In this episode we talk about functional medicine health coaching for stress recovery with Dr. Sandra Scheinbaum, otherwise known as Dr. Sandi [@drsandi].
In the conventional mental health world, when you get a diagnosis of anxiety, you go see a therapist and the message you get is that you are broken, you have something wrong with you, and you need to be “fixed.”
When you look at a personalized approach, which is where medicine is going in the future (personalized precision), you instead design of a protocol that fits specifically for you in order to address the underlying causes of stress-related health issues.
Dr. Sandi, originally trained as a special education teacher and psychologist, started implementing mind-body medicine, including biofeedback, mindfulness, and nutrition, decades ago.
Then, with her clinical experience, she decided to start training health coaches to help people implement mind-body medicine strategies in order to improve wellbeing instead of being stuck with a diagnosis and not feeling well.
As Dr. Sandi shares, good health is not “one size fits all”. A good functional medicine health coach can help guide patients to make small changes that add up to big changes by listening and being an unconditional health advocate.
Listen in to this episode to learn more about how health coaches are trained, the types of conditions they help with, and how they can help you recover from stress.
Dr. Sandi trains people to become health coaches because she believes that growing the health coaching profession will be the solution to combating chronic disease and reducing healthcare costs.
She’s the Founder and CEO of the Functional Medicine Coaching Academy, a collaboration with The Institute for Functional Medicine. An educator and licensed clinical psychologist for over 40 years, she’s the author of How to Become a Health Coach, Functional Medicine Coaching, and Stop Panic Attacks in 10 Easy Steps.
In this episode, Dr. Sandi mentions a landmark study by Jon Kabat-Zinn on a mindfulness-based stress reduction approach, which was featured in the Journal of the American Medical Association, where a group of around 240 people diagnosed with anxiety were separated into two groups. Group A got the conventional medication, a generic version of Lexapro and Group B got the mindfulness-based stress reduction approach. The results showed that both groups reported significant improvements with their anxiety disorder.
This is good news as it shows that not everybody that suffers from anxiety needs an anti-anxiety medication, which could be really hard to withdraw from.
However, the mindfulness-based reduction approach is not for everybody. In the study they recommended 40 minutes a day which could not fit everyone’s schedule. Here is where a coach comes in. A coach could dive into what is going to work specifically for you. Maybe it could start with a one-minute walk meditation or listening to some music for a set amount of time daily.
The personalized strategies must be based on what works for each individual based on his preferences and time availability. Sometimes even realizing we need help is difficult for us as there is so much stigma to asking for help.
How Health Coaching Can Help
A coach can create a safe and secure environment where people can get unconditional compassionate support. There are even anonymous support communities created by coaches so people feel safe sharing their experiences with others going through the same problems.
Fortunately, nowadays there are health coaches specializing in most health issues helping people overcome these.
We also could feel that we need to take big steps to get better and could feel overwhelmed by this. Here health coaches can help people identify the little incremental steps that you can take to start feeling better from the start, little by little, without being overwhelmed by a big change in your life.
For example, when a doctor says, “you need to lose weight” or “you need to start exercising” — well, what do you do with that? A health coach could show you the small changes you can do in your daily routine to incorporate physical activity in small incremental steps and help you be accountable for those small changes.
A coach is somebody who helps people change when change is difficult. By having deep conversations on what really matters to you then you decide how and when or if you want to change. Finding the right coach starts with analyzing what you need and who you connect with because it’s about a relationship between two people or if it’s a group, a relationship with the people in that group and the coach as the facilitator.
Functional medicine health coaches help people look at their story, help with the discovery process, and get to the root of what is causing their specific health issue. A health coach is someone who will guide you and show you how to access these tools because in this approach is not one size fits all.
We are humans and we will have health issues at some point in our lives, the important thing is to think about how are we going to support ourselves through that, and I talk a lot about this in my book, Master Your Stress Reset Your Health (https://doctordoni.com/master-your-stress): How do we choose self-care, how do we choose to be supported in our process and I really see that a health coach is a great way to support your journey to heal. I have health coaches in my practice helping patients and see what a difference they make.
If you want to learn more about your specific stress type and how you can start mastering stress and anxiety based on how it affects you as an individual, you can do my Stress Type Quiz for free here: https://doctordoni.com/quiz/stress-quiz/
You can also find my free masterclass on how to address the root causes of anxiety here: https://doctordoni.com/transformanxiety
You can also reach out to me to set up a one-on-one appointment if you prefer here: https://doctordoni.com/work-with-me/
We’re here to help you!
Connect with Dr. Doni:
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- Weekly Wellness Wisdom Newsletter: https://doctordoni.com/www
More Resources from Dr. Doni:
- Start with Dr. Doni’s Stress Quiz:
- Latest Book: Master Your Stress, Reset Your Health
- Stress Warrior Book
- Stress Warrior Stress Resiliency Group (FREE)
- 7-day SelfC.A.R.E Stress Reset
- HPV Recovery Guide (FREE)
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