Bridging the Gap Between Conventional Medicine & Functional Nutrition

Margaret Floyd Barry

March 15, 2022

Alumni Spotlight with Lauren Curry, FNTP, RWP, RN

For RWS Alum Lauren Curry, making sure she’s fueling her body with the right foods to reach her goals has always been important. As a competitive athlete in high school and college, she was so interested in optimizing the connection between what she ate and how she performed, that she went on to receive her BS in Nutrition Science, Biochemistry from UC Davis. 

Unfortunately, by the time she graduated from college, she was having second thoughts. What she learned while getting her degree wasn’t aligning with what she believed to be the core principles of good health – such as focusing on natural, whole foods as opposed to artificial foods like aspartame. 

Lauren still wanted to support individuals along their health journey and decided nursing would give her the opportunity to make a greater impact in people’s lives. Within a few years, she was working full-time as an ICU nurse in one of the top hospitals in the country. She loved everything about it, especially the difference she was able to make for her patients and their families. One thing Lauren didn’t love, however, was the toll the long hours and frantic pace were taking on her own health.

It didn’t take long for Lauren to experience a number of concerning symptoms, which she now recognizes as thyroid imbalance, that sent her to doctor after doctor. Unfortunately, her symptoms – including low resting heart rate, hair loss, skin issues, and bloating, to name a few – persisted. It wasn’t until she met a functional nutritionist while living and working in London that she realized she had found what she was looking for when she originally set out to get her degree in nutrition. She finally felt heard, seen, and supported and was thrilled to know that there were tangible steps she could take to get to the root cause of her symptoms and restore balance in her body. 

Fast forward to today and Lauren has built a successful 1:1 practice, Your Balanced Belly, while continuing to work as an ICU nurse. When we caught up with Lauren, she shared that “Restorative Wellness Solutions changed my life and changed my practice”, noting that she finally feels equipped to create the change she wishes to see in the world by helping bridge the gap between conventional medicine and functional nutrition therapies.

Determined to influence a shift towards more preventive practices across the healthcare landscape, Lauren leverages the evidence-based skills and practices she learned from RWS to educate and empower her patients and clients in their decision-making:

  • – In the ICU setting, Lauren works to make sure patients are aware of the range of therapies available to them. She notes that, in certain situations, critical care interventions are most appropriate; however, she strives to ensure that patients and their families understand all of the options scientifically-proven to help improve their outcomes. She also openly shares her experiences in healing as well as those of her clients in an effort to complement the critical care they’re receiving with more preventative measures they can incorporate into their lifestyle on an ongoing basis after they leave the ICU.
  • – In her 1:1 practice, Lauren is working to make functional nutrition therapy more accessible to individuals and families. Having worked in hospitals located in a variety of socio-economic settings, she’s seen first-hand how income levels affect health outcomes. Determined to change, Lauren is dreaming up new ways of offering functional nutrition support to help reduce the financial commitment required while making sure individuals get the foundational support they need to make meaningful changes in their health and wellbeing.
  • – Lastly, Lauren prides herself in supporting her clients along what is often a complex journey, regardless of which route(s) they decide to pursue. She feels strongly that RWS has given her the evidence-based know-how she needs to partner with her clients and their other healthcare providers on what is often a long, winding journey and believes this collaborative nature is key to future success of our healthcare system.

“Restorative Wellness Solutions is one of the best courses I’ve ever taken. And, the RWS organization is one of the best I’ve worked with – they are very collaborative with the medical field” says Lauren, citing the impact the course has had on her ability to merge her passions for nursing and nutrition. “It’s given me so much confidence to share both sides of my work.”

When asked what advice she would give to other practitioners starting out, Lauren noted that it’s important to just start. Whether you are a nurse looking to explore new healing therapies or a chiropractor looking to improve client outcomes, Lauren shared a few principles she attributes to her success:

  1. Take the time to make your client feel seen, heard, and understood: This is one of the most important factors in being successful with a client and is also critical to helping bridge different schools of thought your client may be experiencing. Once you fully understand your client’s situation and take the time to honor that, you can avoid the trap of thinking in absolutes or “this is the only way” and instead focus on what next steps are most appropriate for the client in front of you.
  2. Share as you learn: Lauren attributes the growth in her private practice to her consistency on social media. She made a concerted effort to share small, bite-sized information – such as “benefits of bone broth” or “why you should take three deep breaths before you eat” – as she learned it, which not only helped her better understand the information, but it caught the attention of people she didn’t expect which, eventually led to clients and referrals.
  3. Focus on the client in front of you: When just starting out, Lauren’s first clients came from social media. Today, all of her clients are referrals. She recommends focusing on building trust with your clients and focusing on their unique journey. “If you can heal one person, they’ll bring five of their friends,” says Lauren. 

We’re continuously inspired by the change Restorative Wellness Practitioners are making each and every day. And, with the ongoing increase in chronic disease, we believe it’s never been a more important time to understand the breadth of options available to you as a health professional. If you haven’t already, be sure to apply for our Level 1 class – Mastering the Art & Science of Gastrointestinal Healing. With the right tools, you can change the way health is delivered – just like Lauren and our elite group of Restorative Wellness practitioners. 

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Lauren Curry is a Functional Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, Restorative Wellness Practitioner, and ICU Nurse. In addition to continuing her work with ICU patients, Lauren runs Your Balanced Belly – a private practice dedicated to helping clients get to the root cause of their digestive dysfunction and chronic fatigue. You can also find Lauren on Instagram at @yourbalancedbelly.

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