Proven Methods. Lasting Results.
Sometimes the Smallest Things Make the Biggest Difference
Wellness is the complete integration of body, mind, and spirit - the realization that everything we do, think, feel, and believe has an effect on our state of well-being.
- Greg Anderson
Greg Anderson is the author of six books, including the international bestseller The Cancer Conqueror, and founder of the American Wellness Project. Through lectures and workshops and as a consultant to businesses and health-care organizations, he is recognized as one of America's foremost wellness authorities.
Kairos Chronic Pain Coaching Basics.
We developed Kairos Chronic Pain Coaching to help chronic pain sufferers and their families navigate through the confusing and often, challenging labyrinth of secondary effects of chronic pain by educating, supporting, guiding and arming our clients with holistic, integrative, non-pharmacologic coping techniques. Furthermore, KCPC was carefully designed around proven methods, research, and protocols.
Regardless of where you are in your plight with chronic pain, The Kairos Chronic Pain Wellness Coaching Programs were designed with your unique story in mind. The goals we set, the topics we address, and the work we embark on will be all be your own personalized program.
To see a list of just a few of the subject matters we can focus our energy on, please click here.
With each client, we strive to achieve 3 basic goals:
Assist you and your family let go of what was
Help you and your family accept what is
Instilling hope for an empowered future by teaching a variety of skills that better balance the mental, emotional, physical and spiritual body systems
With that said, there are also 5 foundational themes that will not change from person to person or program to program. Why? Because every person I've met in chronic pain has shared these difficulties in varying degrees.
1. Increase Activities of Daily Living (ADL's) + Redefining Realistic Roles and Goals
2. Patient + Family Education on Chronic Pain, Communication, Holistic Physical and Emotional Coping Skills
3. Paradigm Shifts to Change Relationship + Behavior Responses to Pain
4. Accountability + Self-Management
5. Finding Balance in the Mental, Emotional, Physical and Spiritual Body Systems to Increase Overall Functionality
It was important to Founder, Integrative Wellness Life Coach and Fellow Chronic Pain Sufferer, Christina H Chororos that the following theories and approaches were embedded into each of the (4) Kairos Chronic Pain Coaching's Chronic Pain Wellness Programs.
The Foundational Approaches We Use:
Integrative Wellness Coaching
Coaching Towards Balance
Mind-Body Medicine/ CAM
The Bowen Theory
Pain Models We Follow:
Biopsychosocial Model of Pain
Integrative Wellness Coaching
A traditional (or general) life coach is someone who typically is known for helping their clients reach a goal or make a change in their life and is customarily defined as a person who counsels and encourages clients on matters having to do with personal challenges.
An Integrative Wellness Life Coach is certified to help their clients reach a goal or make a change in their life and counsel and encourage their clients on matters having to do with personal challenges - BUT unlike traditional life coaches, an Integrative Wellness Life Coach is trained to help their clients gain freedom from the past, by healing core issues and overcoming negative habits and patterns - while
empowering their clients to change their life with effective tools, techniques, and specific action steps
It was for these reasons, founder, Christina H Chororos carefully chose to obtain her certification from Integrative Wellness Academy
As it's related to Integrative Wellness Life Coaching, balance means wellness, harmony, and wholeness.
An Integrative Wellness Life Coach does this through a holistic and integrative approach. By coaching towards balance in all four body systems (the mental, emotional, physical and spiritual systems) we move life coaching from simply counseling and encouraging to fully equipping and empowering clients to make effective, lasting change.
I strive to teach about the interconnection and effects between all four body systems. What this means is as we move towards balance in the physical body system, we must take the other three (mental, emotional and spiritual) systems into consideration.
Coaching towards balance isn't about having you dramatically change everything you do. In fact, there is growing research that shows that changing behaviors in order to move towards healthier lifestyles is a science. During our coaching sessions, we will discuss the latest research and work to apply it to your life in small, digestible steps.
