Nutritional Therapy Services

Our model at Beacon House emphasises the role of health in the body, alongside health in the mind. We therefore work very closely with Rebecca Tanyar-Mead, a Registered Nutritional Therapist who has a particular interest in mental health and nutrition in children, teens and adults. Rebecca’s clinical practice is near our Cuckfield clinic, and we work in partnership with her when a client would benefit from both Nutritional and Psychological therapy.

What is Nutritional Therapy?

Registered Nutritional Therapists assess and identify potential nutritional imbalances and consider how these may contribute to an individual’s behaviours and health concerns. They apply evidence-based, nutritional science to promote health and personalised care; supporting the mind and body as a whole. By taking an in-depth case history they can then use diet and lifestyle interventions to alleviate health concerns, and create an individual health template.

Diet is the focus of treatment, but other methods of treatment are used, such as orthomolecular medicine (targeted supplements), essential oil therapy, herbal medicine, and lifestyle factor advice such as stress management techniques, exercise plans and sleep hygiene.

What is the link between nutrition and mental health?

One of the most under recognised factors in the area of mental health is nutrition. Just like the rest of the body, the brain requires nutrients, especially essential fatty acids, amino acids, vitamins, minerals and water, to remain healthy. An integrated approach equally reflecting the interplay of biological, as well as the psychological, emotional and social factors of mental health, is vital. Diet is a cornerstone of this integrated approach.

Research in the fields of neuroscience and nutrition show that people who eat a diet of modern processed foods have increased levels of depression, anxiety, mood swings, hyperactivity, and a wide variety of other mental and emotional problems.

The correct balance of macronutrients, protein, fats and carbohydrates, is critical to health, including that of the brain.

 

Good quality protein provides the building blocks (amino acids) for neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin that calm us and keep our outlook positive.
People who are lacking in key amino acids can experience weakness, moodiness, and increased anxiety or signs of depression for this reason. Protein also helps balance blood glucose, further preventing mood changes, irritability and cravings that can occur due to fluctuating blood sugar levels.

 

A diet too reliant on refined carbohydrates like white pasta and rice, cakes and biscuits, and of course sugar, as well as an over reliance on carbohydrates in general, raise blood sugars, and disturb hormone balance.

 

Healthy fats are critical for brain and overall health. They are the backbone of our hormones, and our brain consists of 80% fat.

Micronutrients present in whole, unprocessed foods perform a number of essential functions, including co-factors for brain cell health and the production of neurotransmitters. Some of the key nutrients for brain health include omega 3 fats (DHA and EPA), tryptophan, B-vitamins, zinc and magnesium. Many of us are deficient in some or all of these.

Deficiencies in micronutrients are linked to a number of mental health problems. Reduced intake of omega-3 fats in the diet, is a risk factor for a number of mental health problems, including depression. Studies have also shown that optimal consumption of these fatty acids can be helpful in the control of bipolar symptoms. Reports suggest that these fatty acids have an association with better mental health even after adjustment for other factors (income, age, other eating patterns), and a reduced risk of cognitive impairment in middle age.

Deficiencies in B vitamins and zinc, can also be a contributing factor to many other mental health issues, such as anxiety, panic attacks, and even schizophrenia.

There is also a growing understanding of the link between experiences of trauma, and changes in the individual’s ‘microbiome’ (in other words, their gut bacteria). Chronic stress is known to physically change the body’s systems, and re-balancing the digestive system can be a very effective part of stabilization for vulnerable and traumatised individuals.

Preservatives, pesticides and plastic packaging in processed foods have also introduced a plethora of new chemicals into our systems, which pose additional threats to our brain functions.

Stress management plays an equal role. The more stress we respond to and endure, the more nutrients we require, and the less able we are to absorb them from our food.

Who benefits from a Nutritional Therapy consultation?

If you have had any of the following problems, a nutritional consultation may help:

  • Chronic stress
  • Depression and/or anxiety
  • Feeling tired a lot of the time
  • Energy slumps in the day
  • Low motivation
  • Poor concentration
  • Skin complaints
  • Headaches
  • Joint pain
  • Digestive complaints
  • Poor sleep quality

What is involved in a consultation?

Before the consultation you will be asked to complete a client form and 3 day diet diary, to be returned to Rebecca before your first appointment.

You will also need to bring a list of all pharmaceutical medicines and natural supplements you are currently taking, including brand and dosage, and any recent medical test results if available.

At your consultation, your nutritional therapist, will take a thorough medical and symptom history. With your permission, Rebecca may look at your tongue, nails and iris (eyes), and may take your blood pressure.

Your initial appointment may take up to 2 hours (1 hour for children), and follow-ups are up to 1 hour (30 minutes for children).

Your Nutrition Pack will be emailed within 10 working days. This includes a health evaluation and symptoms finding report, diet and lifestyle plan, supplement list if required, and handout folder with useful information and recipes. You will be given an in-depth analysis, so you can take control of your own health, knowing how, and why.

Rebecca prefers to see clients for a minimum of two sessions, however some chronic health conditions will need ongoing consultation and follow up. It is not always clear from the start how many sessions will be optimal, but she will endeavour to give as much transparency as we can. Her priority is to support and educate the client towards self- sufficiency as soon as possible.

What are the outcomes from a consultation?

Learning to look after your health with lifestyle medicine, by optimising diet and lifestyle practices, puts you back in control of your physical and mental well-being. It’s a powerful tool, with no side effects that will last a lifetime. Rather than symptom management, you can reverse symptom progression, living your fullest life. The role of the nutritional therapist is to help your body and mind, heal itself, by teaching you how.

Laboratory Testing

Rebecca’s Nutritional Therapy Service also offers a complete range of tests through private laboratories. These can be useful for gut and hormonal health especially, including tests for infections, and food sensitivities and intolerances. Where tests are available on the NHS, she will supply a referral letter for your GP.

How to make a referral

If you would like to make a referral for a Nutritional Therapy consultation, you are welcome to get in touch directly with Rebecca Tanyar-Mead on rebecca@modernnaturopathy.com or telephone her on 07810 118918. Rebecca is able to offer clients a free of charge 15 minute phone call before booking in an appointment. You can also find out more about Rebecca’s services on her website: www.modernnaturopathy.com