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Doctor and Patient

Choosing A Wellness Provider

How do I Know This Provider Can Truly Help Me?

Maybe you found a provider from a friend, maybe from an internet search, or maybe you stumbled upon them yourself. They seem like a great person but how do I know this individual will truly be able to help me reach my goals. Testimonials are great, but these days before and after's are a dime a dozen, so how can I be sure?
Because of the nature of what I do, I won't typically work formally with family members or friends. So I tend to get this question quite a lot and thought this would help steer people in the right direction...
These are 3 things to look for when deciding on a provider.
Image by Element5 Digital


What is at the center of their holistic approach?
If you are seeking someone that is to support you with your overall health, and not just one aspect (trainer, nutritionist, sleep specialist, therapist etc...), make sure the core of what they do is rooted some way in behavior, and psychology. If you have experienced some sort of trauma in your life make sure they are at least, 'Trauma-informed.'
The studies that have been materializing on trauma for the past 20 years or so are absolutely groundbreaking. Many of us feel alone with our trauma, and maybe have been hiding for years. The reality is we are not alone at all. Over 66% of us have had at least one ACE (Adverse Childhood Experience), before we even hit the age of 18. This will affect the neurological development of our brain, and therefore our behavior later on in life. Understandably, many will say, "I didn't think my trauma would be relevant." I promise, when working on any sort of behavior it will be paramount to work with someone that has some understanding in the area...
          Does self-sabotage sound familiar?
  • How can you utilize this information:
Ask your Wellness Specialist
                     What are the main areas we will focus on? Have you studied the area of trauma and it's affects on the brain and behavior?
-Look for two things-
                     1.   Do they mention your behavior and how they work with you? Do they mention subjects like sleep, nutrition, exercise, and stress management? Also, many practitioners might push a lot of, 'workbooks,' or, 'forms.' Sometimes these can be okay, however there are too many programs that are the same one or two cookie cutter templates. This can sometimes represent a way for them to make their business more scalable (less direct time with the client), or they use them because this is the exact path that worked for them. It can be great that they are utilizing things that worked for them, but their has to be a balance, because everyone has many differences, backgrounds, experiences, personalities, goals, lifestyle, etc...
                     2.  Do they mention their own trauma? I don't believe a practitioner has to have  experienced trauma in order to help someone who is suffering from it. However, there are reasons why traumatic events almost seem impossible to contextualize into clear language. It is one of those subjects that would be extremely hard to fully grasp without direct experience. If someone has experienced trauma their empathy for people that have takes on a whole new meaning. If they couple experience, with their own study and learning on the subject than you can have the best chance this practitioner can help.
REMEMBER:   At the end of the day health is such a vast area, so look for someone that seems versed in a lot of important areas. Not just general areas, but in areas where you might need the most help. 
BONUS: If they mention the book, "The Body Keeps The Score," when referring to their own study on trauma, this can be a great sign. Also, if you are someone dealing with trauma and want to gain a better relationship and understanding with it, this can truly be a life changing read for you by gaining a better understanding of, 'You.'  
Stack of Books


Experience > Curriculum
I cannot stress this one enough. Yes, you need to work with someone with a vast knowledge base. However, I have seen plenty of times where people have an abundance of, 'Formal Training.' On a resume they look incredible. Yet, many times I've seen how this does not directly translate into how they implement this knowledge base into someone's life.
We are in the information age. Information isn't monopolized by Universities or Institutions anymore. Quality information is everywhere, and is changing and growing at a exponential rate. Because of this being knowledgeable in how to accurately assimilate quality data is fundamentally much more important than the, 'Credentials,' someone accrues.
  • How can you utilize this information:
Ask your Wellness Specialist
                     How have you learned everything on the subject of health and wellness? How do you keep up with it all?
-Look for two things-
                     1.   Do you feel their passion when talking about learning in this area, do they sound almost obsessive? Does he/she sound like an empathetic person?
                     2.  Do they talk more about their past credentials they completed at one time, or do they talk more about what they do on a consistent basis. 
REMEMBER:    When dealing with the topics of Physical & Mental Health there is an endless amount of information. You want to see a very motivated and highly empathetic person with a burning desire and almost need to continue learning in order to help people. This is something you will know when you see it, this should be apparent in the first 5 minutes. 
Teacher Instructing


Heart Of A Teacher
Last but not least. Make sure they have the heart of a teacher. Your holistic provider or health coach should not be there to tell you what to do differently. At the end of the day the absolute best practitioners will not DO anything for you, no matter how much you'd like them to. Let me say that again, but in a different way: the help you seek is actually more of a guide/mentor. For you to really be the center of this journey, this won't be a practitioner/patient relationship where you are, 'Prescribed, your Medications.' This has to be a team, in which they will only guide and support.
"Meaningful change can only come from within. The Practitioner's job is only to guide in areas which may provide a clarity in your current perspective and approach."
  • How can you utilize this information:
Ask your Wellness Specialist
                      How will you help me achieve my vision? 
-Look for two things-
                      1)  Listen very carefully about how they answer this. Are they listing all they things they will do to directly improve your life? Or do they talk about how they will guide you in a way to provide more understanding and knowledge about yourself.
                      2)  Lasting change will only happen when it comes within. As a consumer ask yourself honestly what you are looking for. Are you looking for a promise for a certain outcome? Or are you looking for someone to empower and support you. If you take this route, you will not be dependent on them. When your work together comes to completion you will be able to operate just as well without them since the change came within and not directly through them.
REMEMBER  This field of wellness is exploding, and it's breeding new innovative health specialists. This is such a massive need because of the environment our society is currently in. This means there are some people that are getting into this area because they see opportunity and not because this is their life's work. On the other side of this, I have seen some brilliant people with extensive backgrounds in health, behavior, psychology that provide a unique blend of modalities that people couldn't find anywhere else. The one thing I have noticed about the best out there is...
                      1)  An incredibly high level of innate ability to empathize, which is directly connected with the persons core personality. This means this should be immediately recognized when you see how engaged they are with you.
                      2)  An Insatiable need to learn. They have connected what they are able to learn with how they are able to impact others. Hence, they have an obsession with learning.
Thank you for taking the time to read this. If you have made it this far let me leave you with one more thing:
(Please pardon my analogy
The best coach shouldn't have to physically be there on the day of a game. They should have supported their players by empowering them from within. He/she puts them before everything else. This means the coach grows and empowers each players individual independence and team independence. The coach will actually actively diminish their players dependence on their coach/player relationship. 
The goal is to be a better person to YOU, but first you have to believe you are worthy of who you are meant to be.
Image by Jason Leung
If you have any questions, don't hesitate to reach out to me...
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