The reason so many of us have experienced the ineffectiveness of trying to will a change (like losing weight or quitting smoking) is likely due to the core issues that are at play. A simple exertion of one's will to try to force change from only the outside-in is about as ineffective for permanent change as telling yourself affirmations but not being in agreement with the new ideas in any capacity.
To give you an example of this model in practice would be the following scenario:
Let's imagine a little boy learning to ride his bicycle. He falls and skins his knee. As the caring adult in his life, we would put a band-aid on his knee. But stopping there wouldn't be healing him completely. In order for that to happen, we would need to teach him how to correct the mistake so he doesn't fall again, help him get past his sadness and fear now associated with riding his bike and encourage him to connect with his full abilities.
Mind-body medicine uses the power of thoughts and emotions to influence physical health. Western medical views have largely been shaped by the system of thought that mind and body were separate from each other.
In the United States, interests in correlating a relationship between body, mind, and emotions date as far back as 200 years ago!
People like Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD, Dean Ornish, MD, David Spiegel, MD, Bernie Spiegel, MD, and Bruce Lipton, PhD, have played significant roles in furthering the credibility and significance of mind-body connection in modern medicine.
However, mounting evidence for the role of the mind in disease and healing is leading to greater acceptance. Suddenly our grandmother nagging us that "too much stress will make us sick"...has some validity after all.
The National Insitute of Health (NIH) wrote the following fact-sheet on mind-body medicine:
"The concept that the mind is important in health and illness dates back to ancient times. In the West, the notion that mind and body were separate began during the Renaissance and Enlightenment eras. Increasing numbers of scientific and technological discoveries furthered this split and led to an emphasis on disease-based models, pathological changes, and external cures. The role of mind and belief in health and illness began to re-enter Western health care in the 20th century, led by discoveries about pain control via the placebo effect and effects of stress on health."
Mind-body medicine focuses on:
The interactions among the brain, the rest of the body, the mind, and behavior
The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) is the component of the NIH that studies complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). Within CAM, some examples of mind-body
medicine practices are meditation, hypnosis, tai chi, and yoga."
"The ways in which emotional, mental, social, spiritual, experiential, and behavioral factors can directly affect health." (1)
“NIH Fact Sheets - Mind-Body Medicine Practices in Complementary and Alternative Medicine.” National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, report.nih.gov/NIHfactsheets/ViewFactSheet.aspx?csid=102.
The Bowen Theory
As suggested by the National Institute of Health, and arguably, the most overlooked, yet most critical component in the treatment of any health problem is providing care for both the family unit and the identified patient. Herein lies the pivotal substratum.
Originated by psychiatrist, Dr. Murray Bowen and founder of the Georgetown University Family Center, the Kairos Chronic Pain Wellness Program uses the "family systems theory" as our program's fundamental guiding principle.
Bowen family systems theory is a theory of human behavior that views the family as an emotional unit and uses systems thinking to describe the complex interactions in the unit. It is the nature of a family that its members are intensely connected emotionally. Often people feel distant or disconnected from their families, but this is more feeling than fact. Families so profoundly affect their members’ thoughts, feelings, and actions that it often seems as if people are living under the same “emotional skin.” People solicit each other’s attention, approval, and support and react to each other’s needs, expectations, and upsets. The connectedness and reactivity make the functioning of family members interdependent. A change in one person’s functioning is predictably followed by reciprocal changes in the functioning of others. Families differ somewhat in the degree of interdependence, but it is always present to some degree. (1)
However, we didn't stop at just incorporating "family systems theory" into our wellness programs - I decided to partner with the Founder and Clinical Director, of Hellenic Therapy Center, Maria Sikoutris-DiIorio, MA, Ed.S., LPC, who studied alongside The Bowen Center's best and brightest and uses the Bowen Theory in her private practice.
So Why Do We Treat Both You and Your Family?
