FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE & HEALTH COACHING
A mutually empowering patient-practitioner relationship is a key element of the Functional Medicine model. Establishing and maintaining a strong, empathic relationship with the patient is the most crucial factor for his or her success in the long-term with lifestyle changes such as weight loss, stress management, tobacco cessation, and increased activity level.
Doctors and clinicians know how important this lifestyle change can be however often don't have the time or the training to facilitate/emphasise this. Unhealthy lifestyle behaviours are considered modifiable risk factors for many diseases, including cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, cognitive decline and many more.
This is where a Health Coach comes in and plays such a vital role. Health coaching helps patients make sustainable lifestyle changes that stick. Health Coaches empower patients to take control of their health so they can make the necessary dietary and lifestyle changes to turn their health around and create optimal health.
Carmen has been working with me for just over a year and has been a fantastic support to our patients and myself. Many of our patients have commented how her support has been crucial for them to establish a better life - work balance (as she likes to say) and general well being. She has provided them with many tools and resources which will help them now and for their future. Her attitude is always helpful, joyful, positive and understanding which helps her connect with the patients very easily. She is a pleasure to work with and will be a valuable asset to any patient/team she joins.
Dr Gayetri Chudasama (MD, MRCGP, DFSRH, AFMCP)
Functional Medicine Practitioner
Functional Medicine is based on the principle that patients do best when there is a therapeutic partnership between the practitioner and patient. As the studies on health coaching suggest, there is a critical relationship between the level of control that patients feel they have over their own health and their success in making and sustaining lifestyle changes that impact their overall wellness.
As a health coach working alongside a functional medicine doctor, I dovetail my habit change programmes with the doctor’s consultations, giving the patient weekly holistic support, accountability and encouragement to enable more adherence to good habits and ‘doctor’s orders’. This collaboration of doctor and health coach gives the doctor more time in the consultation for the medical side while the health coach follows through with the other pillars of health in more depth than time would otherwise allow.
The doctor also benefits from a weekly summary and insight to the patient’s progress. Many clients find these weekly interventions invaluable to keep them on track, answer inevitable questions, and expand their knowledge of their own unique body. Helping patients to understand the importance of the mind body connection forms the basis of much of my work.
My mentoring and support on diet, eating habits, weight loss, exercise, sleep and stress relief has help clients across the world, via weekly zoom sessions.
A well overdue email to thank you for your wonderful support while I was feeling at my worst over last Autumn. It took me a few weeks further on Dr Gayetri's programme to fully find my feet but things are continuing to progress. It's shocking to think back to how I could barely walk, couldn't get round a supermarket nor fit shoes on my feet due to swelling. On the first day of restriction easing in late March Jim and I at last had our Civil Partnership and how good did it feel that I could fit some boots on , stand and not be in pain?! A ten minute ceremony with only two witnesses but it was just the sweetest moment stolen midst a storm!
Thank you for your wonderful, supportive and encouraging sessions. Some weeks I was just wading through hour to hour but that half hour with you never failed to give me some guidance to help me move forward, a place to just say things as they were and have ideas bounced back. Not many people can strike such a balance of positivity with sensitivity - I always felt heard, met and understood yet you always remained cheerful and never failed to encourage me, reminding me of the distance travelled and what was possible yet. And I'll never forget the moment you flagged up that maybe it was time to introduce some fun into eating! My daughter and I love some of the recipes from the sites you suggested :-)"