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Saturday, February 18, 2006

Get Out of the Holding Pattern: Wellness Needs a Plan

Watching planes take off and land at an airport is a moment of awe. They are choreographed very well. Any mishaps would be a tragedy. When there is trouble, delays are necessary and planes have to circle in the air until a better window of opportunity exists to take the decent.

Pilots flying in holding patterns do not have much time. Choices have to be made quickly. If you are in your own holding pattern, what reason finally motivates you to change course?

When I wrote my E-Book, Shuffle Syndrome (, I had the holding pattern in mind. Much like a holding pattern, I coach people who are stuck, but wanting a change.

Here is a brief example:

Client #1 wants to get a better understanding of what happend to her health. "Nothing ever bothers me, but all of a sudden I have no energy." She has visted a number of doctors who have found nothing significant in medical tests. One doctor suggested she exercise more, another said if nothing improves in six months a follow up thyroid test would be recommended and another doctor prescribed an anti-depressant. I told her we would look at the events in her life as they coresponded to the "Spinergy System." I wanted her to think about the things that were depleting her SPINE ENERGY. As a chiropractor and wellnesss coach, I look at the stressors that may be sabotaging mind and body balance and what can contribute to nervous system "back firing." Vaugue illnesses are increasing, becoming the new disease of modern living. Baffled doctors are not prepared to address stress and most do not have the time to question patients on life-style situations or follow up on non-medical problems that are affecting health outcomes .

Thinking about SPINE ENERGY is an organized way to delve into shuffle syndrome or problems that keep someone stuck in a holding pattern.

S -structure of the spine, subluxations causing unhealthy patterns in the body
P -personality, passion, sources of your personal power
I -innate intelligence, your inner wisdom that keeps you healthy.
N -nervous system, responds to your mind and body changes
E -evolution-personal growth that can transform a person

Client #1 needs more information regarding health and the concerns of stress. While discussing her activities, she revealed her work schedule has disrupted her sleeping patterns, she is often eating on the run and a recent job promotion put her in a different work atmosphere removing her from public contact which she enjoyed tremedously. She did not realize she would miss it so much. From a chiropractic point of view, a car accident five years earlier began a change in her structural health. She is stiff and sore more often which forced her to give up raquet ball, a favorite game. Computer work, eye strain, and weak shoulders are more evident now that she talked about her daily work duties. Her passion is working with parents of young children. Her personality is very outgoing and suitable for establishing longterm relationships with her clients. Her new job duties did not give her that outlet and she no longer saw the immediate results of her contribution. Her nervous system was overloaded with mental stress, physical stress, and nutritional stress due to poor eating habits. Someone might continue to remain active under these conditions, but eventually the body will give subtle clues that it is getting more difficult to bounce back each day. Coaching with her on the innate intelligence that dwells within her gave her a new understanding of balance and how to tackle her weak spots in ways that keep her enthusiastic about her inner-potential. Although she saw her job promotion as a jump in her career, it still creates stress because it changed her daily functioning. More demands of her expertise, a longer commute, a new group of co-workers who share little in common with her are initial clues to the changes she was experiencing. As she concentrated more on her job, she paid less attention to her meal planning, fitness habits. She even admitted her dog was being neglected and gaining weight. These changes and the underlying problems from the past motor vehicle accident were showing her how small changes eventually disrupted her life in bigger ways.

A six month coaching plan addressed her physical health habits including grocery shopping, meal planning, exercising, her mental health, reconnecting with friends and family. After evaluating how she likes to work, she proposed a way to follow up with her previous clients creating a research project that allows her to complete her new work duties and promote the company's vision.

"Two major learning opportunities occurred. I had no idea I was giving up important things like my social outlets because I was so focused on my job. I also didn't realize my past was catching up to me. A motor vehicle accident and repetitive strain from past jobs had weakened my spine leaving my immune system more prone to allergies, headaches, and fatigue. I thought I was feeling normal reactions to a busy life, but one day it was too much to handle. I feel much more in control as I understand how my actions, no matter how minor add up to bigger changes in function. And I wasn't handling stress well at all. If I had done nothing, I would not have benefitted from the learning situation coaching provides. It took months to work through my wellness plan and I stuggled somewhat to give up emotional crutches (unproductive habits) ... but, it was worth it."

Read about client #2 in the next issue, a tired couple with a newborn infant who wants to be more confident in their future plans since they feel "stuck" and preoccupied.

************These characters are fictional, but inspired by a number of clients experiencing shuffle syndrome.

Create Purpose - Create Your Life with Wellness

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