Health Coaching

Erica Nelson, MSPH, NBC-HWC 

The legendary basketball coach, John Wooden once said, “A good coach can change a game. A great coach can change a life.”  At Carolina Total Wellness, our coaches help our patients change their lives every day.Every patient at Carolina Total Wellness that sees a doctor or physician assistant is paired with a health coach. Some patients may also choose to work solely with a health coach to achieve their dietary and lifestyle goals. This article will help you know what to expect when you work with a health coach.

Here are 3 key aspects of the health coaching experience at Carolina Total Wellness:

The Space Between
Health coaches hold space for you to pause… and decide how you want to respond to your circumstances. The world today is a seemingly relentless onslaught of stimulation, and it can feel like there is an urgency to react to all of that stimulation.

George Mumford, meditation coach to Michael Jordan, LeBron James, Kobe Bryant and other world-class athletes offers another way, ‘Think about the eye of a hurricane.’ He says, ‘No matter how intense the storm or what’s swept up in its gale-force winds, that calm, blue center is always there. We all have this quiet center within us.’  Your CTW coach will help you respond from that quiet center within, rather than reacting from the chaos of the storm.

In our office, health coaches hold space for you to make sense of what is going on in your world and in your body and decide how you want to respond. Health coaches always honor the fact that you are the expert on your own life and display unconditional positive regard for you and whatever lifestyle decisions you choose. They pay attention to what matters to you and may offer suggestions for adjustments that fit into your life.

Translator
The science of the body and its systems are the physician’s expertise. Science of behavior change is the coach’s expertise. Our coaches help you translate medical science you discuss with your doctor or PA into evidence-based behavioral change strategies to optimize your health. When you combine the medical knowledge of our physicians and PA with your coach’s expertise in the science of motivation, habits, and change, many of the barriers to experiencing health fall away.

Each of the coaches at CTW has at least a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university and training in coaching from either the Functional Medicine Coaching Academy or Duke University. Some of them also have master’s degrees and other specialized training in nutrition, exercise, counseling, and other relevant fields. Unless otherwise specified, CTW coaches are not registered dietitians, licensed mental health professionals or certified fitness professionals.

Guide
In the words of Michael Jordan, ‘A coach is someone that sees beyond your limits and guides you to greatness!’ CTW coaches come to the table with empathy for whatever you are facing and feeling and confidence in your ability to overcome. Each coach has faced their own struggles in life and knows what it is like to work hard to overcome. However, coaches never replace you as the expert on you; they serve as your guide on your journey to health. Coaches can help you understand all the different ways you can try intermittent fasting or yoga or what, exactly, is ‘glycemic index.’ Maybe our most important job, though, is to help you get very clear on your vision of the healthiest version of you. Once you decide where it is you want to go, coaches provide education, support and accountability to knock down any stumbling blocks that may come up along the way.
 
Call us today to schedule your appointment with one of our health coaches.
 

Erica Nelson, MSPH, NBC-HWC 

How to Ground Your Energy When Feeing Anxious

The last couple of years have been hard on everyone.  The pandemic has caused so many disruptions in our lives – lost jobs and income, friends and loved ones becoming ill, children home from school and missing socialization, feeling more isolated and less connected.  It’s no wonder that an even greater number of people have reported feeling anxious. 

Talk therapy, supplements, exercise and medication are beneficial solutions for curbing anxiety.  There are also practical strategies you can utilize when experiencing anxiety.

1)  Box Breathing – If you’ve ever practiced meditation then you know how helpful mindful breathing can be to calm your nervous system.  Close your eyes and then breathe slowly in for four counts.  Hold your breath for four counts and then exhale slowly for four counts. At the bottom of the exhale count to four while doing nothing.  Repeat this process for a total of four times.  Once completed you should feel much more relaxed and centered.

2) Name Objects in Your Line of Vision – If your thoughts are spiraling out of control you can change your state of mind by simply naming objects that you see.  Keep doing this as long as you need to until you feel your energy begin to mellow.  This works because you are changing which hemisphere of your brain is being used, moving from the emotional side to the logical side. 

3) Mantras – Taking the time to recite a mantra is valuable for grounding feelings of anxiety.  Some examples are “I am safe”, “I am peaceful”, “I am loved” or “With every breath I feel myself relaxing”.  Write down your own affirmations that resonate with you the most and then say them repeatedly when you’re feeling anxious.

4) Gratitude – We cannot be in a state of fear or anxiety and be in a state of calm or peace a the same time.  Pausing to “count your blessings” will transition your energy into a more relaxed vibration. Write down five things you are grateful for or if you can’t write them down, list them in your mind.

The next time you find your heart beating fast or your mind racing, try practicing these strategies to ground your energy.

The next time you find your heart beating fast or your mind racing, try practicing these strategies to ground your energy.

If you or someone you know can benefit from working with our health coaches please contact our office to make an appointment. 

In health,
Sara Yadlowsky, FMHC

Meditate on your feelings to get calm, grounded, and healthy.

Clarissa A. Kussin, ND, RYT-500
  Meditate on your feelings to get calm, grounded, and healthy.Our emotions can hold us hostage when their stormy winds of intensity and disharmony blow through the body. For example, when you’re angry, your belly can tighten, your heart might pound, and agitating thoughts can plague you for minutes, hours, or even days. This is because emotions, be they angry, peaceful, anxious, sad, or happy, activate your nervous system to release chemicals into your bloodstream that can pull your focus and energy away from other matters. When emotions are that strong, we may be tempted to label them the “enemy.” But refusing to accept how you feel only postpones the inevitable; every emotion you deny will always return, trying to convey important information.

In a world full of stress and demands, rest is one of the most important factors for creating wellness. Restorative activities can include mental, physical, and/or emotional activities that help to promote resilience. Particularly if you are under chronic stress, restful activities can break the cycle of stress and assist you on the path to health.

Get Unstuck
Knowing that the brain is not static, but instead has plasticity, underlines one of the key reasons to practice restful habits: you can learn to be healthier, happier, and more connected. Focusing on the process of restoration, rather than current complaints or states, allows you to take charge of your own health and wellness. You can become more resilient and healthier.

The Right Activities
Many people turn to television, alcohol, or other semi-harmful activities to counteract stress. Replacing even a few minutes a day of those activities with ones that scientifically promote healing and restoration can trigger lasting improvements.

Restoration activities like meditation, guided imagery, breathing techniques, gratitude, and mindfulness are time-honored, science-backed ways to make a difference internally. They have calming effects not only on the state of mind, but also helping to balance hormonal and immune function.

Don’t let stress run the show. Select a restoration activity and see if it works for you—whether that’s finding something to feel grateful about every day or trying a new yoga pose.

Be intentional and open. Take back a few minutes a day of your life, balance your emotions, and your health and wellness will follow.

Restorative Activities
Meditation
Gratitude
Journaling
Deep breathing and breathing techniques
Guided Imagery and/or Visualization
Massage, Sauna, or Water Therapy
Mindful Eating, Walking, or Body Scan
Many others!

A wide variety of conditions are assisted by restoration therapies, including:
Anxiety, depression, and mood disorders
Cancer
Chronic pain and fibromyalgia
Gastrointestinal disorders
Sleep disturbances and stress disorders
Heart disease, diabetes, and hypertension
Hot flashes
Asthma

Emotions are messengers, here to deliver information about empowering actions you need to take in your life and relationships. Just as it takes time to strengthen muscles, it also takes time to strengthen your ability to welcome and respond to your emotions, rather than avoid them. Lean on them to find creative solutions and successfully navigate life.

Your Partner In Health!
Clarissa A. Kussin, ND, RYT-500