Empowering Healing with Four Foundations

A Promise to Transform Lives

For years, I’ve been driven by a promise I made while confined to my couch for nearly three years, debilitated by chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia. I vowed that if I ever found a way to recover, I would dedicate my life to helping others do the same.

This promise fueled my passion for finding a method to distill the fundamental components of recovery into a personalized plan. A plan that recognizes each person’s unique circumstances, challenges, and needs. From my own experience and the recovery stories of hundreds of others, I knew that certain elements are present in every story of recovery.

Therefore, I needed to build a framework that acknowledges these individual differences and effectively measures the presence or absence of the key elements of healing. This journey led to the creation of the Four Foundations.

The Foundations for Healing

It began with a deep dive into my own recovery process, identifying the key factors that helped me regain my health. To understand why my approach worked, I enrolled in the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. There, I learned about the pillars of health, and honed my coaching skills. I also gathered invaluable resources, and connected with other health coaches who shared their own recovery stories.

As a result of my training, I began to examine the root causes of chronic illness, identifying the triggers and drivers behind the debilitating symptoms that wreak havoc on people’s lives. And I began to unravel the perfect storm of circumstances that make it so difficult for people to participate in their own recovery.

Bridging the Gap in Wellness Support

I analyzed the Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital’s 2018 Community Health Needs Assessment to understand why there was such a low participation rate in wellness programs, which hovered around 11%. The major barriers were a lack of support and resources, difficult access to programs, and a disconnect between the available information and individual needs.

In addition, I studied successful wellness programs and identified the top features they incorporated. I also reviewed the work of the American Association of Family Practitioners on the crucial role of health coaching in managing chronic illness.

The Power of Personalized Health Coaching

Having witnessed the enormous difference health coaches make in transforming the health and well-being of people, this research confirmed an important fact. Health coaches are the missing piece in helping to reverse or effectively managing chronic illness, which affects more than 50% of the US population.

Determined to address these gaps, I explored ways to connect people with health coaches who not only had the expertise but also personal experience in reversing their own chronic illnesses. I experimented with various software and community apps to improve access and engagement, creating a safe space where people could meet health coaches and access all the tools and resources they need to successfully recover their health.

A Holistic Framework for Thriving

In studying different wellness models, I recognized the overwhelming complexity faced by most people, with eight to twelve dimensions of wellness making it difficult to know where to start. This creates a disconnect between people and wellness when so many areas of a person’s life need to be addressed to feel healthy, happy, and fulfilled.

I also noticed that wellness models often show paths to wellness but not what lies at the end of those paths, making it impossible to measure progress or make meaningful changes along the way. And in the face of a debilitating illness, how do the paths to wellness even relate to a person struggling with out of control symptoms?

A New Model for Healing

Revamping existing models, I focused not on the many paths to wellness, but on the foundational principles that provide energy, repair health, reduce stress, and help us function at our best, whatever chronic illness a person may be struggling with.

Thus began the many iterations of pulling all these elements together into a cohesive framework that could consistently accomplish the goals of delivering a personalized program within the structure of the Four Foundations. The process was complex and required continual refinement, but the end goal was always clear: to provide a framework for people to regain their health and a way to match them with the resources they need as they progress through their unique recovery programs.

After numerous trials and adjustments, the Four Foundations emerged as a robust framework to achieve that.

Four Foundations

Eat, Move, Love, Detox

These are the Four Foundations that guide people on their journey to recovery. They work together to shut down the drivers of chronic illness and deactivate symptom triggers. They relieve stress, calm inflammation, ignite the body’s healing capabilities, generate energy, and build endurance and resilience.

Eat: We eat nutritious food for energy, healing, and disease prevention. If we feel sick and exhausted, focusing on eating nutritious foods will provide the very things we need.

Move: We need to move to keep our body strong and stable. Deconditioning happens fast and without movement, our muscles wither, making it so much harder to do everything. That’s true no matter how disabled a person may be.

Love: Loving our bodies with TLC reduces the stresses of everyday living and connects us to all that’s important to us. All the nutritious food in the world can’t heal you if you’re disconnected, alone, and have no idea how to feel better.

Detox: A healthy environment fosters resilience and helps us function at our best. So many of the chemicals in our food, body care products, and homes play havoc with our hormones, while the overload of information that constantly bombards our minds threatens our mental health.

A Promise Fulfilled

Thirteen years ago, I swore I’d find a way off my couch or die trying. Today, the Four Foundations form the bedrock of my life and the lives of many others who are finding their way to recovery through this approach. They are not just principles; they are a promise fulfilled, a testament to the power of personalized health coaching, and a beacon of hope for those still searching for their path to recovery.

If you or someone you know is struggling with chronic illness, book a FREE consult now so we can craft your own personal plan of recovery.