I saw my “Healthy Body Coach” today. O.K – she’s not a coach, she’s a physical therapist. But, she’s coach-like in her approach.
I went because I’d been having pain, first in my arm,then hip, legs and my neck. I’d been pain free for a few months so I thought I must have done something (e.g., lift too much weight the wrong way) to make this happen – and hoped she could do something so it would go away (e.g., manipulate my back).
What I really like about Jane is that she doesn’t do the quick fix, she helps me think about this differently. She’s helped me see how pain scared me and helped me get over the fear. My model had always been, it hurts so find a way to fix it!
Jane checked to be sure that there wasn’t anything “structurally” wrong, she offered this idea: Periodically, the pain gets activated (not necessarily for a reason), there are things I can do (such as ice it) and things I can avoid doing (such as lifting weights that hurt). I SHOULD keep moving, since that’s the best thing I can do for my body, and it will get better. It always does. I sit at my desk right now in pain but I feel much better knowing I’m not doing anything wrong.
Which is why what she did is a lot like what I do. I was talking with a client who has a different kind of recurrent pain, a nasty boss who insists on unreasonable deadlines. My client has fibromyalgia, is a senior vice president in a large financial institution, and periodically feels completely overwhelmed. That’s when she inevitably talks about quitting or taking a job that she could do in her sleep.
I coached her to adapt Jane’s model: view his as something that periodically creeps up, ride it out and it inevitably changes. You don’t have to saw through it — or live in fear of it and nor do you have to do something about it.