Meet the Coach: Faiz Khaki
What attracted you to become a coach?
After dental treatment in 2013, my health gradually started to deteriorate. I was extensively investigated by a number of medical professionals in the UK over a three-year period without getting a proper diagnosis.
In January 2016, I ended up getting diagnosed in Canada (biological dentist) with cavitation of the jaw (also known as ‘NICO’ which stands for Neuralgia-inducing cavitational osteonecrosis). Not many people (including medical professionals) seem to be aware of this debilitating illness. It can cause varied symptoms – namely, constant pain, fatigue, muscle pain, weakness, irritability, difficulty concentrating and digestive issues.
A month later, I had surgery in Texas – Marble Falls. Surgery mainly involved the surgeon scraping my jaw bones (four separate sites) under IV conscious sedation in order to remove anaerobic bacteria and their toxins.
Since then, I have implemented a number of modalities in order to improve my overall health: hot yoga – vinyasa flow, restorative yin yoga, Pilates, massage – Reiki, acupuncture, ozone treatment, chiropractor sessions, physiotherapy sessions, integrative health coaching, cognitive behavioural therapy, mindfulness, meditation, nutrition, walking, connecting with nature and reading books on trauma and coping with chronic pain.
Whilst undergoing these various complimentary therapies, I had the opportunity to take a step back, observe my own approach to health and reflect. Thankfully, I was able to take back control of my ongoing health concerns and find the right tools to successfully navigate my way through it all.
My ill-health experience sparked a tremendous amount of interest in me to want to help people make positive and sustainable changes to their lives. I have been fortunate to discover my true passion for people and witness (first-hand) the benefits of how subtle and incremental changes can really make a difference.
Where did you train?
After researching ways on how best to combine my passion for supporting people with their health and existing skill set with work, I came across health coaching and, eventually, Duke’s Integrative Health Coach Professional Training Program. I was particularly interested in Duke’s client-centred approach and application of mindfulness.
What kind of coaching do you offer?
I offer integrative health coaching where I partner with clients and empower them to make lasting behavioural changes that are the foundations of lifelong wellbeing. As part of that partnership:
- I guide clients through a beautiful process so that they can see clearly what health means to them and what makes their health really important. This includes giving them tools to be more present in the moment and handle stressful situations better
- clients consider where they are starting from and compare that to where they would like to be in different areas of their health e.g.: mind-body connection, rest, exercise, nutrition etc
- with that as our foundation, clients pick a place to start (focus) and we explore whether they are ready to change in the chosen area. If ready, we then set a goal together of what they would like to achieve over the next 3-6 months
- after clients set that goal, we break it down into realistic steps that clients can take in-between each of our sessions so that they keep moving toward their goal and make sure all of those steps fit into their real, busy life
- we may need to make some adjustments along the way as clients start to take those steps and move into action because we want to be informed by what clients learn. Clients will always be the expert on their own life and what works best for them.
How does health coaching help?
I help clients gain more insight into themselves, make lasting behaviour changes and then go on to successfully manage their overall health and wellbeing. These are just some of the benefits:
- greater inner awareness and centred in the present moment
- a sense of achievement after taking realistic action steps and reaching goals
- calmness and contentment as well as gaining mental clarity
- empowered to take control of their own destiny
- better at acknowledging and coping with their emotional, mental or physical health concerns.
What sort of coaching clients do you usually see?
I support busy professionals and students and those who are chronically ill.
Since the beginning of 2020, I have been delivering personal wellbeing sessions to children virtually (using Zoom) and face-to-face in classrooms. I use a person-centred approach by putting children at the centre of their health and then giving them an opportunity to explore their health and wellbeing in a collaborative, fun and exciting way.
Do you ever suggest books or other materials to clients?
Only if it supports the coaching partnership and with the clients permission. Any resources offered during a coaching session will be unique to the client.
What do you like about being a coach?
There are so many things that I love about being an integrative health coach. One of them is that I learn so much from my clients. The other day, I was exploring what different areas of health mean to a client. As part of that exploration, I asked “what does exercise mean to you?” He responded “each time I exercise, it reminds me to be grateful for being alive”. I had never thought of exercise that way and what he said actually contributed to my own personal growth.
What is less pleasant?
To be honest, I can’t think of anything.
What one piece of advice would you give someone?
You are not alone in what you experience and although you may not see it now, there is hope.
What do you wish people knew about coaching?
I know from personal experience that speaking to a skilled integrative health coach can really have a positive and lasting impact on an individual’s overall health and wellbeing.
Do you have a favourite client testimonial or particular success story?
"My session with Faiz was so much more than just looking at what we generally understand ‘health’ to mean. This really is a holistic approach that also considers the relationships we have with our minds and bodies, other people, our environments and so on. In a short time, we explored where I see myself in these areas, and where I’d like to be – I can see that this work is really about turning my dreams into reality.
Faiz has a skill for listening and really hearing what I am saying, which gave me such an insight into myself. Faiz is an inspiring, insightful and encouraging coach who will guide me to where I want to be. He has first-hand experience of how this work can make a real difference, and he is passionate about making a difference to as many people as he can. Faiz is always smiling and upbeat and it’s hard to believe that he endured a critical illness for so long.”