My Approach to Owning Your Health
As a society we are on a constant quest towards better health; be that having more energy, losing that stubborn belly fat or simply being able to eat a ‘normal’ diet without the need for laxatives or antacids. For some this may seem pretty simple but for the vast majority of us, these ideals are a big deal and sometimes feel unobtainable. We become like hamsters on a wheel in our pursuit; wasting lots of time and money but feel like we’re getting nowhere fast.
What if I was to tell you “you CAN have more energy”, “you CAN lose the weight and you CAN eat a ‘normal diet”?
The answer lies in the ‘why’ of your presenting symptoms. Why are you constantly tired? Why do you store excess fat around your middle and why do you constantly experience heartburn or reflux at the mere sight of food/drink? This is where the Functional Medicine approach to health comes in and this is where you’ll find your answers.
Functional Medicine is a science-based approach to health that aims to find the underlying cause of ill health. The emphasis is not only on regaining health but also on the prevention of future dis-ease.
Functional Medicine assumes that every person is unique, so therefore every individual needs a different approach to treatment. The aim is to “treat the person who has the disease, not the disease itself.”
Functional medicine looks at the person as a whole and not just an isolated set of symptoms. Examining and understanding how our different body systems work and more importantly, how they impact on each other, allows us to get to the root of the issue, instead of just managing the symptoms in isolation.
Nutrition from a functional medicine perspective constantly seeks to understand why?
- Why do you have these symptoms or this condition?
- What is it about your genetic makeup or your individual life experiences that have resulted in your current health problems?
The science behind chronic illness calls for a focus not on the average but on the individual. Precisely because every one of us is, in fact, unique, an operating model that treats us as average can’t possibly be effective.
Why I Offer Packages Instead of One-Off Appointments
When you haven’t felt well in a while, it is unlikely that better health can be restored in just a couple of sessions. With autism, autoimmunity, digestive, mental health and skin conditions there are often multiple systems within the body that need to be addressed and supported over time. Additionally, dietary changes need to be made and these are usually more specific and individualised than just eating more fruit and vegetables, unfortunately. Chronic illness can be complex but our goal is to identify and support the root of the issue and not just look at the symptoms you’re experiencing. So creating lasting and significant changes in your body is like building an empire brick by brick. It takes time to get results.
In Functional Medicine there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach so even if you and a friend or family member have the same illness or condition, you won’t get the same treatment protocol because your journeys to this point have been entirely different and unique to date.
There is not just one event that causes ill-health but instead, a series of events that cumulate to create the ‘perfect storm’ for developing a condition or a set of symptoms. In Functional Medicine, these series of events are referred to as triggers and they range from infections, a traumatic/stressful event, food allergies or environmental toxins. Each of these cause a reaction within the body which impacts upon a gland, tissues, an organ (heart, lung, kidney..) or an entire system (gastrointestinal, immune, cardiovascular and so forth.) Quite often it isn’t just one trigger but a series of triggers that impacts upon your health and moves you away from health towards ill-health and dis-ease.
I work with clients to assess and remove these triggers, identify the best nutrients for them and help them move along the continuum towards health. This level of change takes dedication, time and commitment from both the client and the practitioner and a package structure provides this framework.
Over time I have discovered that having scheduled appointments in advance makes it a lot easier for you to commit to and stick with your programme. Even, if like me you are a grade A procrastinator, having a deadline and having to show up and be accountable for your choices makes you get started sooner, rather than later. It’s also very comforting to know that if you do have ‘one of those weeks’ or you hit a bump in the road, your next appointment is just around the corner for us to support you. You don’t have to wait to schedule an appointment or what normally happens is you can’t get an appointment when you want and your commitment begins to feign and bad habits creep back in, catapulting you right back to the start. This was a genuine problem for me and my clients historically, which is incredibly frustrating and the reason I now offer packages.
I schedule time to work on your programme outside of each session together; researching the studies, analysing lab test results, looking into the appropriate therapeutic nutrients and collaborating with other professionals, if required. Having the scheduled time to focus on your programme before and after each session, allows me to bring my best to your case, ensuring you are getting the dedicated support you require. All of this ensures you are becoming the healthier and more engaged individual you aspired to be and that makes me happy!
What does a Nutrition package look like?
During your initial consultation we’ll discuss your previous medical history, your current symptoms, any recent test results and medications so that we can get a deeper understanding of what your health concerns are. Following this we may recommend some functional tests and a personalised nutrition plan designed specifically for you. We may also recommend some targeted nutrients/supplements to support your health goals. Throughout your health journey we will be with you every step of the way to ensure you are on track to becoming a happier and healthier individual, via email/call and one-to-one support.
