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Life Coaching Courses and Life Coaching Certification

In recent years life coaching has become very popular with people who are searching for guidance and meaning in various aspects of their lives. We recently interviewed Kate Apanui who trained with highly-acclaimed life coach, author and Oprah Magazine columnist, Martha Beck. She points out that becoming a life coach is not like becoming a psychologist or a lawyer where a common standard has to be met as the field is too new. “Anyone can set themselves up as a life coach without being certified or even participating in any courses,” Apanui comments. She says it is therefore important to trust and value the organization that will give you certification.

There are many life coaching schools available today. How do you go about choosing a life coaching academy?

“I did my research, I looked at heaps of courses, but nothing really seemed right, then magically a friend mentioned Martha Beck to me, I looked her up, saw she had a course coming up and so I joined. This might sound crazy to a lot of people, but when I read her course outline, looked at her already qualified coaches, and talked to some of them my body started to sing and I knew I was doing the right thing.”

What things should a person be wary of when evaluating life coaching courses?

“They should be wary of that feeling they get when they read something, and it doesn’t make them really excited. If they are interested in a course they should hire a coach who has done the course and get some coaching to see if they like it. Alternatively, interview a coach and see what their take on the course is. It should also be considered that coaching is a domain that has no governing body, or gold standard so to speak. There is an organization called the International Coaching Federation (ICF), which does not train coaches but offers its personal accreditation to different schools and courses.

It is not legally required to be accredited by ICF, which is an independent organization set up to help create a way for coaches to have legitimate accreditation. This is something people could look for when choosing a coach. However, not all courses meet ICF accreditation standards but are still legitimate. Therefore, accreditation can mean the school or course itself is the accrediting body – as is true with Martha Beck coaching when you are reaching the Martha Beck gold standard.”

In short, what does life coach training involve?

“A lot of hard work. I thought that I would go into coaching to help others learn how to live more authentically, however it turns out that you have to know how to do this yourself before you can help anyone else. Life coaching sounds like such a flakey thing but it has been the most profound, life awakening experience, I have ever had.

The training teaches you first and foremost that you have to ‘live it to give it’. I focus on this every day – how to be more Transparent, Authentic and Open in my life. The Martha Beck course draws a lot on acceptance and commitment therapy which is a cognitive-behavioral model of psychotherapy. The training also focuses on the work of Byron Katie. Martha has been at this a long time, and she brings a lot of her own experiences and tools to the table, as well as bringing into play the work of many others while putting her own Martha flavour on it.”

How long does it take to earn a life coaching diploma?

“My course took me 9 months. You have to accrue a certain number of hours – 75 unpaid or 20 paid. After this there are written exams, and then a live one-to-one session with Martha Beck where the coach in training coaches Martha on an issue. Once you have passed everything you will become certified.”

Besides being a good listener, what else do you need to be a life coach?

“You need to be patient, sensitive, honest, calm, sincere, sensitive, bold, have a sense of humour and you need to be able to let go of what ever it is you think someone else should do. This is always a tough one as we always have opinions about other peoples lives, but only they can know what it is they need to do in their life. I can never presume to know better than my client what it is they should do. Most importantly you need to be Transparent Authentic and Open (TAO).”

What was it like working with Martha Beck?

“Martha Beck has an incredible energy that is palpable even over the phone, she inspires and ignites me. Martha has a talent for being incredibly right about things, her insights into people’s lives are usually right on. In my opinion she is incredibly intuitive and ‘plugged in’. She is the kind of person I feel I could talk to all day and all night and still not be bored. The best part about Martha is that she inspires me to be greater, not to be more like her, but to be more like me, and we need more of those kind of people in the world.”

Becoming a life coach can be a very satisfying and lucrative career choice, granted that you learn from experts in the field. It is therefore important to carefully consider various life coaching courses before making a final decision. Also keep your personal qualities in mind, for example: do you have enough patience and sensitivity to listen to other people’s issues. Finally, be prepared to work hard – not only with clients but also on your own flaws. As Apanui emphasizes – you have to live it to give it.

Acupuncture for Stroke Treatment

Respect in its healing qualities over the ages has brought Eastern medicine to the forefront in alternative methods of maintaining health. One of the most celebrated, successful methods of its treatment has been acupuncture.

It can be used as a relaxation technique, a mode of rehabilitation following a minor injury or an ongoing treatment following a major detriment to one’s health such as a stroke, heart attack or serious accident causing paralysis. Acupuncture has been well received in medical circles across the globe following many positive medical and scientific studies and continues to help patients as they journey down the long road to recovery.

Medical Studies on the Proving Ground – Does Acupuncture Help After a Stroke?

The studies which have cited acupuncture has a vital component in recovery are so numerous it would be impossible to list them all in a short article, but one that stands out is a study which took place in 2005. In this year, “The Center for Integrative Health, Medicine and Research” supported a study which would set out to determine if there was a positive effect after acupuncture was used in the rehabilitation of stroke patients.

