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How to be the expert clients are seeking - Blog Image

How to be the expert clients are seeking

BY: Andrea Nakayama

DATE: 2017-06-06

If there’s one thing I’ve heard time and time again from practitioners, it’s how they wish they felt more like the expert their clients are looking for.

I get it.

I didn’t always feel like the expert either.

There you are, alone in your office (or your home—that’s where I work), and clients are coming to you in pain, desperately wanting you to have the answers for them.

You’re expected to be the expert.

You’re the leader.

And yet I know it often doesn’t feel like that.

Client questions might take you by surprise. They might have symptoms and diagnoses you’ve never heard of. And they might respond unfavorably to your tried-and-true techniques and protocols. I’ve seen all of these issues throw too many clinicians off their game!

But it doesn’t have to be like that.

I hear you and I want to assure you that there is another way.

There is a way that will allow you to show up as the expert now, in your very next session, using information you already know.

Being an expert in functional nutrition is actually not about having set answers and protocols. It’s about knowing the right questions to ask.

[bctt tweet=”#functionalnutrition is not about having all the answers. It’s about asking the right questions.” username=”AndreaNakayama”]

You see, the answers that will help you solve the unsolvable cases—and allow you to feel confident, knowing you are the expert your clients need, instead of feeling anxious and alone—are the answers that come directly from the client sitting in front of you.

They don’t come from research studies about other people in narrow, controlled settings.

And they don’t come from Google or Wikipedia.

(I promise.)

The answers walk in with each individual that comes through your door.

Your job is to uncover those answers with care, finesse, and a good dose of Sherlock Holmes-esque detective skills.

The good news is that I’ve made the BIG JOB of being an expert super simple for you!

The secret to sleuthing out the unique solutions for each person who comes to you for help is knowing what questions to ask. Only then can you set yourself apart and solve the cases you want to solve.

Today, I want to give you one of the questions that I get the most questions about!

It’s not one most practitioners ask, and it will lead you to a goldmine of answers about your clients.

Here it is:
Who in your family or on your team will be most supportive of you making dietary change?

This question has opened up countless cases in my own clinic because it brings the conversation out of theory and into practice.

Sure, your client agrees in theory with the diet and lifestyle changes you’re suggesting. But what’s going to get in the way when the rubber meets the road and she actually tries to implement them?

Believe me, there are always things that get in the way.

This questions opens up the doorway to discussing those roadblocks before they hit. And it shows that you understand how important it is that your client not go at this alone.

Remember, she likely feels alone.

And frustrated.

And possibly scared.

You might be the only person that’s ever really listened to her, and taken the time to ask her questions that go beyond her daily physical symptoms.

Connecting with her in this way is going to help you uncover answers that have been hidden up until now. It will also increase compliance, and empower your client to keep searching her life for clues only she can find.

Try asking that question in your next session.

Here it is again:
Who in your family or on your team will be most supportive of you making dietary change?

And check out my ebook, Functional Nutrition 101, for all the other KEY questions you need to be the expert both you and your clients need you to be.

Also, as a bonus, my entire Intake Form is included at the back of the book. My nutritionists and I use this Intake Form every day in our practice, and I know it’s what sets us apart.

Let it set you apart too!

Grab your copy of Functional Nutrition 101 here.

When I first started asking the questions I outline in Functional Nutrition 101, I felt both excitement and relaxation. (Ahhh. I can do this!) I was thrilled to have the tools to help people, and I was able to stay centered even when discussing the most complex cases.

I’m curious what your first shifts will be!

Andrea Nakayama

By: Andrea Nakayama, FxNA Founder & Functional Medicine Nutritionist

Functional Nutrition Alliance provides the comprehensive online Functional Nutrition training in the Science & Art of the Functional Nutrition practice. Learn to address the roots of your clients’ suffering with client education, diet & lifestyle modifications.


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