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What is...?

What is Trauma?

According to the National Institutes of Health, a traumatic event is a shocking, frightening, dangerous, or violent encounter that can initiate strong physical and/or emotional reactions persisting long after the event, which can eventually lead to physical or mental diseases.

What is Stress?

According to the National Institutes of Health, stress is a physical and/or emotional reaction that people experience as they encounter challenges in life. These physiological reactions can influence nutritional habits in several ways.

Trauma is stress, stress is trauma.

Trauma ⇆ Stress

How is Trauma related to Stress?

Trauma can be understood as excessive stress because it involves experiencing or witnessing events that are often perceived as emotionally devastating, triggering a profound stress response in the body. Experiencing these events triggers a cascade of hormonal reactions in the body that produce the fight-or-flight response (the non-specific response of the body to any demand for change). Prolonged or intense stress responses can result in biochemical changes that affect nutrient availability often resulting in nutrient deficits limiting the body's ability to effectively heal. This, thereby creating additional physical stress, perpetuating the stress cycle.

Medical Nutrition Therapy

What is Medical Nutrition Therapy?

Medical Nutrition Therapy (MNT) is an integrated approach that synergistically combines the principles of nutrition and medicine to address a wide spectrum of health needs.

 

Actual Definition

According to Chapter 486-Part X, FS and Chapter 64B8-42 of the Florida Administrative Code, MNT is defined as the assessment of nutritional status, the design and implementation of personalized nutrition care plans, and the application of MNT for the treatment of both complex and uncomplicated medical conditions and trauma.

Nutrition for Trauma

How can MNT be used as in clinical practice for people who've experienced trauma?

The integrative nature of MNT involves nutritional treatment and counseling techniques that combine cellular pathways of human biochemistry with psychological and behavioral dimensions for both eating and lifestyle choices. It goes beyond traditional paradigms and personalizes therapies to adapt to individual circumstances.

 

How does MNT help with trauma-induced or stress-induced lifestyle recovery?

The principles of MNT find relevance through many different facets, including recognizing the nutritional signs of trauma and/or stress, its metabolic effects, and supporting these pathways with the proper nutrients. However, MNT also considers our individual dietary behaviors, such as food and plant addictions, food choices, and emotional eating, while additionally taking into account the spiritual nature of an individual. Macro- and micro-nutrients support changes in appetite and neurological health, and with body-mind-spirit practices can build a stable foundation for those with lived trauma or extremely stressful lives. Ultimately, implementing such practices and techniques encourages informed choices, provides increased nutrition knowledge, and helps in the mastery of self-directed practices, leading to productive lifestyles. 

Body-Mind-Spirit Stress Cycle
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