A group of 29 patients who had suffered a stroke within the last 60 days had their data analyzed and the results came back stronger than expected. This particular study revealed that Eastern medicine’s long history was a strong one and it proved that not only was acupuncture “statistically significant” in providing benefits to the physical functioning of patients but also to their overall recovery when used in adjunct to conventional stroke rehabilitation measures. The pilot study also reported that stroke patients who were receiving acupuncture during their treatments demonstrated significant improvements in the recovery of motor skills and overall physical functioning.

Eastern medicine and acupuncture also stood out in another scholarly study, which focused on the effectiveness of acupuncture following a stroke. In this systematic review which appeared courtesy of the Department of Genetics and Medicine at the Shatin Hospital in Hong Kong, 100 patients aged between 41 and 75 years old were studied. 85 of these patients who had disabilities following their stroke(s) responded positively to acupuncture.

The study was well received and cited in 2002 by the American Heart Association and also by the Surgeon General. The conclusion based on this scientific research was that the meta-analysis which had taken place with stroke rehabilitation and acupuncture had a positive effect on the disabilities which were prevalent. In nearly every study analyzed, the positive citations associated with acupuncture and its helpful effects following stroke have varied from slightly positive to overwhelmingly successful.

The fact that no negative results or unimpressive responses were recorded following these specific, scientific studies is a great thing not only for the practitioners of eastern medicine, but also for the unfortunate victims of a stroke.

Light at the End of the Tunnel – Stroke Recovery Through Acupuncture

Acupuncture and massage therapy continue to produce positive effects in the recoveries of stroke patients. Continuing on into the new millennium, Eastern medicine and its practitioners clearly have no intention of slowing down in proving it as an elite form of treatment.

The scientific research that has taken place has provided one guaranteed fact which is that Eastern medicine, acupuncture and various other methods of treatment all yield positive results when employed following a stroke. As time inevitably goes by, the expansion of eastern medicine as a commonly practiced response to stable and critical conditions or minor and major injuries continues to be a testament to the long acclaimed history that this diverse field encapsulates.

Acupuncture and Infertility: Can Chinese Medicine Help Make Women More Fertile?

More and more partners every year are confronting infertility issues. Many who have had no success with conventional medical interventions are seeking help in acupuncture. The proven effects of acupuncture on infertility are still being widely debated.

How Acupuncture Works

Acupuncture is based on the belief that a balance in the energy flow (known as qi or chi) is necessary to maintain optimal health. If there is a blockage in that flow, one’s health can be impacted. The mind-body connection is believed to be quite strong.

There are over 2,000 different acupuncture points. Depending upon a person’s condition, needles are inserted in various combinations of points. Optimally, the needle restores one’s natural energy flow and allows the body to be restored to ultimate physical, emotional, and mental health.

Acupuncture has been used for years for a variety of ailments, and recently has come under appraisal for its benefits for infertility. According to the American Pregnancy Association, acupuncture is believed to regulate blood flow to and from reproductive organs and stabilize hormone levels. This aids in ovarian function for women, and in sperm production for men. It also increases the blood flow to the endometrium, which helps a thick uterine lining to develop, and aids in the maturity of eggs. Acupuncture can decrease premenstrual symptoms and help regulate irregular menstrual cycles. Acupuncture can aid in recurrent miscarriage, unexplained fertility, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), and other disorders. It cannot, however, help women with a physiological condition such as blocked tubes.

Acupuncture is also believed to aid in stress management, which benefits partners undergoing vigorous fertility treatments. Acupuncture is known to be relatively safe and risk-free when performed with a qualified acupuncturist. Many people find it quite relaxing. Patients may seek acupuncture in conjunction with other fertility treatments, and they may take fertility drugs or Chinese herbs at the same time. A woman must confirm with her physician that any combination of drugs she is taking is safe.

Finding An Acupuncturist

When looking for an acupuncturist to aid in fertility, one must only seek a qualified, certified professional who has completed all of the proper board exams. Keep in mind that insurance companies do not always cover acupuncture, and this warrants investigating beforehand. It should be noted, however, that while acupuncture can be expensive, it is often cheaper than other fertility treatments.

Acupuncture is also a continuous series of treatment, not a one-time cure all. Patients will need to be committed to their care. Patients should also seek an acupuncturist who specializes in fertility disorders, to avoid any incorrect acupuncture points being used. For example, acupuncturists should never place needles in the abdominal or pelvic area after insemination.

Controversy over Acupuncture

The medical community is largely divided about acupuncture. Some believe in its healing power, while others assert that more research is necessary. Some recommend patients to acupuncturists, while others believe a referral would be irresponsible. Many patients prefer to try Western medicine before seeing an acupuncturist as a last resort, while others are willing to try acupuncture right away.

Certainly, much has been made of using acupuncture to treat fertility issues. Time and research will tell if it truly has the power to help women get and stay pregnant.