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Radiance Physiotherapy celebrates its 1st year anniversary, expands with new area of wellness

Professional health coaching now offered at the popular Soo clinic

Radiance Physiotherapy first opened its doors a year ago, the brainchild and passion project of physiotherapist Megan Doyle.

Specializing in pelvic floor rehabilitation and orthopedic injuries, the clinic has had a very successful first year in business and has been able to help an ever-growing list of clients.

It has been so successful, in fact, that she is currently looking for a full-time physiotherapist to join their team.

Other exciting signs of growth include a new designation for her colleague Jennifer Entwistle, who is now, in addition to being a physiotherapist, a professional health coach. Entwistle recently earned the designation from York University; it was the only program of its kind in Canada to meet the standard set by the National Board for Health & Wellness Coaching in the United States. To participate in the program, you have to be a regulated health professional.

Professional health coaching: A primer

“Health coaching is really just an emerging area in the wellness field, and it is just slightly different than lifestyle coaching,” explains Entwistle. “This is really geared to individuals with long-term health conditions.”

If you have a chronic condition, you may be trying to make lifestyle changes in order to manage it. Or it may be that you are simply susceptible to developing one later in your life; the condition could either be prevented or the impacts of it, at least, could be minimized through healthy lifestyle choices.

“If making healthy lifestyle choices were easy, everyone would do it,” laughs Entwistle. “So when you’re trying to create a change, working with a health coach can help you identify what goals are important to you and what lifestyle factors you’d like to work on or change.”

This work is client-centred, and the role of the coach is to help the client determine what their goals are. Entwistle incorporates self-discovery, active learning and developing accountability, and explores ways to navigate any barriers to participating in a healthy lifestyle choice.

The service usually appeals to someone who has received a new diagnosis or maybe even just a comment from their physician. It might be, for example, that you need to get your stress under control, or your doctor is seeing some changes in your blood work or your blood pressure. A physician may want you to start exercising, change your diet or get more sleep. “Usually there is a life incident that triggers this, where you realize you really need to change something,” she says.

“Even just thinking about the upcoming holiday season—how many of us set these really lofty New Year’s goals? Although we set them with good intentions, without some navigation regarding behavioural change, it’s really hard to do. A health coach can help you figure out where you are at a specific moment in time and what’s even feasible to take on for a lifestyle change.”

One of the greatest perks is that this service can be offered virtually, so clients who live some distance from the clinic can still meet with Entwistle to develop a plan of action. Doyle purchased a system for the clinic, a secure video-conferencing tool that meets their profession’s regulatory standards for privacy. “Physiotherapy can be delivered through telemedicine for sure, as there are definitely ways around doing assessments and interventions without the hands-on portion. As a health coach, it really fits today’s climate because we can easily do it all through video-conferencing.”

In fact, both Doyle and Entwistle are available to help patients via Telehealth, phone call or video call, so clients don’t have to live in the immediate area.

Celebrating their one-year anniversary

What does it feel like to celebrate your first year in business? “It has been amazing,” says Doyle. “I feel like we got busy very quickly and we’ve had a lot of positive reactions from our clients. The clinic feels like home already, which is great. It has been going really well.”

Because the practice was brand-new, when they first opened there was a lot of open space in the physiotherapists’ schedules. Clients were really happy to be able to get in right away, as normally it can take a lot of time to be able to be seen. From that point on, the business grew through word of mouth: the pair has seen a lot of family members and friends of their clients. Word then spread to healthcare professionals and they started getting more referrals. They count lots of teachers, nurses and other physicians as clients now too.

This move saw Doyle transition from a busy hospital setting where she oversaw 100 employees to her own private clinic where she now manages just two. “It has allowed me to focus more on patient care,” she says. “It has also been a great opportunity for me to pursue more continuing education and professional development.”

For more information, visit Radiance Physiotherapy or call 705-574-0390.