By treating you, your caregiver and/or spouse and family, we will begin to heal the wide-ranging toll chronic pain takes. This was an extremely hard concept for me to understand - I was the one in daily pain so I was the only one in pain...right? Not really. Change of any kind requires an adjustment period. For chronic pain sufferers, suddenly our lives seem to revolve around our limitations, not our contributions. We miss who we once were, and all the things we used to be able to do so easily. We're grieving the people and the lives we once had...however, so are our loved ones.
Family theory dictates that which affects one family member affects the others.
Kerr, Michael E. “One Family’s Story: A Primer on Bowen Theory.” The Bowen Center for the Study of the Family. 2000. http://www.thebowencenter.org.
Though I have discussed interdisciplinary care in my own words and have taken the time to break it down for you, the following quoted articles couldn't have been said better.
"An interdisciplinary approach is hardly unique to pain care. It also is used, to beneficial effect, in palliative care, rehabilitation, critical care, mental health, and geriatrics (Paice, 2005). Interdisciplinary approaches for chronic pain have been supported by numerous studies from many different countries and study populations, including 10 major studies/reviews."
"Ideally, most patients with severe persistent pain would obtain pain care from an interdisciplinary team, as opposed to a specialist who might focus on a narrow range of treatments and have a restricted view of how pain is affecting the patient. The interdisciplinary model incorporates assessment and diagnosis, not just therapy. It is an integrated, coordinated, and multimodal approach to care targeting multiple dimensions of the chronic pain experience—including disease management, reduction in pain severity, improved functioning, and emotional well-being and health-related quality of life—that is developed through a comprehensive evaluation by multiple specialists (usually physicians, nurses, psychologists or other mental health professionals, rehabilitation specialists, and/or complementary and alternative medicine [CAM] therapists). In the primary care setting, the team most often includes a primary care practitioner, nurse, and mental health clinician. In specialty and tertiary care settings, this team approach most often emphasizes psychological, pharmacological, and rehabilitation approaches." (1)
"...the presence of pain affects all aspects of an individual’s functioning. As a consequence, an interdisciplinary approach that incorporates the knowledge and skills of a number of health care providers is essential for successful treatment and patient management."
"The composition of the team will vary since practice settings differ in size, complexity, resources, and patient populations. Measurement goals will differ depending on type of pain and state of the patient’s disease. However, regardless of the population served, interdisciplinary care is patient-centered, family-centered, and stakeholder centered (ie, case manager, adjuster, employer). Treatment should be holistic, never directed toward an isolated body part or symptom. Efforts are made to achieve empowerment of the patient and his or her caregivers or significant others." (2)
Multidisciplinary Approach OR Interdisciplinary Approach- Does It Matter?
Patient care is provided by several disciplines
Patient care is integrated + centralized
Physicians/specialists share similar goals
Physicians/specialists establish collaborative teams
Physicians/specialists cooperate with one another.
Physicians/specialists have complementary roles meant to enhance patient care
Physicians/specialists jointly problem-solve
Teams share accountability
Treatment decisions are consensus-based
Physicians contribute their expertise independently of one another. Eventually, individual results are connected...hopefully, by either the patient or a physician.
Here's another way of looking at it. You've probably realized, quite quickly that as chronic pain sufferers, we are Olympic gold medalists at being human guinea pigs.
Suddenly, we are caught in a tiring cycle of doctor appointments, tests, medications, and treatment therapies - what I call, The Cycle of Diagnosis + Treatment.
Where an interdisciplinary approach attempts to prevent this cycle by creating a collaborative team, a multidisciplinary model perpetuates this cycle by tolerating teamwork.
It goes a little something like this...Stop me if you've heard this one.
(I couldn't help myself...)
The Chronic Pain Cycle of Diagnosis + Treatment
Your physician refers you to a mental health professional.
You're put on more medication.
Wait. Why is the ONE person who isn't a doctor, the ONLY one communicating with everyone? What if I miss something?
Coin toss, perhaps?