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Posts Tagged ‘Functional Diagnostic Nutrition’

What is Adrenal Fatigue?

Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

Hi All,

In this video Reed Davies (Functional Diagnostic Nutrition) talks about adrenal fatigue.


Todd Durkin talks Nutrition

Wednesday, June 16th, 2010

HI All,

Came across this video where Todd Durkin is talking to a Nutritional Advisor on the subject of Functional Diagnostic Nutrition. This is a great service and one to look out for as it will be massive when it hits the UK.

So what is it?

Look out for a range of FDN services launching with Foresight Personal Training in the near future. These will be available in all our areas of operation, including Manchester, Cheshire and Stockpot!

Keep well!


Interview with Leigh Brandon (Chek Practitioner – BodyChek)

Monday, April 12th, 2010


This week I had the pleasure of interviewing Leigh Brandon one of the leading Chek practitioners in the UK.  Leigh has been involved in wellbeing for a number of years and has held a wide variety of positions within the industry.  He has a great outlook on how to improve wellbeing and has his own consultancy BodyChek which is well worth a look.


TG: Hi Leigh, thanks for being interviewed.  Could you start off by telling us a little about your background in the wellbeing industry?

LB: Sure! I started back in 1996 having completed a Certification in Health/Fitness Instruction and Personal Training with the ACSM. Soon after qualifying, I helped a friend of mine with her training and she went on to win the Danish Ms Fitness title in 1997. In 1997 I went to off to Australia and worked as a personal trainer in Sydney and then in Perth. In 1998, I returned to England and worked in a leisure centre in Hertfordshire with a team of freelance trainers. After two years I felt I needed to work in an environment that was more conducive to developing my skills and so I joined Holmes Place Health Clubs in 1999. It was there I first worked with a CHEK trained professional which dramatically changed the way I worked. From 1999 to 2004 my position at Holmes Place went from personal trainer to personal training manager to regional personal training manager to fitness manager to academy trainer. The last two years was spent training the personal trainers and managing the personal training business for 18 clubs across the UK. I continued to see a small number of clients during this time. In 2001, I took the CHEK Level I Certification and it turned my view of exercise upside down.  From that point I began working with back pain patients and was very successful straight away helping people to eradicate their pain. In 2004, I started my own company BodyCHEK.  Today, I incorporate a number of different skills into my work. These skills include holistic lifestyle coaching, metabolic typing®, functional diagnostic nutrition™, golf biomechanics, strength and conditioning, BodyTalk™ and sports massage. Most of my current clients come to me to help them with low energy, digestive disorders or chronic injuries.

TG: You are a Chek trained professional, can you tell us a little about this and how you approach things differently to the average personal trainer?

LB: The main difference in how I work compared to a personal trainer would be the assessment and programme design procedure. Before I see a client they are required to complete a whole series of questionnaires which take 10 days to complete. When I receive the questionnaires, I analyse their answers, beginning to build a picture of what might be the cause of their health challenge. I then print a graph showing me which systems are our of balance and require attention. I then prepare potential strategies that the client will need to follow to be successful. During the initial consultation, I spend 90 minutes goal setting, understanding the clients’ core values, understanding what has caused their problems and agreeing a plan to help them be successful. A two to four hour physical assessment is carried out, which includes postural assessment, length-tension relationships, movement assessment, and assessment of breathing, vision, vestibular function, upper cervical spine, viscera and mental/emotional issues. The length and complexity of the assessment process is vital as the body is a system of inter-related systems which can all affect each other. This is followed by the programme design which takes me about 2 hours. My clients are then coached to follow an exercise, nutrition and lifestyle plan and given any specific referrals that I feel are necessary to achieve success. I refer about 90% of my clients to allied health professionals. My clients are given a 15 page manual and a DVD with all their stretches and exercises on so they do not need to have weekly exercise sessions as most clients tend to with a personal trainer. My clients are re-assessed every 4-8 weeks and I tend to see them every two weeks for a 30 minute coaching session (in person or via the internet) to ensure they are able to incorporate all the necessary lifestyle changes into their busy lifestyle and to help them overcome any challenges.

TG: You are also a Function Diagnostic Nutritionist; can you tell us a little about how you use this to help your clients?

