Embracing Change: The Transformative Journey of Health and Wellness Coaching

by Ash Cooney, Healthfix Director and Health and Wellness Coach   Let’s explore the transformative power of health and wellness coaching.  

Did you set a big goal for yourself this year?

Perhaps it was to improve your overall health, achieve a specific fitness milestone, or simply feel more energised and alive. You started with immense motivation and determination, envisioning a healthier and happier version of yourself. But then, life happened. Work demands, family responsibilities, stress, and sleepless nights started to chip away at your enthusiasm.   These challenges are real, and they affect us all. However, they don’t have to be insurmountable barriers to your well-being.
  • What if you could bring conscious awareness to your daily habits and learn how to align them with your life’s demands?
  • What if you could identify the obstacles standing in your way and develop strategies to overcome them?
  • What if you could live in harmony with your core values, propelling you toward your highest good?
  This is where health and wellness coaching steps in as a transformative force. It offers you a safe and supportive space to navigate the journey of change. Let’s delve into how coaching can guide you through the stages of change and empower you to live your healthiest, happiest life.    

The Stages of Behaviour Change

  Before we explore the profound impact of coaching, it’s essential to understand the stages of change. Change is not a linear process; rather, it’s a journey filled with ups and downs. Prochaska and DiClemente’s Transtheoretical Model identifies five stages:
  1. Pre-contemplation: At this stage, you might not yet recognise the need for change. You may be unaware of the health issues or habits that require attention.
  2. Contemplation: In this phase, you acknowledge the need for change and start considering your options. You weigh the pros and cons of taking action.
  3. Preparation: You’re ready to take action, and you may even have a plan in place. You’re determined to make changes in your life.
  4. Action: This is where you put your plan into motion. You actively modify your habits and behaviors to achieve your wellness goals.
  5. Maintenance: You’ve made significant progress, and now your focus is on sustaining these changes over the long term.

How Health and Wellness Coaching Facilitates Change

 

Health and wellness coaching aligns perfectly with these stages of change. Here’s how coaching can be your compass on your wellness journey:

  1. Pre contemplation: A coach helps you become aware of your health and well-being. They create a safe space for self-reflection and exploration.
  2. Contemplation: Your coach supports you in clarifying your goals and values. Together, you identify what truly matters to you and what you’re willing to change.
  3. Preparation: Coaches assist you in creating a personalised plan, breaking down your goals into manageable steps. They provide guidance and motivation.
  4. Action: During this phase, a coach serves as your accountability partner. They help you stay on track, provide encouragement, and adjust your plan as needed.
  5. Maintenance: Even after you’ve achieved your initial goals, a coach continues to work with you to ensure long-term success. They help you navigate any setbacks and celebrate your victories.

The Benefits of Health and Wellness Coaching

 
  • Personalised Guidance: Coaching is not one-size-fits-all. Your coach tailors their approach to your unique needs and circumstances.
  • Accountability: A coach keeps you accountable for your commitments, helping you stay motivated and on course.
  • Empowerment: Through coaching, you learn to take control of your health and well-being, making informed choices aligned with your values.
  • Lifestyle Integration: Coaches help you integrate healthier habits seamlessly into your daily life, making wellness a sustainable part of who you are.
  • Mindset Transformation: Coaching fosters a growth mindset, helping you overcome self-limiting beliefs and replace them with empowering thoughts.
  At Healthfix, we’re committed to supporting you on your wellness journey. If you’ve set ambitious health goals but found it challenging to follow through, consider the transformative power of health and wellness coaching. It’s not just about achieving your goals; it’s about living your healthiest, happiest life.   Explore the possibilities of health coaching at Healthfix and take a step closer to unlocking your wellness potential. Our team is here to guide you through the stages of change, helping you make lasting improvements in your life.
Integrated healthcare

Exploring the Power of Integrated Healthcare: Healthfix’s Approach and Success Factors

In today’s fast-paced world, healthcare has evolved far beyond the traditional one-size-fits-all approach. People are seeking more comprehensive and personalised solutions to their health and wellness needs. This is where integrated healthcare comes into play, offering a holistic approach that addresses the physical, mental, and emotional aspects of well-being. In this blog, we’ll explore the concept of integrated healthcare, discuss the success factors that contribute to positive outcomes, and delve into how Healthfix, a leader in integrated healthcare, approaches this transformative model of care.  

