Interview: How Coaching Could Change The Way You Live With AxSpa (Part 3)
As a duo of a Life Coach (Julie) and a Health Coach (Lana), we have decided to write a series of articles together. We want to share our stories with AS/AxSpa, our learnings and experiences helping clients through their own health and life challenges.
Can you share with us one success story with a client you worked with?
Julie: I remember that client who wanted to have a set and sustainable exercise plan to improve the level of fitness and keep the joints safe. This client shared with me that they had doubts about reaching this goal, because of a previous experience of a health plan attempting to quit smoking. This client managed to do it, but it took years because of relapses. So, we worked together on a personalized fitness plan, fitting work commitments, family life, and managing AxSpa. In few coaching sessions, I helped this client to challenge the self-belief issue around potential success, and together we created a sustainable fitness program which was indeed a long-lasting positive change for that client.
Lana: I’m currently working with an AS client, who’s in their first year post-diagnosis. We have been addressing feelings, support network, and possible options going forward. Reframing negative emotions has been powerful, as well as building more understanding around the client’s body’s signals/symptoms and how they are feeling. They have become more in tune with their body, knowing what can help to alleviate symptoms. They also have gained a bigger sense of awareness for what they can control and how to incorporate small daily habits to best support their body through flares.
If you could share a couple tips to our readers, what would those be?
Julie: First, assessing how supported you feel in your life whilst living with a long-term condition is important. Knowing how much support you need and how much you have in reality can help to identify where stress factors might be. Another powerful thing is to write regularly, to express feelings, gratitude, struggle, or do some creative writing. Writing is therapeutic, and in coaching writing, your aspirations, goals, and action plan gives some weight to your thoughts and makes your dreams tangible.
Lana: Invest in your well-being. A healthy lifestyle not only changes your body, but also changes your mind, your attitude, and your mood. Focus on small daily healthy habits that are realistic and achievable to you. Be open to experiment and find what works for you. One step at a time. Finally, don’t be afraid to ask for help, you shouldn’t have to go through this journey alone.
What’s your next step/goal for your coaching practice that could benefit people with AxSpa?
Julie: Over the years, I attended a few self-management programs for people with AxSpa or with different chronic conditions. I found the discussions in a group setting very useful. I certainly learned a lot from other patients sharing their stories and the exchange we had. So, I am now training in the role of facilitator for group sessions to support people living with long-term conditions. My aim is to develop further my skills to run group coaching sessions and discussions on self-management and ways forward for a better quality of life. I am a writer and community moderator for the AxSpa community, and I hope to support further the community with my experience and my skills.
Lana: I am just finishing a training to be certified in the Autoimmune Protocol. A template founded to benefit people with autoimmune conditions, looking at diet and lifestyle measures. Thus, this additional experience will deepen my work with autoimmune clients who are interested in making changes in their lifestyle. I am also planning on offering group coaching, to bring people together and offer a platform to share experiences and feelings. Finally, I will continue to contribute to this wonderful community and share my experiences and learnings, and look forward to connecting with many of you.
Can you tell when a flare is coming?