COACHING ALONG WITH DOCTORING
by Lawrence Wilson, MD
© December 2009. The Center For Development
In order to help people stay on their nutritional balancing program, we must offer both nutritional balancing science and coaching. Let use examine what this means and why it is very important today.
WHAT IS COACHING?
Coaching means helping to encourage clients to stay the course. It also means helping them appreciate how far they have come and how well they are doing. These may seem like simple things, but in many cases they are not simple at all.
For example, many people may feel worse at times during a nutrition program. We know this is because they are eliminating a toxic metal or going through some other shift in the body chemistry. However, this needs to be communicated in a positive, encouraging way.
This is similar to a baseball coach explaining why a player may have a bad day at times and not to worry about it. It is an essential part of a sports coach and it is an equally important part of being a health coach as well.
HOW TO BE A GREAT HEALING COACH
1. You canŐt be too positive. The most effective coaches may reprimand a player at times, particularly if he or she feels the player is not living up to his abilities. However, the best of them are usually very positive and upbeat.
This is not a quality found in most doctors, however. Most are all consumed with the technicalities of diseases, death and similar topics. These are often ingrained in medical school and to some degree other healing schools as well.
Instead of being positive, many coaches in the healing field like to give lectures and meanwhile do not realize the need to hold out total hope and love and faith to their patients or clients. This is a big mistake, in fact.
2. Encourage. This one word sums up the job of healing coach. Everyone, bar none, needs encouragement. It is a rare client indeed who is so self-motivated they will follow blindly as they donŐt always feel well and have to put up with various symptoms and other inconveniences, while spending hard-earned funds to do this.
Often our clients are, at the same time, asked to go without the support of and even oppose the beliefs of their families, friends, medical doctors and other influential people. Thus they need even more encouragement and support.
3. Listen carefully and thoroughly. Often patients complain that their doctors do not listen and hear their complaints. It is fine to repeat back statements if you are not sure what the client is trying to say. Often just allowing a client to ÔventŐ and express his frustration with not feeling well can be sufficient to enable a person to continue with a correct healing program.
4. Provide support in many forms. I cannot overemphasize the need to provide extra materials to help support your clients. Here are some simple examples:
á Reading matter – articles, books, magazines and other.
á CDs, videos and other multimedia are excellent as well.
á Support groups, if possible. Have clients call one another and get together if possible to help each other.
á Lectures, discussions and other gatherings.
5. Teach. DonŐt just lecture or scold. This is hard for some of us because it is a very different skill. It involves finding out what the patient needs and then offering it in a form and style that the patient can grasp and learn with. The section below will give some examples of the problems of the clients in these areas and how one might help them.
COMMON BLOCKAGES TO PROGRESS
Certain tendencies in human beings keep them from progressing or following through with a nutritional and healing program. Some are simple, such as the inertia of your diet and lifestyle. Others are very subtle. Let us examine some of the more difficult ones.
1. The feeling of victimhood. This is one of the basic human problems. One often feels like there is no hope or I am destined to suffer this disease or problem forever.
Ultimately, this can be countered in only one way. One must develop a more spiritual attitude that with God all things are possible. This cannot simply be a prayer or affirmation. It must be felt at a deep level.
Only repetition will do this for most people. Support from a practitioner is also most helpful in any form such as books, stories of overcoming illness and much more.
2. I am not good enough. This one is different from the first. It is the idea that I might overcome if I were a better, purer, smarter, more beautiful, more talented person. In other words, this one is an inferiority complex whereas number one above is more about the nature of the world.
This problem is also difficult to solve, as it is usually based on childhood trauma or worse, some deep feeling of unworthiness that again is a spiritual dilemma. In other words, God has not favored me in some way, and therefore I am incapable of overcoming my problem, so why bother.
As with the feeling of victimhood, this problem is best confronted head on with affirmations, reading, meditation of the type we recommend and more. It can be overcome in time.
3. This practitioner or healing program is no good. This would seem to be about the practitioner, not strictly about the client. However, it is in a way.
It is a breakdown of trust, a key element in the doctor-patient or practitioner-client relationship. After all, if the client felt he or she could take care of their health all by themselves, they would not need anyoneŐs help. So trust is involved here as well as a lack of understanding in many cases.
Practitioners can limit this problem somewhat by learning their trade well and by presenting the program and presenting themselves in a thoroughly professional manner. Unfortunately, this is not the case in many instances.
Professional manner includes how one dresses, speaks, writes and everything else about oneŐs office setting, mannerisms and more. It might be said to include oneŐs Ňbedside mannerÓ, but is much more than this.
We must sell ourselves repeatedly and convince those who trust us that their trust is justified and that we care deeply about them, not about our image, reputation, money or other motives for practicing our work.
A serious problem today is that so many people are angry and discouraged with medical doctors. Trust has broken down before a person even comes in the door. This must be repaired, ultimately, or results will never be as good.
To some degree, trust is the placebo effect. That is, it relieves anxiety to such as degree the patient progresses no matter what you suggest. While this is the truth, competence matters a lot today, especially in nutrition where many people with little training or expertise (including medical personnel) offer their ideas as if they are gospel truth. Thus the concept of rebuilding trust and confidence is important in all situations of healing today. Practitioners should always be willing to take help and ask questions of more experienced practitioners to keep learning more. This is an important part of building confidence with clients as well. Try to find answers if you are not sure about something.
These are among the most important blocks to an excellent relationship with clients that I am aware of today.
OTHER METHODS OF SUPPORTING CLIENTS
Chiropractic. Regular, gentle chiropractic is excellent for everyone on a nutritional balancing program. It can relieve nerve blockages and keep a person moving along better, and it is not too costly in many cases, especially since insurance often covers simple visits to a chiropractor.
The best types of chiropractors are those that use more gentle methods, in my experience. These include Toftness, activator, kinesiological methods and others.
Also, if possible, find someone who assesses with non-invasive methods, which means those that do not take x-rays if possible. Non-invasive methods include applied kinesiology or muscle testing, various physical diagnostic methods such as palpating or feeling the spine, visual examination of the spine and others.
Bodywork. Some forms of bodywork, especially Rolfing, structural integration and methods such as foot and hand reflexology are excellent along with nutritional balancing. Both this and chiropractic are grounding for people and relaxing as well.
Other methods in this area are craniosacral work, although I have found it not quite as good as the others unless the practitioner is very skilled. Others are oriental bodywork such as shiatsu massage, Thai massage, Jin Shin Jyutsu, and others. Be careful about recommending yoga and tai chi. While they can be excellent, many people are injured in these classes because the teacher does not continuously walk around and check to make sure the students are doing every posture exactly right. I donŐt feel these are quite as good for Westerners for this reason only.
With any adjunctive therapy, make sure the practitioner you recommend understands or at least is friendly toward nutritional balancing. Avoid anyone who might try to dissuade a client from continuing with nutritional balancing.