Understanding Integrated Healthcare

Integrated healthcare is a patient-centred approach that focuses on collaboration and coordination among various healthcare providers and disciplines. Its primary goal is to provide seamless and comprehensive care, resulting in improved patient outcomes. This approach recognises that health is not solely about treating symptoms but rather addressing the root causes of health issues and promoting overall well-being.  

Success Factors in Integrated Healthcare

Several key factors contribute to the success of integrated healthcare:
  1. Team Collaboration: Effective teamwork among healthcare professionals is crucial. Integrated healthcare relies on a multidisciplinary approach where physicians, physiotherapists, dietitians, mental health experts, and other specialists work together to develop tailored treatment plans.
  2. Patient-Centred Care: Placing the patient at the centre of care is paramount. This involves active listening, involving patients in decision-making, and understanding their unique needs and preferences.
  3. Coordinated Care: Seamless communication and coordination among healthcare providers ensure that patients receive the right care at the right time. This prevents duplication of services and streamlines the treatment process.
  4. Preventive Focus: Integrated healthcare emphasises preventive care to address underlying issues and promote long-term health. This approach reduces the risk of recurring health problems.
  5. Education and Empowerment: Educating patients about their health conditions and involving them in self-management empowers individuals to take an active role in their health journey.

Integrated Care Models in Hospitals and Professional Sports Teams

Integrated care models are not limited to outpatient settings like Healthfix; they are also integral to the success of hospitals and professional sports teams.  
  • Hospitals: In hospital settings, integrated care involves various medical specialties collaborating to provide comprehensive care for patients. This includes specialists, nurses, pharmacists, and support staff working together to ensure patients receive holistic treatment. For example, a patient with a complex medical condition may benefit from coordinated care involving surgeons, internists, physical therapists, and mental health professionals. This approach minimises communication gaps, reduces hospital readmissions, and enhances the patient’s overall experience.
  • Professional Sports Teams: Professional athletes often receive integrated healthcare to optimise their performance and recovery. Sports organisations employ teams of specialists, including physicians, physiotherapists, nutritionists, and strength coaches, who work in tandem to address athletes’ physical and mental needs. This comprehensive approach helps athletes prevent injuries, recover more effectively, and achieve peak performance. Integrated care in sports also focuses on injury prevention, rehabilitation, and performance enhancement, highlighting the holistic nature of the model.
 

Healthfix: Standard of Care for Everyone

At Healthfix we believe that the benefits of integrated healthcare should not be limited to elite athletes or hospital patients. We are committed to bringing this transformative model of care to everyone, regardless of their fitness level, health condition, or background.   Our integrated approach is accessible to all through tailored treatment plans with either standard 1:2 servicing or¬† Health Club Memberships. These memberships provide individuals with access to a multidisciplinary team of healthcare professionals, including physiotherapists, dietitians, exercise physiologists, and mindset coaches. This ensures that clients receive personalised care that considers their unique needs and goals.   The Health Club Memberships also grant access to a world-class gym, group classes, and discounted sessions with healthcare professionals, making integrated healthcare more affordable and attainable for a wider audience.   Integrated healthcare is a transformative model that prioritises collaboration, patient-centred care, and preventive focus.   We have been committed to these principles for over 11 years, delivering exceptional outcomes and empowering clients in North Sydney to lead healthier, happier lives. Integrated healthcare is not just a trend; it’s a revolution in healthcare delivery that’s here to stay, and we are at the forefront of this movement, ensuring that the benefits of integrated care are accessible to everyone.