LB: Yes, sure. Many people have ongoing problems for many years and often times their Doctor is unable to find out what is wrong with them. Using Functional Diagnostic Nutrition™ (FDN) I become a detective for the body. My job is to find out the ‘cause’ of their health challenge. I use saliva, urine and stool tests to establish my clients’ hormonal levels, oxidative stress levels (free radical damage), liver stress, and whether they have ‘leaky gut’ or any fungal or bacteria overgrowths or parasite infections. I then help my clients normalise their hormones, support the cells and liver, repair any leaky gut and eradicate any infections using a combination of specific nutritional, lifestyle, supplemental and detox protocols.  It’s all about addressing the cause of the problem and not treating the symptoms.

TG: How do Metabolic Typing® and FDN™ help clients who are looking for weight loss?

LB: That would be a good title for a book, but I’ll try to keep it brief! Weight loss is such a complex subject. It’s not just a matter of consuming fewer calories than you expend. The body is controlled by a number of fundamental homeostatic control  systems (FHCs). When these control systems are working effectively or are ‘in balance’, you have health. When any of these systems are out of balance, then compensations occur and the body is pushed out of balance. One of the symptoms that can occur is excess body fat. Metabolic Typing® recognises 10 FHCs. Two of the three primary control systems are the oxidative system and the autonomic nervous system. In each of us the oxidative system or the autonomic nervous system is dominant. In a minority their ‘dominance factor’ switches between the two systems. What this basically means is that based on your metabolic type®, you can eat a specific diet that will help to balance your FHCs by supporting the weaker side of either your oxidative system or the autonomic nervous system. Balance your FHCs and your body weight normalises. However, there are other FHCs. Another is Steroid Hormone Balancing (SHB). Of particular importance is the balance between Cortisol (stress hormones) and Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), the precursor to your sex hormones. It is well established that there is a link between a person’s Cortisol/DHEA ratio and the function of a number of crucial systems in the body. If the Cortisol/DHEA ratio is out of its optimal range it will affect fat and protein metabolism, endocrine function, detoxification, immune regulation and carbohydrate metabolism which all effect body fat levels. The Cortisol/DHEA ratio is affected when there is excessive long term stress on the body. FDN allows me to establish where the stress is coming from. It could be hidden internal stress like parasites or external stress like the chemicals in someone’s cosmetic products or a combination of many internal and external stressors. So I follow a process to help people reduce body fat. I get them to eat the right foods and eliminate the wrong foods for their metabolic type. Get them eating organic food. Fine tune their ratios of fat, protein and carbohydrates at each meal, introduce high quality appropriate supplementation, identify blocking factors (stressors) and optimise enhancing factors like getting to bed on time, meditating and getting time in the sun. I teach my clients that you get healthy to lose weight, not lose weight to get healthy.

TG: What are the first three things you tell an individual to do who is looking for weight loss and why?

LB: What I don’t do is tell the same thing to every body. We are all different and the reason one person is overweight will be different from the next. It really depends on the wrong choices that people are making. Someone might be exercising well, but consistently putting on weight. It wouldn’t make sense to tell them to do more exercise. You have to find the ‘blocking factors’ and help the client to overcome the ‘blocking factors’. I’ll tell you what I believe is the most important factor, ‘the mind’. Thoughts become things and if you are always thinking about being fat or losing fat, you are giving energy to being ‘fat’. I could get quite deep here, but suffice to say, it is our unconscious minds that run our behaviours 95-99% of the day. These behaviours are set up in the first seven years of life and remain in place for life. Unfortunately today, many people have an unconscious behaviour pattern that leads to ill health of some sort. There are a number of ways in which someone can re-write these behaviour patterns. I use a number of techniques including BodyTalk™, art therapy, poetry and meditation. Clinical hypnosis is very effective too.

TG: What are the common issues you find with overweight clients?

LB: There are few. These are generalisations, but my observations have shown most of the factors below to be true in most overweight people I have worked with. I find overweight clients don’t know what makes them truly happy. They do not know what their purpose in life is and they often times do not have big goals to achieve in life. As Paul Chek says, “If your dream is big enough, you don’t need a crisis”. I also often find that they were either abused as a child or found they got more attention as a child if they were sick, so they have what’s called ‘an illness currency’. They also tend to go to bed too late and are always stressed and take little time out for themselves. Many are workaholics and dislike being on their own in a quiet environment. They also have a strong dislike for themselves. They often are dehydrated, eat too many carbohydrates, have a number of food sensitivities, have Adrenal fatigue, often have leaky gut and a fungal or bacterial overgrowth and/or a parasite infection

TG: What kind of strategies can you put in place to overcome these?

