Well Workers - Joan Dickason

FMCA-HC, CHHC, INHC, MA

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FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE CERTIFIED HEALTH COACH

My story

I was an Information Technology executive for many years, working for a Wall Street firm.  Like so many of you, I worked long hours, had a long commute, and was on call 24 hours every day.  I loved my job and gave it everything I had.  Until I had nothing left, and just couldn’t do it well any longer.  I am divorced and have no children, so I had all the freedom I needed to work myself to death.   I was in constant, body wide pain, couldn’t sleep, and had vague digestive problems.  I was exhausted and stressed, brittle and burnt out.  I didn’t know what was wrong with me, and there seemed a lot more ‘wrong’ than just ‘you’re stressed out and need a vacation”.  I consulted with an alphabet soup of allopathic doctors, but all of my tests came back ‘negative’ or ‘within range’.  There didn’t seem to be any help or relief.

When I lost my job after the crash of 2008, I decided to refocus my energy towards my own healing journey.  I realized that I needed to own my own health, and no longer rely on doctors, pills and procedures.   I finally was diagnosed with fibromyalgia by a physiatrist, who knew of my interest in natural healing.  He recommended yoga, water therapy, and a plant-based diet, but really had nothing concrete to offer me, and referred me to a ‘specialist’.   I decided instead to become my own specialist.

I began by attending the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, where I learned how to care for myself and others with whole food nutrition, stress management, and functional exercise.

My passion for learning drove me to study everything I could about the intersection between lifestyle, health and chronic ‘mystery’ conditions, and I haven’t stopped yet.  Since then, I’ve added certifications and continuing education classes, and most recently completed the Functional Medicine Coaching Academy’s Health Coach training.  Functional Medicine is the future of personalized medical care.

I named my private practice Crossroads Nutrition because wellness is a journey, not a destination.  I think of myself as a nourishment navigator, like a GPS system who helps my clients identify where they are, where they want to go, and to chart a course in small actionable steps, incrementally building on positive behavior change, nourishing mind, body and spirit.  And because every journey requires course corrections, I ensure they develop the tools needed to continue, in spite of the road blocks and pot holes.

I am very active in two Fibromyalgia Support groups in my area, and contribute online to as many Facebook groups I can.  I am currently writing a training program for health coaches on how to support patients with Fibro/CFS or other chronic pain conditions.

I also became a Corporate Master Workplace Ambassador with KWC Consulting.  I understand the complexities of keeping a workforce vital and resilient.  My corporate wellness program brings empathy, enlightenment, education and empowerment to any workplace wellness initiative. 


EDUCATION

Functional Medicine Coaching Academy (affiliated with the Institute for Functional Medicine, Functional Medicine Health Coach, July 2017

Certified Master Workplace Ambassador, KWC Consulting, 2015

MBSR (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction), Chambers Center for Wellbeing, Atlantic Health System

Certified Holistic Health Coach, Holistic MBA, now the Health Coach Institute, 2012 and 2014

“Eat to Beat Fibromyalgia Challenge” with Dr. Deirdre Rawlings, 2014

“Transform Your Relationship with Food” with Dr. Marc David, 2013

“Mastering Thyroid Imbalance for Health Coaches” by Robin Arutt of Full Potential Living , 2013

“Environmental Medicine:  An Integrative Approach” Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine, 2012

Institute for Integrative Nutrition, Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, 2012

MA, Communications Management, Annenberg School of Communications at the University of Southern California

BA, English Literature, California State University, Northridge.  Graduated summa cum laude.


AFFILIATIONS

I’m a member of the National Wellness Institute and the Society for Human Resource Professionals. 

I’m a Rutgers University Union County Master Gardner volunteer, conducting workshops and doing projects in Horticultural Therapy for people with physical, mental, emotional, and social disabilities.  Horticultural Therapy has been defined as "the use of plants and gardens for human healing and rehabilitation".

I contribute to my community as a member of the Board of Directors of the Friends of the Fanwood Memorial Library. 


HOW I NOURISH MYSELF

First, I follow my three ‘be well” rules:

  • Aging starts when you’re born! It’s easier to stay healthy than to recover, so invest in your wellbeing every day. 
  • Trust your body!  Eat when you are truly hungry, and eat what makes you feel well, not good.
  • Practice mindfulness as the foundation to your holistic health, creating calm connection to self and spirit.

I practise yoga and swim, cook almost all of my meals, grow a ridiculous amount of flowers in my yard to attract birds and butterflies, and hang out with friends and family who love me.