Clinics are available in Dundrum, Dublin 14 and also Malahide Co. Dublin. We can also provide online consultations, if travel is an obstacle.
Why work with me?
I know what it’s like to feel unwell and the stress around trying to get better; which diet should I try; what can I eat when I’m out; am I going to be the ‘awkward’ one at parties and events? For me, anti-inflammatories / laxatives / PPI’s weren’t the answer. They were something to masque the problem for that wee bit longer but they didn’t solve my issues. To read about ‘my health journey’ but I knew there was more to my issues and after completing a Masters in Personalised Nutrition, I was able to apply a lot of what I leaned on myself and give my body the nutrients it required to restore balance. Knowing the right foods and nutrients for me has changed my life for the better and I look forward to the opportunity of helping others begin their journeys to better health, every day.
Continuous Professional Development (CPD)
As a Registered Nutrition Practitioner with CNHC I am required to amass 15 hours per year of CPD so that I am kept up to date with the latest research and I’m continually learning in my field. Last year I completed 40.5 hours.
- Preventing and Reversing Neurodegenerative disease by Dr. Dale Bredesen – IHCAN – 4.5 pts CPD
- Methylation and Folate: the gut and hormone implications – Association of Naturopathic Practitioners – 2 pts CPD
- Applying Functional Medicine in Clinic Practice (AFMCP) – Clinical Education – 34 pts CPD
Professional Associations /Registered Bodies
Client – Male, 4 years old, Autism (ASD) Programme
Our family had been working with Orla for the past three months. Our son has autism and associated with this condition, digestive and behavioural issues. We have noticed huge improvements in cognition, a reduction in meltdowns and general responses as well as increased appetite and a variety of consumed food, since starting following Orla’s protocols. Orla is very knowledgeable in her area, understands underlying issues with conditions like ASD and is always looking to improve the child’s well-being by eliminating the allergens/’bad foods’ and reducing the negative effects of these. Her approach is non-invasive and simple to follow. All our queries and questions were addressed immediately. Orla is very pleasant and easy to work with and we would highly recommend her to other parents of children with various challenges.
Client – Female, 29 years, Digestive Programme
I did the digestive programme with Orla as I had a lot of issues. I suffered with irregular bowel movements, acid reflux and excessive burping / sulphur burps. I found life quite uncomfortable because I didn’t know the foods to eat that would ease my symptoms; everything seemed to make me feel worse. However, 1 month into the programme and I was noticing huge differences in my bowel movements, they were a lot more regular and my stomach was way less bloated which was amazing! But the biggest thing that changed was knowing the right foods for me to help remove the feelings of “is this going to make me feel sick/nauseous or give me wicked heartburn”!! Knowing what foods work for me has been life changing and I can’t thank Orla enough for that.
Client – Male, 3 ½ years, Autism (ASD) Programme
We have seen great improvements in our son, which I believe are thanks to the advice and support given by Orla. I found Orla very supportive and kind to deal with and absolutely great with my son who enjoyed his time at the consultations. We have seen great improvements in digestion, speech has come on loads and his behaviour is a lot calmer since starting the programme, so yeah a great range. I would definitely recommend working with Orla.
Client – Female, 28 years, Immune Programme
I have been working with Orla for the past 5 months on a 6-month programme and I can honestly say I feel so much better. The advice I received from Orla has made a huge difference to my life. Before this huge change I was constantly suffering from Urinary Tract infections (UTI’s) and my energy levels were so low I could barely make it through a day’s work. Orla helped me to look at my lifestyle and eating habits and I soon realised I was eating the wrong foods and my lifestyle was work, work, work with no exercise or any relaxation time. I wasn’t taking care of myself properly at all! Orla is extremely nice to deal with and made me feel very comfortable. After a few consultations she provided me with a detailed plan and I knew exactly what I was trying to achieve. I noticed a huge changes after the initial 4 weeks on the plan. I’m in a great mood all the time and I have so much energy now. Since working with Orla, I haven’t had a urinary tract infection at all. This is a massive bonus because as I said earlier, I have been suffering from Urinary Tract infections for years! I feel this programme has honestly changed my life. I highly recommend Orla as a nutritionist. She is extremely good at her job, a true professional and it was an absolute pleasure dealing with her. Thank you Orla, you really make a difference to people’s lives!!!!
Speak with our team today to find out the best health programme that’s suitable for you