LB: Most of the answers to the previous questions give you your answer. To put it in another way, I help my clients to put the ‘Foundational Factors of Health’ in place. The six factors are: Positive Thoughts, Breathing, Hydration, Nutrition, Movement and Sleep. These are controllable lifestyle factors that each of us needs to put in place on a daily basis as a foundation. I tell my clients that building a strong, healthy, energetic body is like building a skyscraper. The stronger the foundations the taller and more resistant the skyscraper will be. A skyscraper without strong foundations in doomed to failure.

TG: What do you feel that the NHS should be doing to combat the obesity problem in the UK?

LB: That’s a big question! I’ll try to keep it short. The first thing is that people need to take responsibility for themselves. Before people can do this, they need correct information. The public need to be educated on the truth around subjects such as nutrition, not the ridiculous food guide pyramid which we know makes people fat and unhealthy. Organisations such as the Price Pottinger Nutrition Foundation and the Soil Association should be used to educate people. I believe that ALL chronic degenerative diseases (obesity is one of them) should not be treated by tax payers’ money. I believe the NHS should be called ‘The National Medical Service’ (NMS) and provide emergency, paediatric, obstetric, congenital, accident and emergency and geriatric care paid for by the tax payer. All chronic degenerative diseases should be the responsibility of the individual. If someone chooses to live an unhealthy lifestyle, then they need to take responsibility for that. If they are overweight, they can either hire a health coach or pay for medical care. It may sound harsh, but you can only heal yourself and before you can heal yourself, you need to take responsibility for yourself. I also believe that Doctors should be paid on the improvement of health of their patients. A suggestion might be a basic salary of £30,000 per year with a bonus of £100,000 per year. The bonus would be performance-related based on the level of health improvement of their patients. This would shift the current focus from ‘waiting times’ to ‘actual health’.

TG: What can the individual do to ensure that they are eating good quality foods?

LB: Buy organic! If they live in the UK, buy Soil Association approved organic. The one exception would be fish. I suggest buying ‘wild’ fish, not organic because organic fish are farmed and fed unnatural feed, even though it is organic feed. Also, when buying meats, ensure it is free-range and when buying beef ensure it is grass fed only.

TG: Tell us a bit about what the future holds for you Leigh?

LB: Well, I’m certainly going to continue to live my dream by helping people to achieve healthier, happier and more productive lives. I have a few ideas about writing some more books and I will continue to teach for the CHEK Institute. Playing tennis is my passion outside of work and I’m happy with my game right now. I am currently working with a few young tennis players and I hope to do more of that in the future. I also have a dream to open a natural, holistic health centre to help people to take control of their health following cancer surgery.

TG: Thanks for your time Leigh, and we wish you all the best for the future!

My pleasure!

Reed Davies Interview – Functional Diagnostic Nutrition

Monday, November 16th, 2009


Reed is another of the amazing people that I have come into contact through Sean Croxton, Reed is a true pioneer of Nutrition and has an immense amount of knowledge. Well I will let him tell you more about himself, his FDN system and his views on nutrition.

TG:  Hi Reed, and thanks for giving up some of your busy day to talk to us!


TG:  For anyone who has not heard of you, can you tell us a little about your history in the Wellbeing and Nutrition industry?


RD: I was the Case Manager and Health Director at the Better Health & Wellness Centre in Poway California for 8 years.  I worked with a chiropractor as her clinical nutritionist and saw every patient.  I also ran my own bone density testing business and screened over 11,000 people for bone density problems.  Many of those people became clients for the purpose of improving their bone density and other health complaints, especially hormonal problems.  So I was fortunate to have a very high volume practice and the opportunity to do my own research.  I packed a lot of clinical experience into those years and was able to make my own observations about why some people would improve, and others would not improve, depending on what they did to address their complaints. So I developed a process of intake and investigation and protocol that has helped thousands of people, and now I teach that system, called Functional Diagnostic Nutrition, all over the world.


TG:  So what got you started your interest in Nutrition?


RD: 37 years ago I picked up a book called “Healing Ourselves” by an oriental medicine doctor.  It helped me adopt the view that we are responsible for our own health and not to rely on doctors.  I learned there are many signs and symptoms that western docs just don’t consider, so even though I wasn’t in the health and wellness business until years later, I kept my mind open, and searching and doubting (in a good way).  When I finally began researching people’s health, as a corporate human resource director, I fell under the spell of natural health and wellness methods once more.  At first, I was just trying to improve a company’s bottom line by keeping the employees healthy.  But, oddly (as fate would have it), that’s about the time I lost my executive position and decided to change careers.  I completed a nutritional therapy certification program with a doctor-friend of mine and that began the journey to where I am today.


