Treatment vs Restoration

6 March 2024 by Leanne Scott

Treatment vs Restoration

Article written by Leanne Scott, NTA Australia Program Director and FNTP

Let's talk about health and terminology.

Let’s talk about “Treatment” vs “Restoration”

When we experience pain, discomfort or even an injury our first instinct is it often seek “treatment” correct?

But what does the word treatment actually mean?

Well according to Websters Dictionary there’s actually at least 10 different meanings for the word treatment but let’s go with what most people assume that it means:

“the action or way of treating a patient or a condition medically or surgically : management and care to prevent, cure, ameliorate, or slow progression of a medical condition”

Let's now look at some examples of this - 

A Broken Bone

Commonly Prescribed Treatment: a cast or immobilization , possibly realignment of the bone with or without surgery.

Did the “treatment” cure the bone? Or did the treatment provide the circumstances for the body to facilitate the healing the bone?

And it might also depend on the type of break - stub and break your little toe or fracture a rib and many times there is no “treatment” other than rest while the body does the work of healing.

Now don’t get me wrong, the treatment might definitely help us to manage how we feel in the moment right? A cast might provide much needed support and pain relief by immobilizing the limb but is the treatment responsible for the cure or is the body?

Ok, that is an easy one...let's try something trickier...

High Blood Pressure

Commonly Prescribed Treatment: Blood pressure lowering medication +/- ultrasound assessment for possible narrowing of the blood supply to the kidneys

Does the treatment provide the cure?

It’s easy to assume so if your blood pressure returns to normal after starting medication isn’t it?

But you weren’t born with a medication deficiency and you weren’t born with elevated blood pressure so if in stopping the medication your blood pressure rises again, was the “treatment” actually the “cure”?

It has not really RESTORED normal function to the body has it?

So, lets talk about RESTORATION and what it means

This time in Websters Dictionary there are 8 meanings but in this case let’s refer to this one:

“Returning to an unimpaired or improved condition”

So when we think about something like elevated blood pressure is the “treatment” really the cure we want or do we really want restoration?

So again remember, you aren’t born with elevated blood pressure and you are not born with a medication deficiency so if in stopping the medication your blood pressure rises again the “treatment” has not really RESTORED normal function to the body has it?

And therefore is it really the cure?

Now let me pause here and say that in this example a condition like high blood pressure can put our health at risk for further issues like a stroke so for a period of time the “treatment” can definitely assist in preventing the situation from getting worse. So ideally we want both support to prevent our health from getting worse while at the same time we ultimately want restored normal function.

Or as an analogy ..if we are taking a cruise on the ocean and fall out of the boat we first might need someone to throw us a life jacket until we can find our way back to the boat right?

So what causes RESTORATION?

One simple phrase - Understanding THE WHY.  

Why does dysfunction such as elevated blood pressure happen?

Well if you fall and break your bone that “why” is pretty easy isn’t it? But if a symptom such as elevated blood pressure kind of sneaks up on you it’s sometimes easy to think it kind of came out of nowhere

But in fact no symptom appears “out of no where” and often our bodies try many different ways to bring dysfunction to our attention before we get to the stage of seeking help.

And many times the very causes stem from our diet, our lifestyle and our management of stress.

Isn’t knowing that actually kind of fantastic?

Why you might ask?

Because that means there is actually something we can do about it.

All we need to know is the WHY and then of course.. the HOW.

So by now you might be wondering why THE WHY was not investigated with your particular health concern or maybe why you weren't provided dietary or lifestyle strategies?

Maybe you were told it was genetic because it runs in your family or maybe you were told the cause is unknown ..but is that accurate?

And how do you know for sure? And spoiler alert - unfortunately Google often is not much help when it comes to The Why ( we might cover why that is in a future article)

So to recap, “Treatment” of symptoms, conditions and disease states is very different from supporting the body to Restore function.

Treatment often actually refers to the allopathic management of symptoms often without actually addressing the underlying driving mechanisms. The problem with this is unless a practitioner actually understands and addresses the underlying driving mechanisms, symptoms can either persist, get worse or begin to manifest in other ways.

And just a heads up, “treatment” can also just as easily be applied to a dietary supplement or herb as to a medication. Or a therapeutic diet (ie a “condition specific” diet rather than identifying your unique bio-individual needs based on the underlying driving mechanisms)

Just like with the broken bone, ultimately it is our own bodies which do the healing, but only if we have the understanding, the support to identify where deficiencies are occurring and what stressors might be creating the problem or inhibiting the body from its own natural and restorative processes.

At NTA AU/NZ, our Functional Nutritional Therapy Practitioners™ are not trained to provide a medical diagnosis, or to allopathically prescribe or “treat” any medical or pathological condition, illness, injury or disease.

A Diploma qualified Functional Nutritional Therapy Practitioner™ (FNTP) is a paraprofessional certified by the Nutritional Therapy Association, Inc.® trained to evaluate a client’s nutritional needs, support the body’s own restorative powers of normal function, and identify sources of body burden preventing the body from doing what it does best - healing.

A Functional Nutritional Therapy Practitioner™ makes bio-individual recommendations around dietary changes, lifestyle considerations, and targeted nutritional therapeutic supplementation based on the following:

  • A Full Health History Intake- right from the time you were born and everything that’s happened to you along the way
  • In Depth Analysis of how one’s diet is making one feel - from mood, to energy fluctuations to digestive impacts
  • Looking at over 300 signs and symptoms that are generated by dysfunction connected to all of our organ systems with in our body
  • Clinical evaluation of the body to assess for nutrient deficiencies, stressors and where the body is prioritizing its needs.

If you are a health practitioner and interested in learning more about The Why and how it can provide better health outcomes for your clients, you can learn more about our Diploma of Functional Nutritional Therapy program here.

If you’re interested in working with a Functional Nutritional Therapy practitioner, learn more here.

Study Nutrition

Leanne Scott

Leanne is a Board Certified Functional Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, Integrative Health Coach and Director of NTA Australia/NewZealand. She hopes to transform the health of future generations through loving support and self empowerment. Find Leanne at