Exploring All Things Diabetes with Dr. Devina Joshi: Expert Insights for Optimal Management

Exploring All Things Diabetes with Dr. Devina Joshi: Expert Insights for Optimal Management

At Healthfix we are passionate about empowering our community with valuable information and resources for a healthier and happier life. Today, we are excited to share an enlightening video interview featuring Dr. Devina Joshi, an esteemed expert in diabetes management and prevention. In this blog, we invite you to delve into the world of diabetes and gain valuable insights from Dr. Joshi, covering various aspects of diabetes management, lifestyle modifications, and the latest advancements in treatments and technologies. Let’s embark on this educational journey together!   To access our full interview please click here

Understanding Diabetes

Diabetes is a complex and prevalent condition affecting millions of individuals worldwide. In the video interview, Dr. Devina Joshi breaks down the different types of diabetes, shedding light on their distinct characteristics. Understanding the variations in diabetes can help individuals and their healthcare providers develop personalised management strategies for optimal health.

Identifying Risk Factors

One of the critical aspects of diabetes management is recognising the risk factors associated with the condition. Dr. Joshi shares valuable insights into identifying potential warning signs and understanding the factors that increase the risk of developing diabetes. This knowledge can empower individuals to take proactive steps in their health journey.

The Power of Lifestyle Modifications

Lifestyle modifications, such as diet and exercise, play a pivotal role in managing diabetes effectively. Dr. Joshi emphasizes the importance of adopting a healthy lifestyle, which can significantly impact blood sugar levels and overall well-being. Through practical tips and strategies, she encourages individuals with diabetes to take charge of their health.

Advancements in Diabetes Treatments and Technologies

The field of diabetes management is continually evolving, with advancements in treatments and technologies offering new possibilities for individuals living with the condition. Dr. Joshi highlights the latest developments in diabetes care, including innovative tools and techniques that can revolutionise diabetes management.

Empowering Individuals to Thrive

Throughout the interview, Dr. Joshi’s passion for helping individuals with diabetes shines through. Her expertise and commitment to empowering patients to live fulfilling lives while managing their condition serve as an inspiration to all. Watching this video, you’ll gain not only knowledge but also motivation to take positive steps towards better health. At Healthfix we believe that education is a powerful tool for transforming lives. Our collaboration with Dr. Devina Joshi brings you expert insights into diabetes management, offering practical guidance and encouragement. We encourage you to watch the video and embrace the valuable information shared by Dr. Joshi. Together, let’s take proactive steps towards optimal diabetes management and a healthier, more vibrant life. Remember, if you have any questions or would like to discuss your diabetes management further, our dedicated team at Healthfix is here to support you every step of the way. Take charge of your health today and embark on a journey of empowerment and well-being.

Move to Improve: How Exercise Physiology Can Benefit People with Diabetes

By Daniel Thomson, Exercise Physiologist North Sydney According to the World Health Organization, diabetes affects over 420 million people worldwide, with numbers expected to rise in the coming years. Diabetes is a chronic disease that affects the way the body processes glucose, a type of sugar that is the body’s main source of energy. There are two main types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2. Both types can benefit greatly from regular exercise, which can help manage blood sugar levels, increase insulin sensitivity, and reduce the risk of complications associated with diabetes.

How Exercise Can Help People with Diabetes

  1. Blood sugar management: Regular exercise can help manage blood sugar levels by increasing the body’s sensitivity to insulin. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas that helps regulate blood sugar levels. When the body becomes less sensitive to insulin, blood sugar levels can rise, leading to diabetes. Exercise can help increase insulin sensitivity, allowing the body to better manage blood sugar levels.
  2. Weight management: Maintaining a healthy weight is important for people with diabetes. Exercise can help with weight management by burning calories and building muscle mass. Maintaining a healthy weight can help reduce the risk of complications associated with diabetes, such as heart disease, stroke, and nerve damage.
  3. Cardiovascular health: People with diabetes are at an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease. Exercise can help reduce this risk by improving cardiovascular health. Regular exercise can help lower blood pressure, reduce cholesterol levels, and improve circulation, all of which can help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Using an Exercise Physiologist to Help Manage Diabetes

