Judy Patterson BSc(Hons), MNIMH, mNNA
- Special Interests
My areas of special interest and expertise lie in the field of chronic illness and functional disorders. Functional disorders are health problems that may cause considerable distress or discomfort but have no pathology that doctors can identify. A common example is irritable bowel syndrome. Experience in over 25 years in clinical practice has shown me that almost all conditions are treatable when they are addressed with the aim of improving the individual’s ability to nourish, detoxify and coordinate their minds and bodies. My specialist areas of study are cancer support (working in conjunction with conventional treatment), metabolic disturbances associated with blood sugar imbalances, fatigue conditions, persistent weight problems, fertility difficulties, stress related disorders and all types of digestive dysfunctions.
Although I started my undergraduate studies as a medical student in Edinburgh University, I changed study direction after a year and subsequently graduated from Exeter University in 1978 with a BSc (Hons) in Psychology. An interest in nutrition and healthy eating developed during holiday work in Cranks vegetarian restaurant . On graduating I put my skills into practice by cooking for a small group of primary school children at a private boarding school in Dartington, Devon. This was followed by a period of time living and working on an a organic small-holding and managing the wholefood café at the Centre of Alternative Technology in mid Wales. I later devised and ran residential courses in wholefood cookery and Herbal Medicine at the Centre.
Seeking a vocation, I started looking for a way to combine my interest in healthy eating, organic growing and a lifelong affinity for wild plants with my medical interests. This led to studying a distance learning course in Medical Herbalism with the School of Herbal Medicine in Tunbridge Wells. After 6 years of part-time study I qualified as a medical herbalist, with the NIMH (National Institute of Medical Herbalists) in 1989 and have since practiced in Bristol, Nottingham and Inverurie. Constantly seeking to add depth to my holistic approach to healing, I undertook reflexology training at the Midland School of Reflextherapy and later followed up my growing interest in nutrition by studying for a distance learning BSc in Nutritional Medicine with Thames Valley University. A Diploma in Iridology was a valuable adjunct to this training. I was awarded a BSc in Nutritional Medicine in 2008 and Membership of BANT (British Association for Applied Nutrition and Nutritional Therapy) in early 2009. Have an interest in helping people live better with cancer I worked as a student practitioner for the Nutrition Cancer Therapy Trust and later followed up this interest by setting up the Nutrition Service at CLAN (Cancer Link Aberdeen and North East) in 2006.
I devised and ran a 10 week Adult Education course in Natural Health at Nottingham University in the early 1990’s and have given numerous talks. I hope to re-engage with teaching some aspects of my work in the near future.
- Inspiration – Functional Medicine
I have always been attracted to a holistic approach to health, with a natural inclination to ask the question “why ?” Unlike the focus of conventional medicine on “naming, blaming and taming” a specific disease, the naturopathic approach seeks to understand the antecedents and triggers that led to a breakdown of health, in order to clarify and prioritise the steps of the route back out again. The tools of Natural Medicine are then applied to this task. In 1991 a science-based field of health care grounded in the principles of naturopathic healing was founded in USA. This inspiring new medical movement is called Funtional Medicine. The Institute of Functional Medicine www.functionalmedicine.org is at the leading edge of this rapidly expanding systems-based medicine movement.
• As part of a programme of Continued Professional Development I undertook a two year programme of web-based seminars given by doctors and naturopathic physicians from the Institute of Functional Medicine, and continue to follow training webinars from a wide range of pioneering doctors and naturopaths in this field. In October 2015 I completed a rigorous 5 day training in Applied Functional Medicine in Clinical Practice (AFMCP-UK) in London.
- Professional memberships
I have been a fully insured member of the National Institute of Medical Herbalsits since 1989. Due to recent changes in BANT’s membership regulations, I changed my Nutritional Medicine professional body to the Naturopathic Nutrition Association (NNA) to enable me to continue incorporating herbal medicine and nutritional medicine into one holistic practice.
- Eating Psychology Coaching
My interest in psychology drew me to “round the circle” by enrolling in a pioneering course in “Eating Psychology Coaching” run by the Institute for the Psychology of Eating, Boulder, Colorado, USA in 2013/14. This training has deepened my understanding and ability to help people who struggle with emotional eating and other difficulties around food choices.
I have recently invested in a HeartMath emWavePro, a unique biofeedback device measuring heart rate variability, as a teaching aid to help clients manage stress and increase their emotional and physiological resilience. See www.heartmath.com