What does a plan for healthy lifestyle change look like for a client with Multiple Sclerosis and Osteoarthritis?
Today, we’re introducing Holly and Catherine, the second coach-client pair featured in our Functional Medicine Health Coaching LIVE video series, where we offer a completely unedited, first-hand look at the power of the coaching process. We’ll see how the unique skills and techniques of Functional Medicine Coaching Academy-trained coaches can help clients tap into their motivation, overcome roadblocks, and find new and creative ways to thrive.
Today, we’ll watch as Holly and Catherine start their coaching journey in the first of 6 sessions focused around maintaining an active lifestyle while managing chronic illness and preparing for major surgery.
Holly + Catherine, Session 1:
Meet coach Holly: Years ago, Holly was working as a realtor…and hating it. She connected with Health Coaching in 2013 through another program, but she found that her training was incomplete without the principles of Functional Medicine. That’s when she joined The Functional Medicine Coaching Academy’s first-ever graduating class—and she even reversed her own autoimmune disease while in the program! Holly now looks back on her disease with gratitude that it gave her the gift of a career that she is so passionate about. Currently, she has her own private coaching practice in Nashville, is one of the fabulous Senior Course Facilitators in our Health Coach Certification program, and she’s working on a book, too!
Meet client Catherine: This now-retired Canadian lives an active lifestyle and has a lifelong love of the outdoors, especially hiking and biking. Recently diagnosed with 2 chronic conditions, Catherine is looking to Functional Medicine Health Coaching with the goal of getting into the best shape possible before undergoing knee replacement surgery. She’s hoping she’ll be able to maintain the active life she loves even after her surgery.
In their introductory session, Holly and Catherine establish a baseline for their coaching work together. Catherine shares her health history, including how she suffers from osteoarthritis and has experienced multiple sclerosis symptoms since 2011, though she was only formally diagnosed a little over a year ago.
Many Functional Medicine Health Coaches see clients who are dealing with multiple sclerosis (MS). It’s an immune-mediated process in which an abnormal response of the body’s immune system is directed against the central nervous system (CNS)—the brain, spinal cord, and optic nerves. MS can be incredibly disruptive and distressing, often affecting the patient’s vision, balance, muscle control, and other basic body functions. Thought to affect more than 2.3 million people worldwide, the disease is not contagious or directly inherited, though epidemiologists are identifying factors in the distribution of MS around the world that may eventually help determine what causes the disease.
Catherine brings a positive outlook to this first coaching session; she tells Holly that though her chronic conditions mean that she can’t do all the the things she used to do, she finds inspiration in what she can do.
Where she struggles: staying consistent and motivated when it comes to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. While Catherine has some initial initial enthusiasm when trying to implement new behaviors, her commitment tends to wane as the changes get harder to maintain over time.
Sounds like just the kind of challenge a Functional Medicine Health Coach is ready to take on!
Stick with us over the next 6 weeks to see how Holly guides and supports Catherine to stay motivated, implement sustainable lifestyle changes, and successfully reach the next stage of her health journey. Check in next Monday for session #2.
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About the Coaching Process
A Functional Medicine Certified Health Coach (FMCHC) partners with individuals and groups in a client-centered process to support better health. FMCA trains our graduates to work closely with clients around all of the lifestyle factors (sleep/relaxation, exercise/movement, nutrition, stress, and relationships) that influence health. Coaching concepts like motivational interviewing, character strengths, and positive psychology enable health coaches to create the connection, trust, and rapport that facilitate lasting change. The coaching process is successful because it empowers clients to draw on internal strengths, develop self-knowledge, and embrace self-management strategies in order to make the often-challenging lifestyle changes necessary for optimal health.
A FMCHC’s solid understanding of the foundations of Functional Medicine informs their approach. They are fully trained to utilize many of the resources provided by The Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM), such as the Timeline, Matrix, and Food Plans. Their background in Functional Medicine, combined with their training in positive psychology coaching skills, allows coaches to understand and support clients as they implement Functional Medicine treatment plans into their lifestyles. In this way, coaches move beyond the diagnosis-prescription model to co-create and execute a plan with the client that inspires them to a path of better health. When working under the delegation of the treating practitioner, a FMCHC may be able to provide further assistance related to labs and supplements. A FMCHC does not assess, prescribe, diagnose, treat, or interpret results.
About Functional Medicine Coaching LIVE
This new video series, Functional Medicine Health Coaching LIVE, follows Functional Medicine Coaching Academy-trained coaches as they help their real clients start a transformation. This inside look at the coaching process started with a casting call to our community, looking for clients who wanted to share their coaching journey on video. And real people who were ready to finally address their chronic health challenges responded! We matched them with a coach and filmed their sessions once a week for 6-8 weeks, and these episodes are the unedited videos of their sessions. Throughout the series, you’ll see a range of coaching styles, client health challenges, and client-coach dynamics as each pair works toward better health together. It’s a realistic look at the broad range of experiences and styles you can find in Functional Medicine Health Coaching.