An exercise physiologist is a healthcare professional who specialises in the study of how the body responds to exercise. They can work with people with diabetes to develop personalised exercise plans that are tailored to their individual needs and goals. An exercise physiologist can help people with diabetes by:
  1. Assessing fitness levels: An exercise physiologist can assess an individual’s fitness levels and develop a personalised exercise plan that takes into account their current fitness levels, medical history, and any complications associated with diabetes.
  2. Providing guidance and support: An exercise physiologist can provide guidance and support throughout the exercise program. They can help people with diabetes stay motivated and on track with their exercise goals.
  3. Monitoring progress: An exercise physiologist can monitor progress and make adjustments to the exercise plan as needed. This can help ensure that the exercise plan is effective and safe for the individual with diabetes.
Exercise can be a powerful tool for managing diabetes. Regular exercise can help manage blood sugar levels, improve cardiovascular health, and reduce the risk of complications associated with diabetes. An exercise physiologist can provide guidance and support to help people with diabetes develop personalised exercise plans that are safe and effective.

How to get started with exercise

Starting an exercise routine can be daunting, especially if you’re feeling overwhelmed or unmotivated due to your diabetes. Here are some tips to help you get started:
  1. Talk to your healthcare provider: Before starting any exercise routine, it’s important to talk to your healthcare provider. They can help you determine what type of exercise is safe and appropriate for you, and can offer guidance on how to manage your diabetes during exercise.
  2. Start small: If you’re feeling overwhelmed, start with small, manageable goals. Even a short walk around the block can be a good place to start. Gradually increase the duration and intensity of your exercise routine over time.
  3. Find an exercise buddy: Having a friend or family member to exercise with can be a great source of motivation and accountability. You can also join a diabetes support group or exercise class to meet others who are also managing diabetes through exercise.
  4. Hire an exercise physiologist: An exercise physiologist can help you develop a safe and effective exercise plan that’s tailored to your individual needs and goals. They can also provide guidance and support to help you stay motivated and on track.
  5. Celebrate your successes: Don’t forget to celebrate your successes, no matter how small they may seem. Every step in the right direction is a victory, and acknowledging your progress can help keep you motivated and on track.
 

References

  1. Colberg, S. R., Sigal, R. J., Yardley, J. E., Riddell, M. C., Dunstan, D. W., Dempsey, P. C., … & Tate, D. F. (2016). Physical activity/exercise and diabetes: a position statement of the American Diabetes Association. Diabetes Care, 39(11), 2065-2079.
  2. Chudyk, A., Petrella, R. J., & Maly, M. R. (2011). Effects of exercise on cardiovascular risk factors in type 2 diabetes: a meta-analysis. Diabetes Care, 34(5), 1228-1237.
  3. American College of Sports Medicine. (2018). ACSM’s guidelines for exercise testing and prescription. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Maximising the Benefits of Exercise for People with Multiple Sclerosis in North Sydney

Maximising the Benefits of Exercise for People with Multiple Sclerosis in North Sydney

Exercise is an essential component of managing multiple sclerosis (MS), a chronic autoimmune disease that affects the central nervous system. MS can cause physical and cognitive decline, increased falls risk, and other symptoms that can negatively impact a person’s quality of life, such as:
  • Cognitive decline (concentration, memory, speech etc.)
  • Physical decline: decreased strength and cardiovascular fitness
  • Increased falls risk
  • Fatigue
  • Temperature sensitivity
  • Depression
  • Incontinence
That’s where accredited exercise physiologists (EPs) come in.   EPs are allied health professionals who specialise in exercise prescription for the treatment and management of chronic health conditions. They use a bio-psychosocial approach to understand how MS affects a person’s quality of life and develop exercise programs tailored to their individual needs.

Benefits of Exercise for People with MS

Exercise and physical activity have been shown to improve the symptoms associated with MS. Here are some of the ways exercise can help:
  • Improved upper and lower body strength and endurance:¬†Performed correctly, resistance training exercise can help to maintain and improve function alongside appropriate pacing strategies. Your Exercise Physiologist can assist you to suitably structure your exercise intensity (how hard), frequency (how often), timing (how long), and type (what kind).
  • Cardiovascular fitness: Cardiovascular exercise and implementation of pacing strategies can assist with symptoms of fatigue and lethargy. Your body responds to the cardiovascular stimulus by creating adaptations that, over time make the exercise easier to complete. This increase in fitness also helps to prevent cardiovascular diseases and other co-morbidities, as well as allow you to achieve more throughout the day.
  • Balance: 50-60% of people living with MS will have one or more falls within the year, with balance impairing 75% of these individuals. Fear of falling and potentially hurting oneself can restrict participation in many activities- both social and personal. Including balance exercises into your routine can help to prevent falls and subsequent injuries.

