Today I’m sharing a bit about me. To let you know a bit more about who I am and what I do and to explain some of the changes that you may notice in the group going forward. But also to show that we all have struggles with what we are about and which direction to go in sometimes.
So I’ve been doing a bit of soul searching. I’ve been struggling a bit with the direction I am taking and how to bring together what I’m doing.
As you probably know by now I’m a physiotherapist and a life coach. And before all that I studied Philosophy. So I’m a bit of a mixed bag. I’ve never been a physio that was all about exercises and manipulations and an extra couple of degrees of movement.
Maybe because of my background I was always more interested in what an injury or illness meant for that person. I remember going for a job interview and being asked about outcome measures to show that a physio treatment had made a difference. I answered that the only outcome that is relevant is the patient’s view on whether or not their situation is better than it was prior to working with the physio. What is the point in a test showing that someone is stronger or has more movement at a joint if they still can’t do what matters to them? Any intervention should be to help achieve what matters to the client or patient.
I often hear from clients that the doctor or surgeon says they are fine, they have discharged them from clinic, there is nothing more they can do. The trap that a lot of western medicine practices have fallen into is “treating” the injury or illness or disease but not the person. “Treatment” comes under specific specialisms where specific problems are treated but often not in relation to other problems an individual may have or indeed in relation to that person as a whole.
And initially I had been thinking of life coaching as being a separate business and service to that of my Physiotherapy. But the reason I started doing life coaching was because of how much informal life and wellbeing coaching I was doing everyday as a Physio! So why was I thinking of it as being something separate? This approach is integral to the type of Physiotherapist I am and the services that I provide. And in fact created the perfect whole person service that I believe in!
Having the “traditional “ physiotherapy knowledge and skills gives me such a deep understanding of the physical challenges clients face while my life & wellbeing coaching skills allow me to confidently approach issues and beliefs that neither predominantly physical or psychological practitioners may feel able to do.
Ultimately this gives my clients the best outcome. My approach is truly looking at the whole person. We are not just physical beings or just emotional beings. An issue or ailment which primarily seems to be either physical or emotional will inevitably impact on the other aspect too.
Now while a sprained ankle that improves over a couple of weeks may not have a lasting or considerable impact on our emotional well being, a long term condition such as fibromyalgia or a traumatic injury which limits someone’s ability to carry out their usual life roles or has the potential to, will have an impact on their emotional wellbeing. The emotional factors can then influence the physical symptoms and vice versa.
Equally someone who is experiencing anxiety or low mood will often experience physical symptoms too. Sore, tight muscles, headaches, neck or back pain are common symptoms that many of us can relate to after relatively short periods of feeling worried or down. So here too, especially when emotional problems have been present for sometime, we need also to address the physical signs and symptoms that have evolved.
I believe we cannot work in isolation with only the physical or emotional symptoms and expect any real life improvement.
So in working together I will do a lot of listening! I will listen to your story. I will ask you questions to ensure that I have correctly understood what you are saying. I will ask you why. I will ask you why not. I will ask you what you hope to achieve through our time together. I spend most of my time listening to my clients, exploring why they do or don’t do certain things, the behaviours they or their families have adopted, their beliefs around their condition etc. Listening to really understand, asking questions to dig deeper and work out a plan together.
This is what I really enjoy doing and the results can be truly life changing. All these questions will explore your physical and emotional wellbeing, because you are a physical and an emotional being. So we will look at you as the whole person that you are, not a condition or a label or a diagnosis or lack of diagnosis. But the whole you.
That is unless you just have a sprained ankle of course, in that case I’ll refer you on to a colleague!!
So the upshoot of all this is that In Balance is now very much about whole wellbeing, physical, emotional, metaphysical….
Because wellbeing is about our physical and emotional elements being In Balance.
So I’ve been doing a bit of soul searching, looking for a bit of clarity around what I am providing at In Balance.
So over the next wee while I’ll be letting you know a bit more about me and what I plan to do going forward.
In summary it is going to be much more about whole person wellbeing – physical , emotional and social…….”Because wellbeing is about our physical and emotional elements being In Balance” xx