Interview with Olianna – our Naturopath and Nutritional therapist

naturopathic nutritionist
  1. Could you please tell us a bit more about yourself and your holistic health journey. How did you get the inspiration to practice Naturopathy?

Since I can remember myself, I have always aspired to be a doctor. As I was not yet 18 years old, when I finished school I could not enter any medical school in the UK, hence I went on to study Biomedical Sciences. The complexity of the human body and its numerous metabolic pathways intrigued me into researching more the individual needs, unique constitution and metabolic/ biochemical distinctiveness of the individual and how they can influence prevention and treatment.

While working as a researcher and biomedical scientist in the haematology department of diagnostic health care centres, I noted the importance of prevention in health and disease. Following these years in the conventional medical setting and some health challenges of my own, I reflected upon the need of integrative therapy provision in the medical sector. I strongly believe that the key to good health lies in a preventative and holistic multimodal approach which takes into account the body as a whole, views each individual as absolutely unique, addresses the root of illness rather than just its symptoms, and in which nutrition plays an essential role.

In an effort to combine orthodox and alternative medicine, I went on to study Human Metabolism, Nutrition and Naturopathic Medicine, a decision for which I will always feel blessed.

 

  1. Naturopathy is such a broad discipline with so many different tools. Could you please explain a bit how Naturopathy works and which kind of health issues you typically work with?

 Naturopathy is an umbrella term, used to collectively refer to different disciplines like Nutritional Therapy, Herbal Medicine, Homeopathy, Acupuncture, Reflexology, Bioresonance and so on.

Naturopathic Medicine or ‘CAM’ (Complementary and Alternative Medicine) is an integrative system of health care which encourages and promotes the body’s natural self-healing mechanisms using an eclectic approach. It focuses on prevention of illness and the use of nontoxic, natural therapies. As an holistic system it aims to promote and restore health by employing various non-invasive treatment approaches that may include: naturopathic nutrition, lifestyle advice, phytotherapy, naturopathic psychosocial support and other appropriate techniques – these are the ones I use in my practice.

By practicing evidence-based medicine, my aim is to help people gain optimum wellness and vitality, to live happier, healthier lives.

The health issues I typically work with are the so-called “21st century illnesses”; chronic symptoms/illnesses like stress, anxiety, insomnia, headaches, digestive issues, eating disorders, weight management, autoimmune conditions, thyroid issues, diabetes and pre-diabetes, depression, chronic fatigue, hormonal imbalances, women’s health, infertility and so on.

 

  1. Today we would like to focus a bit on allergy and allergy related conditions, especially since Spring and Summer are typically difficult months for many allergy sufferers.
    Also, a lot of our clients who contact Heartgrain are seeking help with conditions like eczema, fatigue, digestive issues – which often can be actually caused by underlying allergic reactions to various factors. Would you tell us a bit more how naturopathy can help those conditions?

 It is hard to give a treatment protocol for allergic conditions since as I aforementioned, every patient is unique. In Naturopathic Medicine the person is treated, not the disease. Allergies can arise for many different reasons including genetic inheritance, environmental allergens and chemicals, emotional factors, enzyme deficiencies, micronutrient inadequacies, suboptimal gut function, nutrition, lifestyle, introduction of solid foods early on and so on.

Research has shown a strong link between atopic conditions (allergies, eczema, asthma) and leaky gut, scientifically called intestinal permeability, which is basically opened up spaces between the cells lining your gut, due to a protein called zonulin (very often triggered by gluten and other food triggers). As a consequence toxic food particles, undigested proteins, environmental chemicals, and bacterial waste leak through your digestive tract and enter your body. Once inside, these foreign particles raise cortisol levels and push the immune system into battle, promoting inflammation and jumpstarting the development of chronic disease such as allergies and fatigue. Leaky gut can also arise from stress, processed foods, sugar, alcohol, certain medications, imbalanced gut flora and so on. In order to test for “leaky gut” your therapist can help you order a zonulin test or work on healing your gut by diet, botanicals and anti-inflammatory foods, herbs and spices. Your practitioner should find out the underlying cause of your allergies (as described above) and decide about the therapy plan accordingly. A large percentage of patients benefit from a food elimination diet, by eliminating the most common allergens, as well as limiting sugar, coffee, alcohol, dairy, wheat, processed/refined foods, and food intolerances as spotted on a Food Intolerance Test (IgG). Then you should carefully work with a nutritional therapist to steadily re-introduce foods. In severe cases a low-antigenic diet should be followed with the least allergenic foods. There are also some herbs and bioflavonoids which have been widely used in allergies such as bromelain and quercetin, however you should always check medication contraindications. Anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidants compounds can also be of benefit such as in turmeric, ginger, onions, apples, berries, as well as nettle (soup and juice). Some probiotic strains have also been shown to be more helpful than others e.g. Lactobacillus Rhamnosus.

  1. What makes you want to offer Naturopathy online and what is the biggest advantage of an online consultation for your customers?

The biggest advantage of online consultations is time and space limitations. With working hours being sky-high nowadays, both clients and practitioners can benefit from online consultations. People also get the chance to consult the therapist of their choice, i.e. specialising in a particular area, rather than visiting a local therapist for convenience reasons. Personally, I work both in London (UK) and Athens (Greece) and I will soon open a clinic in Mykonos (Greece) too. Online platforms give me the chance to keep in touch with my clients whenever they need my help.

This doesn’t mean that I underestimate the live consultation. When possible I prefer to have the first appointment in person, as it gives me the chance to spot things otherwise not seen on camera. However, cameras are so clear now that I can even do nail and tongue diagnosis!

 

 

  1. What do you find the most challenging in your daily professional life and what gives you the biggest motivation to keep practicing naturopathy?

I absolutely love helping people reaching their full potential. There is no bigger satisfaction to people coming back, describing how great they feel, and often, how they didn’t know that they could feel that great!

All plans are highly personalized and tailor-made, formulated after an extensive case history taking (initial appointment lasts 2 hours), time chart and matrix analysis, as well as GP and functional testing analysis. As a result a lot of time is dedicated to each case, what can be challenging.

Compliance is an other challenge, as even the best client will only follow 80% of the program after a while. To be able to be of more help I have went on to study counselling and Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP), which I have found really helpful in identifying and removing the causes of non-compliance.

Get your Naturopathic consultation with Olianna on Heartgrain and achieve optimum, sustainable and natural health!

 

Related articles:

Are hidden food allergies making you tired? The connection between fatigue and allergy.

Want a radiant and clear skin? Drop the skin products and heal your gut!

Dr. Martin Randy – More than a Naturopath for over 30 years

 

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June 11, 2017