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Find out what you are made of

By Catherine Smith
from Torrens University Australia

Have you ever walked around a health food shop or browsed the isles of the supermarket looking for something to make you feel more energetic, sleep better or lose weight?  If so, you are one of the many people who self-diagnose and prescribe natural remedies to feel better.  Is this effective, or do you end up with a drawer full of supplements that “just don’t work”? 

At Torrens University Australia, The Practice Wellbeing Centres, we believe in a two-pronged approach to wellness.  The first step is to evaluate your overall wellbeing with a personalised consultation.  Personalised consultation evaluates your individual health status, taking into account your health history, diet, lifestyle and other social determinants of health.  Deep understanding of these factors allows your health professional to ensure any treatments are tailored to your needs. 

The second step is to evaluate your body composition using a tool called a Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA).  BIA assesses a wide range of body composition markers including weight, body mass index, basal metabolic rate, intra and extracellular water, muscle mass, fat mass, skeletal mass, biological age and a range of other useful markers. Not only does a BIA take measurements of the whole-body composition, it is also able to provide measurements for specific limbs, which can be very useful, particularly for people looking to optimise physical functionality.  

A comprehensive personalised consultation with BIA may help with:

  • improving physical health 
  • weight loss or weight gain 
  • enhanced athletic performance 
  • recovery from an injury 
  • prevention of disease 
  • healthy ageing 
  • monitoring of treatment efficacy 

It’s important to note that BIA is not suitable for pregnant women and individuals with electrical implantable devices.  

What is Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA)?

Health professionals around the world commonly use BIA because it is a non-invasive, low cost, fast and reliable approach that provides valuable insights into their client’s general health and wellbeing. Used in conjunction with a full consultation, BIA allows the practitioner to understand your baseline health, adjust treatments to suit health and disease risk profile and monitor treatment efficacy. 

How does BIA work?

Bioelectrical impedance analysis is very similar to standing on a set of scales. In addition to measuring your weight, BIA devices can also take very precise measurements of your body tissue composition by sending a low frequency electrical current around the body. As the current travels around your body, the BIA device constantly measures the resistance of the tissue it is travelling through. For example, the current travels quicker through blood, less quickly through muscle, less quickly through fat and even less quickly again through bone. In less than one minute, the BIA device calculates the composition of your body based on the resistance of the current travelling through your tissues. Following that,  it presents this information in a comprehensive, user-friendly report.  

How can BIA help me?

Undertaking a BIA is useful for a number of reasons. Firstly, BIA is a great tool for establishing baseline markers. Maybe you are looking to achieve a goal weight (ie. lose weight or put on muscle)? By taking comprehensive baseline measurements, it is easier to track your progress with subsequent BIA scans and to fine-tune your dietary and exercise regimen to optimise results.  

Secondly, BIA provides an insight into the composition of your body, allowing for highly individualised dietary and lifestyle recommendations. For example, the BIA can provide insight as to how much fat tissue you have, where it’s distributed throughout your body and whether or not it may be posing a risk to your health. 

Thirdly, BIA can be useful in identifying a potential issue before it becomes a problem. If you were to get a BIA every 3–4 months, changes in body composition can be closely monitored. For example, your fat mass might be slowly increasing and your muscle mass might be decreasing over time (which is a risk factor for a number of chronic diseases). A BIA can identify these changes before they become a problem, allowing for fine-tuning of dietary habits and lifestyle practices.  

How do I get a BIA analysis done?

At The Practice Wellbeing Centres  in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. Book in for a full health consultation and BIA assessment, with one of our student practitioners, today. BIA consultations take approximately 10 minutes and are done prior to a 40-minute consultation.  We recommend that you allow approximately 2 hours for your entire consultation process that also includes a debrief discussion regarding your health status, interpretation of the BIA report and individualized treatment plan.  All student practitioners at our low-cost community health clinic are supervised by expert practitioners who are at the top of their field.   

Special offer to celebrate Natural Medicine Week

To celebrate ATMS Natural Medicine Week, we are offering a free health consultation and BIA appointment during the month of June.  You can choose to book an appointment in our naturopathic, western herbal medicine or clinical nutrition clinics.  Use the code ATMS when booking your appointment. 

To ensure you don’t miss out, book your appointment now, by calling or emailing The Practice Wellbeing Centre at central locations in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. 

Our clinic details are here.  

More about the author

Catherine Smith
– Torrens University Australia

Torrens University is Australia’s international university and vocational registered training organisation, built on the shoulders of giants. We have partners with prestigious schools and colleges, to develop a fresh, modern, global perspective for higher education. Our Health courses and degrees combine theory and practical work across a range of specialist areas, including Nutrition and Complementary Medicine. Our hands-on approach allows you to develop your strengths, follow your passion and graduate ready to make a difference.

Torrens University