Holistic Practitioner Spotlight with Lori Kurszewski, Health Coach
We are speaking with Lori Kurszewski, MA, LAT, NBC-HWC, CEAS, on how personal values are overlooked, yet relevant, to achieving one’s health goals.
Tell Us a Story About How Values Can Be a Key Factor in Health Goals
When setting goals or visions for health and wellness, personal values must not be ignored. A client of mine, “Mary,” had tried many times in the past, without lasting success to get to a healthier weight. Not to just look better but to decrease the discomfort in her knees. She had good intentions that were based on her thoughts of what she felt that she should be doing. Mary, however, was unable to sustain any gains she had made.
“I should be eating healthier” and “I should be exercising more” was what brought her to coaching in the first place. They are both worthwhile health and wellness goals. But if someone can’t recognize how those goals support them and their life, it’s going to be much more difficult to follow through with what they intend to commit to. Bringing together Mary’s values and her “why” helped her to increase her overall motivation. This made it more likely for Mary to then achieve her health and wellness goals.
Active Listening is an Undervalued Healing Tool
Taking the time to hear what the client has to say, unrushed, is one of the hallmarks of coaching. Together, Mary and I explored her values and why her health and wellness goals were important to her. This discussion brought to the surface the importance of her being able to keep up with the activities of her grandchildren. Underneath her intention to lose weight and not have interfering pain was the importance of Mary’s family and participating with them in an active quality of life. This was what she truly valued and the reasons why she wanted to make the commitment to change in the first place.
The Coaching Process Requires Personalized Small Action Steps
Results are a combination of the work completed within and outside of sessions, with coaching support in between sessions in a secure online chat. Creative tools, mindfulness, and other mind-body tools are used to support clients to their best experience.
In designing helpful action steps for Mary’s sessions, we used mind-body skills which included journaling, mindful meditation, and drawings. Mary also completed them in between visits to increase awareness around the choices she was making and how they were affecting her health and wellness goals.
We were able to set small action steps in order for Mary to achieve her goal of a healthier weight. She was grounded in why these action steps were important, and we designed her steps to be easy for her to complete. Because she found success and built off of it, Mary was gratefully able to realize less knee discomfort. This further motivated her to continue with her action steps because she knew it meant that her time with her grandchildren would be more enjoyable and meaningful.
Why and When Did You Choose the Holistic, Integrative, or Natural Health Path?
I chose a whole-person, integrative path after becoming ill in 2011. The medical system definitely helped me, but I needed further support in order to realize the healing I wanted to achieve. I found health and wellness coaching as a way to tie my athletic training knowledge into the coaching work I do. This allows me to live out my life purpose as I currently know it: “inspiring healing through listening” and to live in alignment with my values.
What Lessons Have Your Work and Professional Experiences Taught You and What Has Been the Affect on Your Lifestyle?
Listening to my body in a deep way has allowed me insights that I could not have imagined before. Being able to tune into what I am feeling, how my thoughts are affecting my experience, and the things I do to support my energy have guided my health decisions.
Lori began her career as an industrial athletic trainer. As a consequence of previous emergent health concerns, she needed something more sustainable for herself and recognized that she could do something different with her skills that were more supportive for the groups she was working with. Lori found this alignment in health coaching and achieve national board certification in health and wellness coaching.
Lori’s education includes:
- A Master’s degree in Kinesiology (Human Factors/Ergonomics minor)
- National Board Certification in Health Coaching and Athletic Training
- A certificate as an Ergonomic Assessment Specialist.
- Advanced training in evidence-based techniques for emotional well-being with the Center for Mind Body Medicine.
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