Have you heard about the concept of using a coach to help you with your wellness goals? Specifically a coach to support you in your journey fighting fibromyalgia? In this post I summarise why, benefits, what life coaching is and isn’t and how to choose one.
Why a Coach for Fibromyalgia?
Struggling with pain, fatigue, insomnia, brain fog and the host of other symptoms that come with fibromyalgia can mean daily life is difficult enough without trying to figure out how tackle these symptoms.
If I had had someone who could have said “I believe you. Here is a place to start. How are you, really?” My journey would have been much shorter. I would not have lost the entirety of my twenties to the fight.
Have you heard of the analogy of most health services being an ambulance at the bottom of a cliff? I envision coaches to come and walk beside you from the top of the cliff down the (tricky) path on the other side.
Benefits of Fibromyalgia Coaching
Dr Liptan promotes the concept in this article…because she knows a doctor cannot possibly help put the jigsaw puzzle together with you in their tiny allotted appointments. She also discusses coaching with Tami Stackelhouse (founder of the International Fibromyalgia Coaching Institute) in this video.
An article about a study on health coaching in 2016 states that “Telephonic coaching has been found to be an effective means for behavior change while also providing a convenience for the patient and clinician. Appel et al.”
In the study, nine patients participated –
At the conclusion of 12 months results included that Revised Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire scores improved by 35%. Illnesses interference in function was reduced by 44%.
- Fill the gap in the current healthcare system that people with fibromyalgia are falling through – helping patients to enact what doctors suggest but don’t have the time to show them how to do
- Reduce the time it takes to put together a wellness plan
- Increased functionality (you do more)
- Decreased impact on your life
A partnership between coach and client where the coach supports, encourages and provides accountability while the client works toward their goals.
In future models healthcare for chronic illness is likely to include partnerships between client, doctor, physical practitioners, coaches and more. The current healthcare system where patients rely on doctors is not working. We have to realise we have control and start working collaboratively.
Coaching is not
Therapy or the coach taking control for the client. The only expert in your body and condition is you.
Why I Chose to Become a Coach Specialising Fibromyalgia and Mindfulness
At the beginning of this year, I was wondering what to do next in my career. With three small children and fibromyalgia it was becoming clear that I could no longer balance work, life, health and making the resources I have made to help others fight fibromyalgia. When I visualised my ideal job, it was fibromyalgia coaching! Except that it took me a while to put the pieces together.
I have since studied to become a Certified Life Coach and Certified Mindfulness Coach through the Transformation Academy.
I am supremely passionate about helping others take control of their healing journey – because I believe self-efficacy is vital. We make small decisions all day every day which add up to impact our quality of life.
How I work
We work together to set your vision for what “thriving despite fibromyalgia” means for you, set goals and I will walk beside you as you achieve these.
I provide research, advice on how to find more information, my personal experience and help you work through the information and your own goals and ideas.
My philosophy is very positive but realistic. I have done the work myself and dragged myself from miserable and barely coping to thriving despite the fibromyalgia and I expect anyone who works with me to be ready to do the work.
In short, I empower you to take control of your healing journey.
If You’re Considering Working with a Coach
Go through their blog, books, products, videos etc. To see if their style gels with yours. Coaching generally takes place over a longer term period, unless you have a smaller goal so you want to be comfortable with the person you choose.
Ask yourself what you would like to achieve – I am able to help you break big goals down into manageable chunks but we do need to have reasonable expectations.
Where Can You Get More Information?
My blog has around 200 articles. I have two Facebook groups you are welcome to join – Melissa (you) vs Fibromyalgia and Pregnancy and Fibromyalgia. I have written two books – Melissa vs Fibromyalgia: My Journey Fighting Chronic Pain, Chronic Fatigue and Insomnia (affiliate link) and Pregnancy and Fibromyalgia (affiliate link).
Have a look at my Work With Me page – you can sign up for a complimentary chat where we discuss what your goals are, how I could help and if you are in a good place to begin coaching.
Will I Still be Making Resources?
Absolutely! I will continue to write my blog posts and run my groups! How much I can do might look different while I have three children five years old and under, but I will continue to do my best.
What if I am Not in a Place for Coaching Right Now But I’d Like Some Help?
Go through all of my resources as listed above including the blog (over 200 posts) and Facebook groups (two).
Try Fibromyalgia 101 Foundational Programme or Mindfulness for the Chronic Life programmes. These are completely self study at your own pace offerings.
Have you ever worked with a coach for fibromyalgia? I’d love to hear your experience.