My Journey to Nutritional Therapy

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It took me a while to find a schooling program that I really resonated with. I’ve always been a studious person. Aside from getting into a little bit of trouble in high school (who doesn’t, right?) and straying off the path for a while, academia and developing my mind have been priorities in my life. I was frustrated in high school though. I always felt like I was being primed for some kind of career but never really prompted to examine my passions or what might bring me long term fulfillment. By the time I graduated high school, I had a 4.0 GPA yet had no idea what direction I wanted to take.

“Just pick a university that will most likely accept you and your transcript,” they said. “Pull out a loan and you’ll figure out what to major in eventually.”

At the same time, my family was going through quite a dissolution. My mom was facing bankruptcy, divorce, and foreclosure and it didn’t sit right in my bones to shuttle away, get into debt, and pick a degree out of a hat that I would most likely regret later.

So, I got to work. A restaurant job here, a cashier position there. All I really wanted was stability and to help my mom through her massive transitions. One day, I was working a catering gig for a restaurant at a wellness fair where I met a chiropractor who offered me a free wellness check. His findings confirmed some of the stress induced shoulder pain I had been experiencing, and so I decided to go to his office for treatments. This meeting eventually turned into my first long term job in the holistic health world where I learned how to manage an office, perform initial consultations, and assist in peoples physical recovery.

I eventually landed in the health food store and restaurant Simply Wholesome. Here I began tapping into nutrition and herbalism and began refining my own health and well-being. I always knew I wanted to work with people and help them to tap into their willpower for excellence, and nutrition was one of the best vehicles for that. I set out to find a program that would suit my level of education, where I was, and where I wanted to be. A few years and a handful of not-so-resonant programs later, I found the Nutritional Therapy Association. Thanks to a GoFundMe campaign and the generosity of my family, community, and boyfriend (who covered the rest of the payment!), I was able to rally the money to make this huge step possible. It goes to show, if you really want to reach a goal, things come together to make it happen.

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In particular, the Nutritional Therapy Practitioner program (vs. just a consultant) spoke to me greatly. The 9-month intensive course fit 12 modules plus an in-depth training on what is known as the functional evaluation. This hands-on tool kit equipped a practitioner with knowledge on the correlation between certain points on the body with corresponding organs and possible nutrient deficiencies or excesses. Being familiar with and more or less comfortable with one-on-one consultations, having the ability to assess a clients inner landscape and optimize with the proper nutrients was very appealing. Also during my studies of traditional Chinese martial arts and having a loose understanding of the meridians or, energy channels along the body, this program had a similar philosophy and was exactly what I had been looking for. Another aspect of this training utilized what is known as lingual-nueral testing. A fascinating practice and study of the link between our tongues (lingual) and our brain/nervous system (neural), elucidating the body’s ability to know what nutrient it may need to bring forth homeostasis.

I really enjoyed the content of the program, and to a degree, wish that I had more time with each one of them. I will say, this program is fast paced yet digestible (ha. ha.), and having not been in formal schooling for a while, it took a while to adjust. Another key factor was the layout of the course. Most of it was distance learning via a user friendly online platform along with 3 in-person workshops and consistent support from the teachers. This fit my lifestyle’s need for flexible study times yet also addressed my learning style of group connection and in person support.

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Some module examples:
Basics of nutrition science
Anatomy and Physiology
Digestion
Blood Sugar Regulation
Essential Fatty Acids
Mineral Balance
Endocrine System
Immune and Allergy
Detoxification

There was plenty of reading, video lectures, audio files, and interactive homework that kept me engaged and challenged. I particularly appreciated the emphasis on general principles and foundational understanding that could be applied to many types of needs and lifestyles, straying away from dogma and trends. My love for cultural anthropology was even fulfilled, as we studied traditional cultures and ancestral ways that lead to robust health and genetic expression. Critical thinking was not only welcomed but encouraged, and I found myself shifting entire belief systems in order to find the underlying truth of each matter.

The philosophy of establishing a sturdy foundation by instilling strong basics is a way of thinking also practiced in my school of martial arts -and life. True mastery is the refinement and implementation of fundamental basics. Until we have strong pillars in place, health, longevity, skill, and mastery may reach heights but eventually crumble.

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I’m so excited to have completed the Nutritional Therapy Association’s NTP program and look forward to bring forth what I have learned about functional nutrition, my own health, a sustainable future of food systems, and the power of food as medicine. I highly recommend this path!

If this post has sparked interest in either working with me as a client or pursuing further education in an expansive and fulfilling field, don’t hesitate to reach out! You can shoot me an email through the contact tab for more information and visit NutritionalTherapy.com to look at the curriculum. Don’t forget to drop my name if you choose to register.

I have started many programs, books, and paths and for some reason or another, rarely see them through until the end. The biggest win for me here has definitely been the completion of this program and process. I’m so happy I chose consistency and a challenging yet fulfilling practice to begin my career with.

In Health,

Joelle