What Type of Exercise is Recommended?

It’s always best to start small and find a regular exercise routine that is sustainable for life. Slowly build up to the recommendations at a pace that does not leave you too fatigued to complete your activities of daily living. Here are some exercise recommendations:
  • 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity (2 days per week)
  • Strength training for major muscle groups (2 days per week)
  • Include balance and mobility exercises most days of the week.
All exercises can be modified by an Exercise Physiologist to suit your capability.

Who Can Help Me?

Finding the right support is important if you feel like exercise is too challenging or daunting. An Accredited Exercise Physiologist will be able to get you exercising and moving at a safe and appropriate level. They will also educate and guide you on independent management of your condition, so that you can become empowered and self-reliant when the time is right. If you’re in North Sydney, visit us today or ask your GP about Exercise Physiology in your Multiple Sclerosis management plan to start maximising the benefits of exercise for your MS management plan. Resources:

Setting Up For A Prosperous Year With Medicare’s Chronic Disease Management and Team Care Arrangement Initiatives

Medicare’s Chronic Disease Management

Medicare Chronic Disease Management
Written by Sean Cooney
 
With the chronic disease management and team care arrangements offering such a wide scope of practice for a wide variety of people, no two patients are really the same. But, of course, there are some key similarities.
 
Patients who see multiple allied health professionals on one referral
When the five sessions are spread across 2-3 practitioners we find that the first practitioners’ initial assessment is really important. The GP referral is so valuable at providing the history of the presenting illness or ailment and the goal setting section is instrumental. Where the patient decides to start the allied health care approach, ie which practitioner they see first, normally dictates the approach that they want to take.
For example, seeing a physio before the AEP may mean that there could be a level of fear avoidance behaviours that are present due to the length or severity (or both) of the patient’s condition. Seeing the AEP before the physio may mean that they’re more keen to get started with exercise and wanting to top up on education around their previous injury or refresh their self management strategies. Seeing the dietitian before an AEP or the physio may mean that they know that their food choices are impacting their ability or willingness to move. It can also mean that this is what they’ve identified as the best place to start forming better habits or routines around a healthy living – considering that we can eat 3-5 times per day whereas we might only exercise once.
 
5 sessions or more?
The premise of the CDM program being about setting goals and then setting a plan to achieve these goals means that we need to have an early conversation around how much they’re expecting to achieve in the 12 months that the sessions are valid. Some like to use their sessions and move straight onto the private healthfunds but for others they can only afford the 5 or only want the 5 sessions. When the person is requesting to continue beyond the 5 sessions, these initial sessions serve really well to get a thorough assessment of where the patient’s condition is at, how they have been managing, educate them on updates to evidenced based practice that are applicable to their condition and then getting started with a meaningful intervention. When the person is only wanting the 5 sessions from Medicare it is much more about educating on self management strategies and tools for reassessment from day 1. Patient’s can feel they didn’t get value out of the sessions if they’ve started on a plan of intervention that there wasn’t adequate follow up to reassess whether this was effective for them or not.
 
The value in a health spend
Working in CBD areas in North Sydney and Broadway, sometimes the reliance on a Medicare subsidy isn’t so great which can bring into question one’s value on the contribution. I think it stills gives the opportunity to set the person up for success and moving towards a happier and healthier existence. The premise of the management plan, to have the GP integrating with allied health professionals, mandating that we communicate, including the use of objective measures, health care plan and goal setting with time frames is no doubt the structure that is required to deliver long term outcomes and reduce the “burden of disease”. If this gives a person the first taste of this approach, it can surely do no harm.   Whichever is the patient preferred approach to their healthcare, the program is awesome and can be so effective. We’re truly lucky to live in Australia. As long as expectations are clearly communicated and smart planning is discussed from the initial appointment then we can truly chip away year on year, helping the patient adopt good management strategies to manage their chronic conditions.