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Have a thyroid disorder? Work with a health coach to help you heal

Jen Wittman, CHHC, AADP Holistic Health Expert, Thyroid Specialist and Vitality Coach Thyroid Loving Care and The Healthy Plate
Have a thyroid disorder? Work with a health coach to help you heal

Thyroid imbalances are not only hard to diagnose, they can be challenging to reverse if you’re relying only on medication to treat them. Although, thyroid and Hashimoto’s disease can be hard to beat, with a compassionate, supportive health coach at your side, healing can be just a few simple steps away. Here’s what to look for in a thyroid coach to get the help you need.


Do

Do look for personal experience

Thyroid disease is often misunderstood and misdiagnosed. A health coach who has “been through the fire” and has reversed the disease will have a deeper understanding and compassion for what you’re going through. They will also have firsthand knowledge of what works and what doesn’t. And, will likely have tried many different techniques to heal, so their toolkit will be loaded with powerful advice for getting you back to health.

There are many wonderful health coaches out there, but if they haven’t walked in your shoes, it will be hard for them to fully comprehend your experience - whether it be extreme fatigue, unending weight gain, severe hair loss, depression, anxiety and more. When hiring a health coach to help with thyroid disease, it’s very helpful if the coach has experienced it for him/herself.

Do check out credentials

There are a lot of people out there calling themselves health coaches. Make sure the health coach you are considering has a certification in health coaching or nutrition from a reputable program and check for other related degrees as well. There’s no one path to health coaching but it’s important to make sure the person has had real training in coaching and nutrition and as well as the life experiences that fits your needs.

Media credentials are also telling - it’s not necessarily important to find a coach who is on every talk show, but it’s good to see what other organizations are looking to a particular health coach for advice and resources. Is the coach featured on thyroid focused websites? Does the coach have relationships with thyroid support organizations? Are they respected in the thyroid community in general? A little Google search can go a long way when hiring the right health coach for you.

Do read the testimonials

If you are looking for a coach via a web search, make sure to read through their website testimonials or Yelp reviews carefully. Do they have a variety of positive feedback? Does it sound like these testimonials were written by different people? People do post fake reviews sometimes - yikes!

Pay close attention to what the reviews are saying - is the coach easy to work with? Are they supportive? Are they knowledgeable? Combing through the testimonials page will pay you back big time in finding the right match for you and helping you avoid a dud.

Do find out their philosophy

Health Coaches are trained in a variety of methodologies and it’s crucial to find one whose philosophy matches yours. Are you a vegetarian or omnivore? Do you want suggestions for medications and standard medical techniques or are you looking for natural methods to healing? Do you just want your symptoms to go away or do you want to heal the root cause? Do you like a coach who provides gentle encouragement or will a drill sergeant get you across the finish line sooner? Make sure to find out the philosophy of the coach so that it is alignment with your own. You’ll waste time and money otherwise.

Do ask questions

It’s important to interview health coaches prior to hiring one. Call, Skype or email with questions to make sure they have successfully helped others reverse thyroid disease, they have the type of training or educational background necessary to help you and that your personalities are a fit. You want to find someone you are comfortable with who inspires you and empowers you to reach your goals. Personal communication prior to hiring is the best way to find out which coach is a fit for you.


Don't

Do not hire a generalist

Thyroid disease is no laughing matter. You need a coach with experience in treating thyroid disorders successfully. A generalist can help you with basic health needs, but the thyroid sufferer deals with complex imbalances of the body that have to be managed at the same time in order to support healing. Make sure to find a coach that is a thyroid specialist.

Do not bargain shop

Most of us are accustomed to paying for health care through health insurance and discounted co-pays. When it comes to hiring a health coach, you’ll likely have to pay out-of-pocket. Rates for health coaches run the gamut and usually correlate to experience, education and results. There are many new health coaches fresh out of school who charge low, introductory rates. These coaches are fantastic for general health and lifestyle counseling but may not have experience successfully treating thyroid disease.

It’s definitely important to shop around and find a coach that you not only connect with but that fits within your budget. However, choosing the lowest priced coach may not bring you the results you desire and could potentially be a waste of your hard-earned money. Working with a higher priced coach who gets results could actually save you money by helping you reverse the disease so you miss less work, have fewer doctor’s visits and by reducing medications. Many coaches offer a sliding scale or payment plans so don’t cross a higher priced coach off your list as you may have options. Invest wisely in your health - healing your thyroid is one of the best gifts you can give yourself.

Do not expect a quick fix

As mentioned above, thyroid disorders usually involve an imbalance of several of the body’s complex systems. While it only takes small changes to diet and lifestyle to make a huge impact on thyroid health and healing, it will take several weeks to months to heal. The health coach is there to provide support and motivation as you make these positive changes. Don’t start shopping for a new health coach until you give your current coach’s treatment plan a chance to work.

Do not hire a coach that talks more than listens

This is a big one. When you’re choosing a coach, it’s vital that the coach listens more than talks. Beyond answering your interview questions, if the coach begins to ramble about his/her personal life or interrupts you frequently, this is not the coach for you. They’ll likely do the same thing during your coaching sessions. You need a coach that spends your dedicated session time focused on listening to your concerns, symptoms and challenges and who is thoughtful in crafting a plan for you. Remember, this is your session, not theirs.

Do not hire a coach with a one-size-fits-all approach

This is probably the most important tip of all. If you are interviewing a coach and they already have a set protocol they want to put you on, you are unlikely to get the support you need to heal your thyroid. Your body, dietary requirements and lifestyle is unique. What works for one person may not work for another and adopting a generic approach to your healing can do more harm than good. Make sure the coach you choose is open and able to customizing a plan to fit your unique needs.


Summary
Jumping cartoon

Hiring a health coach to help you reverse and eliminate thyroid disease can be a life-changer. It is definitely worth the time and investment to heal your thyroid and reclaim your life. The right health coach can lift you up from the daily suffering of thyroid disease and inspire and empower you to make the lifestyle changes to support your healing. With a little research, you can find the perfect coach and start feeling better again.


More expert advice about Thyroid Disease

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Jen Wittman, CHHC, AADPHolistic Health Expert, Thyroid Specialist and Vitality Coach

Jen Wittman, CHHC, AADP, is a Holistic Health Expert, Thyroid Specialist and Vitality Coach, providing one-of-a-kind, long-lasting health and lifestyle overhauls through her services and websites thehealthyplate.org www.thyroidlovingcare.com ...

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