We all know “that person” (or have even been that person) that…
Goes online to research every new symptom or health issue that arises, spending hours self-diagnosing, utilizing only the most persistent health complaint as a clue to what is going on a deeper level.
Or who has countless doctor visits that end with a new prescription to treat the symptom, but don’t address the cause.
And maybe they even have seen alternative health practitioners who uses different tools or techniques to manage symptoms but ending up frustrated because nothing gives them long-term relief.
This is where you come in as a health coach with one main goal– to break the cycle of trial and error and be the last health professional “that person” needs.
When working with clients you’ll discover just how many regularly take more than one prescription or over the counter drug. And yet these people still struggle with symptoms that won’t go away or that get worse!
Modern medicine promotes the idea of treating the symptoms of chronic illness as the standard of care. But the number of people suffering from the symptoms of chronic illness continues to grow. If the current standard of care worked, then shouldn’t more people be getting better?
Uncovering Solutions for the Symptoms
Temporary relief can often be found in drugs or supplements for the symptom one is trying to manage. However, symptoms are the last thing to show up in a dysfunctional state making them a sign for a deeper underlying issue. Handling individual symptoms, instead of treating the body as a whole, allows the hidden problem to continue to grow.
Let’s say you have a client who regularly takes an over the counter drug for headaches…
They get a headache several times per week. If they can take a pill to get rid of the headache, then no big deal, right?
Food sensitivities are actually a common cause of headaches. If your client continues to eat foods they are sensitive to, the chronic inflammation can eventually damage the digestive system. This then lowers immune system function, increases susceptibility to infection and leads to more symptoms encouraging the use of even more medications.
And think about this, a headache doesn’t indicate someone is deficient in headache medication. The body produces symptoms like this to signal us about deeper problems and as a health coach it’s your job get to the bottom of it.
Good Health Doesn’t Come in a Pill
Most people chase symptoms because it’s easy or because they don’t know a better way. But over time new symptoms appear, they take more medication, feel worse, and begin to wish for a better way. They want to break the cycle of trial and error!
Much of medicine is focused on “managing disease” especially with conditions that are defined as chronic, like diabetes (high blood sugar), hypertension (high blood pressure), and hypercholesterolemia (elevated cholesterol levels). In western societies that “triad” of disease states are known to be inter-related and, to a significant degree, culturally derived. When those conditions all appear together, a person is said to have “metabolic syndrome.” Each of those conditions pose known risks to longevity, even with the multiple medical strategies available to deal with each of them.
These types of challenges are generally considered the appropriate realm of “internal medicine” which focuses on the physical plane. However, health is not simply the absence of disease. It is quite possible for an individual to have any number of diseases “well controlled” medically without experiencing much in the way of vitality. Surprisingly enough, cultural influences can overwhelm what might seem like common sense and, in western society, it is not uncommon for folks to put their career emphasis, duty to family, or just their personal preferences above their commitment to their own health. Living, after all, has historically always led ultimately to progressive dysfunction, disease, disability, and death. It has only been in very recent times that “plenty” and “comfort” have become hazards to our health in the way that scarcity and danger threatened our ancestors.
With all of the urgencies of modern life and the “shortcuts” available to bypass more sensible and sustainable behaviors, there are many pathways available to take health for granted. These pathways accelerate our slide down the slippery slope from health to declining vitality. If an individual remains on the path that landed them on that slippery slope, they’ll need all the medicine they can get to stay “above ground.” However, if they gain a spark of insight that other choices could put them on better paths, then the awareness and education that partnering with a Health Coach can provide may create for them a better way.
That new way, more often than not, helps an individual to get out of their own way, by reconnecting not only to appropriate physical resources, but spiritual, mental, and emotional ones as well. It is never a Health Coach’s responsibility to alter the treatment plan for a diagnosed disease. It is both common and reassuring when an FDN-based plan addressing “non-characteristic complaints” leads to a reduction or elimination of medication. However, that should not be the expectation or objective of such a plan because the principles applied and the investigations performed never have as their aim the treatment of disease.
The Path to Good Health
Good health goes far beyond passing a yearly physical that most would consider their only necessity. It’s a state in which the body functions optimally and without discomfort. Many of us have come so far from this state that is sometimes unrecognizable and we accept the symptoms and struggles we face everyday as being normal and unchangeable. But the body has an amazing ability to fix itself. It has what we like to refer to as an innate intelligence that allows it to know exactly how to keep itself functioning optimally. Sometimes however, people need a little help to understand how to support their body’s natural healing ability.
Functional Health Coaches, give clients the life changing chance to stop chasing symptoms and actually start healing. Working toward normal function allows them to feel better as their symptoms go away. It’s a permanent solution that stops bad health dead in its tracks.
Functional Diagnostic Nutrition® gives Health Coaches the right tools to look below the surface and find underlying healing opportunities.
Once healing opportunities are identified, you create a more personalized plan to get to the bottom of one’s health issues and restore health. As the body begins to heal, symptoms will go away, your client will feel better and you will have stopped their endless cycle of trial and error.