Functional Medicine Coaching
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Functional Medicine Coaching
If you are considering functional medicine coaching as a career choice or if you are looking to up your clinical game by being coached in functional medicine, consider the following:
Why Do Clients Fail With Success in Receiving Functional Medicine Treatment?
- You Have Not Found All the Root Causes as a Clinician: When you have a mentor in functional medicine that you can bounce hard cases and ideas off of, it can help you to not miss obvious and important root causes that are preventing your client from healing.
- Not Addressing the Psychology of Habit Change: When people commit to a diet, lifestyle change or new supplement regime, they often times start out really strong. New information about the root cause behind a disease can be exciting and motivating. But typically, when we treat the root cause, it takes some time before symptoms go away. Motivation often times weans as so many people are used to taking a pill that causes symptoms to go away quickly. It is therefore important in functional medicine coaching that we are not simply providing treatment protocols for clients, but also coaching them through the times where they may feel like they want to give up.
One of the biggest mistakes that people get into is when they have unsuccessful days at their treatment protocol. When they are successful, they will get a dopamine boost as a reward, which helps model behavior that the body wants repeated. This is a good thing for positive habit change.
However, when people “fall of the treatment wagon”, many times they have a hard time getting back on the protocol that clinicians prescribe. For this reason, it is often useful to talk to people about the minimum goal to success.
By minimum goal to success, we mean that while we often times want people to make some major shifts in their lifestyle as well as take all sorts of supplements and sometimes medications, we also want to have a minimum guideline of what they should consider “a successful implementation of the treatment plan.” For example, if you prescribe supplements three times a day, you want to tell them that this is the goal for the best success, but perhaps set a minimum goal of them remembering to take their supplements at least once a day. The reason we do this, is because inevitably, most humans are going to have those days that are off days, where things are just so busy and certain things will be forgotten. When this happens, we want people to still have a burst of dopamine and feel a sense of success. This dopamine reward boost that happens on hard, busy days will help them to continue the feedback loop of success and help prevent them from falling off the treatment wagon.
This is one example of why functional medicine coaching in a clinical setting needs to include not only a great understanding and application of lab testing and treatment plans, but also an understanding of the mind and of how people are motivated to make change. This is why in our functional medicine coaching programs we teach our clients how to work not only with the physical body and treatment plans but also mindset and the psychology of habit change.
- Clients are Not Clear on What They are Supposed to Do: As clinicians of functional medicine, you will be likely working with a wide variety of individuals. Some will be well educated in health and wellness and others will likely be at the beginning. Even in those that are knowledgeable in functional medicine, they may have brain fog or other cognitive imbalances. Often times we see that even if clients have been explained what to do and given written reminders, they still sometimes feel unclear. This is especially true if brain fog is a symptom. Part of functional medicine coaching is having a plan to check in on those you are coaching to make sure that they fully understand what you are asking of them. We see a much higher success rate when people truly get the “why” behind what you are asking them to do.
Having a coach to teach you about not only how to learn/advance your functional medicine training, but to motivate your clients to success can be one of the best career investments you make. You can learn some amazing things about lab testing and treatments, but if you do not learn how to present the information in a way that motivates your clients to change, you will likely not have the level of success and impact that you could otherwise. Learn about our functional medicine coaching programs HERE.
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