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A functional test can tell an insightful story

Updated: Apr 2, 2023

"How did you know that?"

The question that sometimes follows from a client when you have analysed their functional test. When a functional test is interpreted well with a deeper understanding of systems biology, it is a powerful tool. It can also be a waste of time and money if the practitioner has 'shallow' under-standing of systems biology and the nutritional bio-chemistry.

What is a functional test?

Functional tests look at how the physiology of the individual is 'running' rather than looking at indications of disease. At the School, functional tests are integrated into the 2 year Integrative Nutrition Diploma. They are used as a tool for ideally disease prevention, but nowadays people tend to wait until they are 'ill' to see a practitioner.

Let's name a FEW functional tests;

- Adrenal stress test

- Complete stool analysis

- DNA test

- Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis

- Fatty Acid Profile

- Dry Urine Test for Complete Hormones (DUTCH)

- Organic Acids Test

- Metabolomix

- Food intolerance

- Liposcan

How can these tests be used in practice?

...here are some scenarios that practitioners face (scenario three is a real life one):

Scenario One:

Client: "I am still feeling bloated and nauseas but all my blood tests are normal."

Integrative Nutrition Practitioner: "I have looked through your blood test results and there are a few parameters that need further delving, although they are 'within normal range', some are a tad high for optimal functioning"

Scenario Two:

Client: "All my blood test results are within normal range apart from my iron, but I have been taking iron for a few months now"

Integrative Nutrition Practitioner: "Having looked through your blood test results, looking at MCV and MCH, it would be good to get a work up on your nutrient levels, as I just want to make sure your B12, folate, and CoQ10 are ok but let's go through your digestive health too".

Scenario Three:

Client: "I still get hay fever, I have been seeing an acupuncturist, bio-resonance practitioner and a homeopath, I am noticing I am also now getting a bit wheezy, I would like to be 'rid' of this yearly hay fever saga"

Integrative Nutrition Practitioner: "It may be worth looking at your adrenal functional health and maybe gut health. But tell me, how do you feel on waking in the mornings? How is your body temperature through the day?, How do you respond to stress? "

Client: "I wake up fine, I do need to eat as I am always hungry on waking. I can feel hot sometimes and and cold at other times on the same day, if that is what you are asking. Stress, well where do we start on that one?"

Integrative Nutrition Practitioner: "Ok, so let's work on your nutrition as it seems there is much room for improvement, your stress, and your symptoms seem to indicate your adrenal functional health may need looking into"

Client: "I would like to do any test you recommend, as I do not want to avoid taking medications and yeh I would like some help on how I can manage stress better."

This above client's adrenal stress test showed the adrenals needed some 'intense support'. Over the year a repeat test showed much improved adrenal results and no more hay fever, no need for any relief through natural remedies either. Functional tests and coaching, play vital roles in the day to day practice of an Integrative Nutrition Practitioner.

An integrative approach to health, is a WHOLE systems biology approach, Mind and Body.

The power of integrated nutrition with coaching and some rapid relief remedies is a powerful 21st century combination.

Do you ride a bicycle?

When/If you ride a bike that has it's tyres perfectly inflated, it is a breeze to ride, enjoyable and has a natural flow. This is like the body being at it's optimum, a functional test coming back all 'within range', perfectly 'flated' not too much pressure, not too little. PS. A functional test all within range is a totally different story to a blood test that is all 'within range'.

Now, imagine riding a bike with the tyres half deflated. You can still ride that bike, but you are doing more work to get the same 'output'. This is hard work, a bit like 'pushing through' for some. Others, do not even notice they have been riding 'half deflated', until they ride a bicycle that has inflated tyres! This is like our body.

Eventually, that bicycle with the partially deflated tyres will bring you to a halt. Why do we wait until our physiology is deflated to work on our health? Functional tests can be helpful, but what is even more helpful to you and your health and is taking that step to health, it can be just one step today, and another a week later...just start with one step. No need for overwhelm, no need for 'all or nothing' approach, be kind to yourself, be your own best coach.

The Integrative Approach at the New School.

The functional testing is integrated INTO the curriculum, not at the end of the two year Diploma. We encourage students, to implement what they learn from each weekend into their outside world as they walk outside of the classroom each weekend. The coaching teaches students that to be a practitioner, it takes their own inner work. This Diploma course is practical, solid, science based, fun and 21st century relevant.

We also incorporate COACHING into the functional test results, because we know that ONE test can provide a lot of vital and insightful information that takes time to blend into one's lifestyle. BUT it also takes an integrated practitioner to make those tests relevant to the individual's daily lifestyle. We do not teach tests as single parameters that needs to be treated. It is the WHOLE person that is being 'honoured' here, not a test.

Fancy studying to become an Integrated Nutrition Practitioner?

"I love this course, and the teaching is just bloody fantastic. I honestly never thought I would love the science but it makes better sense than my school years. I can also see the role that I have played in my health as I go through the coaching triads."

Student at the New School of Nutritional Medicine

  1. Download our syllabus, if you like what you see....

  2. Read the FAQs page, if you like the answers...

  3. Have a read of the blog links in the FAQ page....like the blogs?

  4. What are you waiting for? You can apply below

  5. Still have questions? Drop us an email HERE

  6. Not sure, have a look around at other schools and/or come to an open day

We want you to be in the right environment to flourish as your learn and train to be a practitioner. We invest in our students, as they invest in us. We like the human touch, the real live interaction, as we are in the people 'business' we believe students get more from being with other students who are like-minded. Our 2 year Integrated Diploma course is LIVE in London, in person, if you are overseas, then of course join us live stream.


The team at the New School Of Nutritional Medicine.

Learn about the Founder & Principal of the New School of Nutritional Medicine, Dr Khush Mark PhD HERE.

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