TG:  Can you tell us a little about the FDN (Functional Diagnostic Nutrition) system?


RD: FDN is a system of investigation into specific pillars of health – the hormone, immune, and digestion and detoxification systems.  We order saliva and urine testing to determine what is malfunctioning. By going after the malfunctions, the client/patient rebuilds health from the foundation up.  FDN is a very scientific way to apply the inside-out approach that most holistic and naturopathic providers like to take.


TG:  What lead you to developing the FDN system?


RD: While studying and practicing ordinary clinical nutrition, I kept getting the feeling that I was more or less a supplement salesman.  I was very uncomfortable with that from the start, and it didn’t seem to help people all that much anyway. I found myself helping people to get off drugs and, along with chiropractic treatments, they improved physically. But it seemed they were required to buy a lot of stuff and, down the road,  many people still had their main complaints of fatigue, sleeplessness, lethargy, allergies, inflammation, skin, IBS, depression, poor mental focus and low libido type complaints. And for me, there was too much trial and error in the therapeutic nutrition model that I was using at that time.

One day at a seminar, I learned about some functional lab work we could order.  That opened up a whole new world to me and I started to order every test under the sun on as many people as possible. We ordered cartons full of test kits and I went kit crazy.  I also cleared the shelves of all products and told the staff and patients that from now on we were going to deal only with the underlying causes of disease, instead of focusing on symptoms.

So, eventually, a kind of detective work evolved that had me nailing down those underlying causes with just a few tests and a couple intake forms. I had some miracle cases and some not so good cases.  But many people completely resolved their long term chronic conditions and I finally felt like I was doing some real good in the world.

After I coined the phrase Functional Diagnostic Nutrition, and lectured on it for a few years, I was asked to develop the FDN Certification Course for health professionals.  It’s a very exciting course to take, its relatively simple to learn and presents a turn-key method or clinical model you can use immediately.  Basically, we’ll show you how to use functional lab testing to get to the root cause or malfunctions that need to be restored in order to repair in the body. And we’ll show you how to implement protocols that get the client to take responsibility for their own health results.


TG:  What do you feel clients will get from using a FDN practitioner over any other form of nutritional approach?


RD: As an FDN provider, the first thing you get is tremendous recognition from the client/patient that you are the first provider they met that offered them a way to discover why they are having symptoms.  Clients really appreciate that.  I mean, their eyes really light up when the test results totally match their complaints, and you are explaining functionally, why they have felt so lousy for so long.  We call that match up “clinical correlation” and we’ll teach you to get clients to this level.  The credibility you gain is very helpful.  Especially when a lot of clients have been told by doctors that it’s all in their head!

With FDN you walk your client through the intake and testing process step by step, and educate them on what the test results mean, and work together with them to make the necessary improvements.

So, probably the biggest advantage for an FDN are the tools that we use to identify the malfunctions of the organs and systems, plus the underlying and hidden stressors that caused the dysfunction.  Our detective work zeroes right in on the real problem.  Once you are working on the causal level, your clients will make significant improvements in the way they feel, and more often than not, actually resolve many common health complaints.


TG:  How easy is it for personal trainers to become FDN trained and how will it help their business?


RD: As long as you have a decent computer and internet access it’s really easy to take the course.  You can register online at and take all the lessons online at your own pace.  Once you get a log-in key, you can access all the lessons, videos, recordings and exams at your own convenience.  You should be familiar with MS Excel and Word and be able to open and save files to a computer.  The actual case files where I recorded the live consultation are incredible learning tools.

You’ll also run a saliva and urine test on yourself! And the course includes a mentorship program for a mock up client that we walk you through, plus your own first two real clients.  So besides the online course time, there is interactive time with a mentor that shows you the ropes.


You can charge whatever you want to dispense test kits and interpret the results and make your recommendations to the client.  Personally, I charge the about $200 per hour for FDN results and recommendations counselling, but I have graduates that charge more.  Many alternative doctors who don’t even offer FDN charge much, much more for their work.  I think that once you become familiar with the clinical model we teach, you’ll see your own way to increase your income using FDN and functional lab testing.


TG:  What does an average day involve for you?


