integral part of your everyday life. We will be there to guide you at every step of the way, whether it be to show you how to incorporate whole, organic, local foods in your diet, providing you with recipes that work with your lifestyle or suggesting different modalities to enhance your journey towards optimal health.
Is everyone put on the same diet?
No. There is no universal diet that is appropriate for all. Each and every person has a unique biochemical constitution; our nutrition plans are designed to appeal to a client’s particular constitution, helping them make the choices that are best for their health and well-being. We will advise you on what kind of diet would be the most effective for your medical condition or health goals.
Whether it is about proposing a gluten free, Autoimmune Protocol, Macrobiotic, vegetarian, vegan, low-carb or a combination of these diets, our protocols are based on the ‘whole’ person philosophy and are specific to you and your needs.
Who will benefit best from our programs?
Everyone can benefit from nutrition counseling. It is about adapting wholesome dietary practices and a healthier lifestyle. Our protocol supports those struggling with chronic conditions such as obesity,
systemic inflammation, cancer or other acute medical illnesses. We also work with athletes and other sports enthusiasts who want to improve performance or manage pain caused by injuries. Finally, it benefits anyone who is keen to pursue a more healthier, robust life.
Are the services of a holistic nutritionist covered by the government or by insurance companies?
Typically, our services are not covered by the government. Some insurance plans will cover this service; however, it is crucial that you check with your provider to determine if your plan will cover the cost of seeing a holistic nutritionist.
Do holistic nutritionists cure disease?
No. Holistic nutritionists work to help prevent and reverse symptoms and illnesses in the body by providing the body with what it needs to heal itself. Holistic nutritionists do not replace the advice of a medical doctor; we work alongside these professionals to provide the best integrative care to our clients.
How can I get the most out of the program?
It depends on you. You have already taken the first step by taking the time to make an appointment and meeting with the holistic nutritionist. Follow the protocol to the best of your abilities and be patient. If you are looking for a quick fix or immediate results, then holistic nutrition is not for you. The body takes a while to heal since we are trying to address and eliminate the root cause of the problem. Some see results sooner; for others it is a slower process. However, the key is to stick to the program!