Get to know Katie Kaufmann, a Chronic Pain Recovery Coach and board certified health and wellness coach with a in-person/virtual hybrid practice in the Twin Cities.
Tell us about your business. What do you do?
I am a Chronic Pain Recovery Coach and a National Board Certified Health and Wellness Coach.
How do you approach your area of expertise (what makes you different?)
Pain is a protection mechanism and when it persists long after an injury heals the cause often often has to do a well worn pattern in our neurocircuits that is falsely perceiving danger when no danger is present. The brain can relearn and replace these patterns by reassuring it that it is safe and the pain itself is safe. I work with people to calm their nervous systems, implement pain reprocessing tools to retrain their brains away from pain and chronic symptoms and towards thoughts and behaviors that bring joy and calm to their lives.
What drew you to this work?
I came to this work through my personal experience with chronic pain. I had chronic pain for 20 years. I had a herniated disc that was not caused by any particular accident or injury, had surgery a year later but the pain returned. This time in different parts of my back. I went to specialists, bodyworkers, chiropractors, Chinese medicine Dr.s, naturopaths, energy workers, etc. and received temporary or no relief. I came across this approach and wasn’t ready accept it. But I heard echoes of similar ideas in podcasts I was listening to and books I was reading and they were all saying the same thing. My pain has to with many factors that are not structural including my thoughts, emotions, and environment and that learning how to listen to what my body needs to feel safe and calm is going to be the most important step for healing.
What do you love about your job?
I love meeting people where they are at on their journeys, helping them to learn to trust themselves instead of looking outside of their own body’s wisdom to be healed. I love that every single client is different and no session is the same as the next. I love when a simple tool like noticing the present physical and emotional state without judgement or aversion can allow sensations and emotions to move through over time. I love the puzzle and helping people find their own personal connection, set of tools, motivating factors, and strengths.
Describe the person that is best fit for you and your services.
You have chronic pain or another chronic symptom like chronic fatigue, numbness, etc. and there is no structural explanation like tumors, nerve damage, tears in soft tissue. You have tried many physical approaches and you haven’t improved. You are open to exploring your internal state, and you want to improve the way you respond to your symptoms and want to live a fuller, more active, pain free life.
What results can people see when they work with you? What’s possible?
It is possible to recover from chronic pain. I am living proof and many of my clients are finding their way to recovery as well. It does take time and there is no fixed timeline to healing. It also takes patience, as the journey can have lots of twists and turns. Often a flare can be a sign that the brain is rewiring and giving one last squeeze to its old pattern. I don’t like to guarantee anything but I do guarantee that working with me will give you a deeper understanding into the way your body works, what it needs, and the tools you will use are useful for anyone in or out of pain. The side effect is that pain or other symptoms often go away.
What do you wish more people understood about what you do?
I wish more people understood that the coaching relationship is an improvisational dance between what the coach can ask and reflect and what the client brings to the session. I am not the expert telling you what to do. I am a partner, helping shape the process, asking deep questions, and facilitating a safe environment to explore thoughts, emotions, and deep-seated needs that need to be met to grow and change.
What’s fascinating you right now?
I am fascinated by brain science. I just read an amazing book that took me all summer because it’s so dense and I read before bed. It’s called How Emotions are Made by Lisa Feldmann Barrett. Some of my learnings and key takeaways are: 1. Emotions are predictions by the brain. 2. Emotions are not innate. They are constructed. 3. Emotions are not universal across cultures. 4. Emotions are interrelated with illness. 5. There is not one area of the brain responsible for emotions. The entire brain is involved in their construction.
In what ways do you find yourself working alongside other health + wellness professionals?
I don’t work along side other health and wellness professionals often but I am trying to cultivate a network of people who work with folks with similar chronic conditions.
What does self care look like to you right now?
Right now my daily dog walks are my biggest form of self care. Getting outside and away from work pressures in the middle of the work day is necessary to keep my nervous system from being overwhelmed.
What do you love about living and working in the Twin Cities?
I came to Minneapolis 21 years ago for a job as an actor and I still love the arts scene here. I stayed for the quality of living. I survive the winters as a member of the 612 sauna society and get my weekly sweat on in their mobile sauna.
Favorite local restaurants?
I’m always looking for a restaurant I haven’t been to before. I love food! There are too many to choose from! One that I always return to is Broder’s.
Other favorite local businesses in the Twin Cities?
I mentioned 612 Sauna Society , My gym community at Twintown Fitness is really important to me.
What’s your favorite social media platform, and where can people connect with you on social media?
I use Instagram for my business mostly and can be found @coachkt.wellbeing
How can people work with you?
People can go to the Work with Me page on my website to find out more and book a free consultation. https://coachkatiewellbeing.com/work-with-me/