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The Functional Nutrition Matrix: A Framework for Effective Client Care - Blog Image

The Functional Nutrition Matrix: A Framework for Effective Client Care

BY: Andrea Nakayama

DATE: 2019-05-17


I find that when I don’t understand how to solve a problem, what helps me most is a framework.

When it comes to clinical care, yes, we’d all like the simplicity of protocols, easy solutions and quick-fixes. But if you’re like me, you’ll find that the band-aid approaches rarely work.

If you think about the 80/20 rule when it comes to patient care, and consider that the “secret formula” for solving a particular sign, symptom, or diagnosis does not work for 80% of the people seeking Functional Medicine and Functional Nutrition support, then it becomes clear that we have to think out of the box. We have to consider frameworks, not formulas.

This is what makes our work in Functional Nutrition exciting…and creative.

The role of the Functional Nutrition Matrix

When it comes to the unknown, and the uncertainty of where to start or what it all means, frameworks like the Functional Nutrition Matrix (adopted from the Institute of Functional Medicine’s Functional Medicine Matrix) can make a big difference. It’s one of the frameworks we use most in our clinic.

It’s a conceptual map, where a client case becomes clear.

Functional Nutrition Matrix

Key features of the Matrix

A framework like the Functional Nutrition Matrix helps us to:

  • organize client data

  • understand and analyze that data

  • make decisions about interventions (including which one might be appropriate at which time)

  • better understand potential outcomes when we see like-patterns

  • provide the container for LIVING information and documentation—as current and vital as the person sitting in front of us

The matrix helps us to think critically as we plan to provide care.

Unlocking the power of frameworks

Personally, frameworks help me to move out of fear and back into action. And frameworks are FUN. If you’re like me, you’re going to love all the frameworks we give you in Full Body Systems.

These frameworks allow you to more easily work with REAL health issues in your practice and allow you to become a key player on your clients’ or patients’ medical team because of your ability to drive and assess.

Now, to be clear: A framework is different from a protocol or a cookie-cutter program.

Those tell you what to do. I’m concerned that those protocols or programs are holding you back! They’ve got you locked in a certain way of doing things and it’s helping some but not all the people who are coming to you for help. (This leads us back to the 80/20 rule.)

And when those protocols you’re implementing don’t work, they unfortunately can leave you feeling ineffective, lacking confidence and courage, possibly questioning your ability to do the work you bravely set out to do.

And that’s not OK with me. Because you CAN do this work. You just don’t have all the information you need…yet.

By using the Functional Nutrition Matrix, I’m inviting you to rethink the path that seems most direct, as it may not be the appropriate path for each individual. This is the work that will make a difference in how we can creatively problem solve with our clients and patients—how we reframe patient care to create a healthcare system that WORKS.


Interested in learning more about how you can become part of an exciting (and much-needed) new wave of healthcare as a Functional Nutrition Counselor?
Schedule a free session with an Admissions Advisor to learn more about our Functional Nutrition immersion program – Full Body Systems.
Or call 208-202-4022 to chat with an Admissions Advisor now.

Elevate your practice with the Functional Nutrition Matrix

As practitioners committed to providing the best care possible, we must let go of rigid protocols and embrace frameworks like the Functional Nutrition Matrix for holistic understanding and personalized care. Frameworks like ours, and the Institute for Functional Medicine’s Functional Medicine Matrix, are empowering practitioners around the world to address the unique needs of each individual and create a healthcare system that works for the people who need it most. Revolutionize your practice with the Functional Nutrition Matrix.

Andrea Nakayama

By: Andrea Nakayama, FxNA Founder & Functional Medicine Nutritionist

Functional Nutrition Alliance provides the comprehensive online Functional Nutrition training in the Science & Art of the Functional Nutrition practice. Learn to address the roots of your clients’ suffering with client education, diet & lifestyle modifications.

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