Psychosomatic medicine was born at the beginning of the 20th century through studies on psychology. Today it has become a real branch of medicine, which considers a person in its entirety, claiming that a disorder, understood as malaise, can be connected to each person’s way of being, linked to their mental attitude, their ability to live their own emotions and relationships with themselves and others.
Disorders for which it is not possible to find an organic cause, such as skin rashes, headaches, rheumatic pains, stomach cramps… these are all symptoms that can sometimes be suffered without a real pathological origin. Sometimes we forget the relationship we have with the environment, and this can affect our health. Feelings and emotions sometimes have surprising implications on our state of health, and it is no coincidence that ancient Greek medicine and traditional Chinese medicine considered the internal organs like the only seat of our emotions.
In-depth studies have shown that the majority of illnesses – existential, psychic and organic – have the same emotional origin in common, and how it is necessary to intervene in this direction to restore a healthy balance which, even prior to the physical one, must become mental: it is necessary to improve self-esteem, managing emotions and reducing stress factors, trying to live relationships with affection and reciprocity, feeling alive even before healthy.
It is so deep down that God created us and considers us, only entity, body and psyche, the basic paradigm of medicine, psychotherapy, personal growth and spirituality. It is a bit like going back to the origins, “Mens sana in corpore sano”. Each person has a story, a lived experience, a need for well-being that demands care, love, authentic dedication and attention in its psycho-physical-spiritual entirety. I am a Naturopath and Consultant in Psychosomatic Nutrition and to better understand the subject I want to explain who this professional figure is and what deals with.
The eating behaviour is nothing more than the set of attitudes that distinguish the way food is consumed in a clear context of an individual’s life. It’s very important to analyse a person’s eating behaviour, as it is equally fundamental to assess the environment in which he or she lives. Two different techniques can be used to assess the problems inherent in the subject; the first is the traditional standard medical dietetic method, which consists of assessing the disorders caused by incorrect eating behaviour in its biochemical form, subjecting the person to a schematic diet, inserting specific foods and drugs to modify the current metabolism to correct the pure biochemical disorders, without however considering the environment and all the external elements that can contribute to modifying the client’s eating behaviour.
The second method adopted by the Psychosomatic Nutrition Consultant is approached with greater knowledge and awareness of the environment in which the person lives. Therefore, it is no longer the eating disorder at the centre of attention, but rather the person’s life itself and the environment around it. The Psychosomatic Nutrition Consultant has an important commitment, which is to plan with the client a diet based on psychophysical well-being, providing all those tools useful to lead them to an optimal state of health, also recommending physical activity and a reflection on the awareness of their limits and eating disorders, strategies to improve living together in a difficult family or work context, research into culture and pastimes that can increase self-esteem and the desire to face life’s problems.
Article edit by Ilaria Chionetti Pininfarina