RD: I work at my computer and phone, both day and night helping FDN trainees get through the course, working with my FDN Mentors and my webmaster, and my own researching and writing projects.  I stopped taking new clients a while ago but I refer new people to my FDN graduates and help them along. We have FDNers in 13 countries so far, so that keeps me pretty busy.  I also work one day a week for BioHealth Diagnostics Laboratory, assisting doctors all over the U.S. with test result interpretations and case management.  I spend as much time as possible at seminars or in teleconferences learning functional diagnostics.  And I also like to box and ride my bike when I get the chance.


TG:  Who have been your major influences in the world of health, fitness and nutrition?


RD: Well, there was the book by Naburo Muramoto I mentioned, I read that about a hundred times since I was 19 years old.  No doubt there are countless teachers and lecturers, but mostly I have to thank Dr. LeiLani Vidal, a really good chiropractor that taught me how to run a busy practice and for all the training we attended together over the years.  Dr. William Bailey, D.O., has been my medical director for about 9 years now and a good friend who mentors me on the medical side of things as well as the osteopathic side.  William Wolcott, the world’s leading authority on Metabolic Typing is a mentor and friend and co-researcher who prompted me to start the FDN Certification course. I’m especially glad he wrote the book “The Metabolic Typing Diet” which jumped off the shelf at me years ago and started our journey together. David Vaughan is one of the top clinical nutritionists in the world and developer of Foodpharmacy Software, he has helped me develop FDN. As well as Dr. Alan Weinstein a PhD and DC who has been very helpful.  I also have to thank Dr. David Singer, the most productive chiropractor in the world who taught me how to do lectures and health screenings, but also how to develop and stick to ones purpose in life.


TG:  What has been your most rewarding moment in the Wellbeing industry so far?


RD: I can give you many, many examples of the joy that one feels after helping a fellow being to completely overcome a long-term chronic health condition simply because we found the underlying cause, instead of just treating symptoms.

One woman was really depressed, because she was overweight, which was due to medication she was on for a chronic skin rash and hives. Once we discovered the cause of her skin problem, she got off the meds within nine days, then started losing weight and became her old cheerful self again.  It sounds simple to us now, but her doctor had told her that she had her choice – either take the medicine and accept being fat, or don’t take the medicine and deal with really itchy skin.  When she became depressed, he offered to write another prescription for depression!

Another woman was diagnosed bi-polar, plus overweight, plus severe acne. She was able to get off all meds, lose the weight and clear up her skin within 12 months and, no surprise here, her psychiatrist decided that she wasn’t bi-polar anymore!

I’ve worked with adults and children that overcame asthma attacks, migraines, obesity, sleep issues, CFS, IBD and many, many, very satisfying cases.


TG:  In your opinion how important is the link between nutrition and physical activity?


RD: Very important, critical in fact.  We all would agree that you must exercise to remain healthy and live a long, high quality life. In order to exercise properly, you need good energy production on a cellular level. To restore vitality, to condition the heart, to build your lung power and increase stamina, etc. – you must give the body all the nutrients that it genetically requires.  Just as importantly, we should refrain from eating or ingesting the things that are harmful and that eventually cause malfunction.  The wrong diet for your type, low blood sugar, foods that you are sensitive to, foods with chemicals — they are all very stressful to the body.  Even eating whole foods can be stressful when you have sensitivities to any of them, so part of FDN includes identifying those foods and additives and eliminating them.


TG:  If you could only give someone one piece of advice on how to improve their levels of wellbeing what would it be?


RD: Realize that symptoms are a signal from the body that something is wrong.  If the red light comes on the dash board, most people wait a day or two to see if it goes off, then they take the car in to find out the cause.  But when it comes to our bodies, many of us ignore the symptom, even calling it normal. Or we just take something that makes us feel better for a while.  That is equivalent to unplugging the light instead of fixing the problem.   So if you can’t sleep, or have no energy or no vitality or you are overweight, or skin problems or just about any other problem, make a decision that you will find the root cause and don’t give up until you find it.



TG:  How do you see the FDN system developing in the future?


RD: The FDN system provides a model of health care that can be practiced and coached by well trained and caring people all over the globe.  We help others to restore normal function and return to normal health, and even maintain superior health!  FDN can add life to one’s years, not just add more years to one’s life.  Besides reducing medical costs, I see FDN as a way to improve quality of life in general.  By disseminating FDN knowledge all over the world, we may actually put some power into the hands of the people, and out of the control of those who would take advantage of us.


TG:  What does the future hold for you?


RD: I’m going to be pursuing my mission and purpose, which is to educate as many people as possible about FDN, so that they, in turn, may educate others.



TG:  Reed, thanks for sharing with us! It has been a pleasure.