What is a LEAP Therapist?

LEAP is an acronym, which stands for lifestyle eating and performance.  The LEAP process is based on the following essential concepts:

  • An understanding that many physical conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome, migraine headaches, fibromyalgia, and others are caused by an inappropriate immune-system reaction to food (food sensitivities)
  • A recognition that, even once a person figures out that they may have food sensitivities causing real physical problems, it is often difficult to sort out which foods are causing problems and which are safe to eat
  • There is a blood test available that can determine, from a list of 150 common foods and food chemicals, which are safest and least likely to cause a reaction in the food-sensitive person.
  • From that initial starting point, a trained health-care professional, a certified LEAP therapist (CLT), works with the client to build an initially-restricted diet that is most non-reactive — that is, one that will likely cause food-reaction symptoms to diminish.
  • After the initial diet shows success, other foods are added to the diet one new item per day according to a proven, logical protocol.
  • The LEAP client follows the dietary protocol and records foods eaten and any reactions that occur.
  • The LEAP client is responsible for following the program and taking charge of his or her lifestyle choices to optimize health — using the advice and counsel of the supporting health-care team, especially the CLT.
  • The CLT is a health-care professional — usually a university-and-hospital-trained registered dietitian-nutritionist (designated as RD or RDN), but occasionally a registered nurse or physician — who has received additional training and certification in the proper use of the blood test, the mediator-release test (MRT), and the accompanying dietary protocol.

A certified LEAP therapist has undergone significant additional training to be certified to recommend and interpret the results of the MRT, and then to work with the food-sensitive client to follow the protocol to optimize dietary and other lifestyle choices.

The MRT alone is not the solution. It is the starting point. Sometimes the MRT will show that a given food is likely to be safe, yet because of the client’s reactivity to certain food chemicals, the CLT will recommend the food’s elimination from the client’s diet initially anyway. Reliance on the knowledge and experience of the CLT is important for the success of the LEAP process.

Also, from a very practical perspective, there may be 10,000 foods from which a person can choose. But the best food-sensitivity test, the MRT, only tests a maximum of 150 items. It is the MRT plus the LEAP process that provides the most successful outcomes.

If you suspect that it is your food that is giving you significant health issues, contact a certified LEAP therapist and explore the LEAP process. It may be the path to a happier, healthier future for you.

Author: Doug Hansford

Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist -- trained in university and hospital; certified by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (RDN credential) and by Oxford Biomedical Laboratories (CLT credential). Member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Specializing in food sensitivities treating irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), migrane, fibromyalgia, and other conditions related to food sensitivities, which can include asthma, eczema, heartburn/GERD, arthritis, joint pain, chronic fatigue, chronic sinusitis, skin eruptions, and autism/ADD. Also a former certified personal trainer and part-time lecturer in the department of nutrition and food science at a major research university.