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Nutritional Therapists give advice about diet and nutrition to people, in order to improve help them improve their health and aid any healing processes that are required.
They might be approached to help with skin conditions, allergies, digestion and stress.
Typically, a Nutritional Therapist will have an initial consultation with a client, where they will discuss their medical history and lifestyle. They will also often carry out tests to help with diagnosis, and spend time increasing their clients awareness of nutrition and its links with health benefits.
From their tests, a Nutritional Therapist will decide on a course of action for their client, making recommendations for lifestyle and diet changes, and whether vitamin or mineral supplements should be taken.
How to become a Nutritional Therapist
While nutritional therapy is unregulated, it is beneficial for an individual to gain membership of a professional body.
One such body is the Nutritional Therapy Council (NTC), who works with other associations to regulate the profession. These bodies also work with the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC), an organisation that liaises with the bodies of numerous complementary therapies and compiles a register of approved practitioners.
A candidate can gain membership with the NTC by achieving a qualification from a course that has been approved by a nutritional therapy organisation, such as a diploma or degree in nutritional therapy.
Entry requirements for these courses vary from institution to institution, and should be checked.
Once qualified, it is up to the individual to keep their knowledge up to date and continue further training, which can be accessed through professional bodies that a candidate may be a member of.
Skills and knowledge required
- Good communication and people skills
- The ability to build up a rapport with people
- Empathy and sensitivity
- Understanding of nutrition
- Good problem solving skills
- Good organisation and commercial acumen for running your own business
Self-employed Nutritional Therapists charge by the hour, and can command between £40 and £100 an hour.
Starting salaries are often around the £15,000 mark, which rises to between £20,000 and £30,000 a year with experience.
There are no set hours for a Nutritional Therapist. They often manage their own time, and can work evenings and weekends in order to fit around the availability of clients.
www.nutritionaltherapycouncil.org.uk – Nutritional Therapy Council
www.cnhc.org.uk – Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC)
www.bant.org.uk – British Association for Nutritional Therapy
www.nutritionalmed.co.uk – Register of Nutritional Therapists