Wellness Expert, Author of “Healthy Made Easy: The Ultimate Wellness Guide for Busy Moms,” Speaker & Physical Therapist, Meet Dr. Lisa Nichole Folden
Q: For those in our audience not familiar with a Naturopathic Life Coach, can you tell us the types of services you offer?
LNF: Sure, under the leadership of Dr. Parkes, I support clients in their journey toward optimal health and wellness, from a holistic point of view. Clients are hoping to improve their health by way of weight loss, reversing chronic diseases, controlling blood pressure and blood sugar, reducing bad cholesterol and so much more. After the clients have undergone necessary blood work and their file has been reviewed by Dr. Parkes, I consult with them on a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly basis to explain their care plan, provide them with accountability and suggest adjustments as needed. I specifically focus on lifestyle modifications including food choices, exercise options, relaxation techniques and organizational/planning resources. Living a healthy life requires focusing on all aspects of one’s life (holistic) and planning in preparation for success.
Q: What education requirements do you need to take to become a Doctor?
LNF: My doctorate is in Physical Therapy, which required me to earn my bachelor’s degree (in Health Science) followed by a 3-year, 120-credit doctorate program, earning me the title of Doctor of Physical Therapy. In this capacity, I am an expert on the musculoskeletal system as it relates to movement (biomechanics) and function. I prescribe specific exercises based on known deficiency and I facilitate healing and injury recover. My education as a Naturopathic Lifestyle Coach came about from rigorous training under Dr. Kivette Parkes over the course of several months to become certified under her various wellness programs.
Q: What is your coaching philosophy for success?
LNF: My coaching philosophy is simple…if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. I work closely with my clients to help them establish a reasonable plan for their own success. We discuss the potential mishaps and create additional plan detours to address those. We work the plan together and as we see fit, we adjust and amend. My clients must first recognize their own power as it relates to their health and that means taking responsibility for where they are AND where they hope to be.
Q: How do you know if a patient is right for your service?
LNF: I can typically tell early on. If the client is punctual, prepared (has paid and/or completed necessary paperwork without excessive prompting) and attentive, they are usually a good fit for our services. In NC, these naturopathic services are typically not covered by standard health insurance (other than flex spending or health savings accounts), so being willing to cover these expenses out of pocket is often a sign that they are committed and ready…making them a good fit. Aside from that, I work best with clients who can be transparent, honest, and communicative about their needs and struggles. I can only help as much as a client is willing to let me in.
Q: If there is only one thing we could work into our daily lives, what would you suggest?
LNF: Self-love/Self-care. It really is the answer to everything. If we love and care enough for ourselves, we will go to the ends of the earth to do right by our bodies, souls, and minds. Taking good care of yourself stems from truly loving and valuing yourself. If we all had this mentality and made self-care and self-love an actual priority, most of us would not be sick or unhealthy…or unhappy.
Q: When did you know you would pursue a career in Healthcare?
LNF: I knew that I would be in healthcare as early as six years old. Initially, I planned to become a pediatrician. However, a trip to my own pediatrician when I was 16, completely changed my mind. I decided I would rather be in a field in which I could spend more time with my clients and truly get to know them (I’m a people-loving extrovert) which brought me to physical therapy. Coaching became such a natural part of my daily interactions with clients, so the road to naturopathic lifestyle coaching was basically a no-brainer, especially after meeting Dr. Parkes.
Q: Can you share with us your work you’ve done with Pediatrics and Athletes?
LNF: I have worked with both pediatrics and athletes and several pediatric athletes since the beginning of my career in physical therapy in 2007. Pediatrics would have to be one of my favorite groups because of their resilience and optimism. I loved them so much that I spent 4 years working in my local school system, addressing the needs of our exceptional children (students with cognitive and physical disabilities). This role further developed my coaching skills in that PT in the school system is not allowed to interrupt the educational process, so the vast majority of what I did was consult with students, staff and family on ways to maximize the student’s physical abilities throughout the school day. I spent countless hours adjusting wheelchairs, assessing classroom layouts, and delivering height-adjustable desks to ensure that my students were able to participate in their education with as few barriers as possible.
With regard to athletes, I have seen several over the course of my experience in outpatient physical therapy (of which I own and operate a private practice currently – Healthy Phit Physical Therapy & Wellness Consultants). Working with this extremely self-motivated demographic has its pros and cons. Obviously, they work hard…which is a pro, but I’ve also found that their level of patience for healing is often low…which is quite the con when you want full rehabilitation and recovery as opposed to a quick fix.
In my work as a naturopathic lifestyle coach, I am rarely working with either pediatrics or (current) athletes, but again, I continue to do so in my private physical therapy practice.
Q: Which woman inspires you and why?
LNF: There are so many. I was inspired by my grandmother (who passed in2018) …she taught me to prepare and plan ahead. I was inspired by my mother (who passed in 2019) …she taught me how to love and forgive. I am inspired by my aunt, Kim…she has been my saving grace my entire life and has always shown me the value of family and unity. I am daily inspired by my close friends who are also running businesses and managing families. These women have had more impact on me than any famous person or celebrity, but if I had to pick one well-known person that inspires me, I would have to say Maya Angelou. Her voice has always been full of hope despite all of her challenging life circumstances. Her work is some of my favorite literature and she has made a permanent stamp on American history.
Q: Can you tell us how you manage your work life balance?
LNF: I don’t actually try to manage work-life “balance” anymore, per se. As a mom of three, a wife and business owner, I realized early on that balance was not always attainable…and that’s okay. At any given point, I might be doing an amazing job in one area and kind of sucking in another. And again…. that’s okay. Life is full of ebbs and flows, ups and downs…so it’s okay to struggle in an area here or there. Things will not always (or maybe hardly ever) be perfectly balanced…and I am finally okay with that. I instead, focus on “managing and organizing my chaos.” Changing my expectations has been very helpful in maintaining my sanity and I pass this on to all of my coaching clients.
Four Things About Dr. Lisa Nichole Folden
1. What three items would you take with you on a deserted island?
Hmmm…these questions are always hard for me…but without thinking too deeply, I’d say: 1) A fully charged cell phone (to possibly have some contact with the outside world…I told you I’m an extrovert); 2)A solar flashlight (because I don’t do the woods/forest in the dark); and 3) A lighter to start fires (I am not outdoorsy enough to do this by hand). lol
2. Where do you see yourself in five years?
In 5 years, I hope to have secured my own commercial space for my private practice (currently leasing) and would like to have expanded to offering more in-house (but always with virtual options…because, COVID-19) therapy and wellness services. I plan to continue serving as a Naturopathic Lifestyle Coach with Dr. Parkes and her programs and to be able to proudly say that I have helped more people than I can count, take full control of their health. I want more success stories under my belt of Type II Diabetes being eliminated, cholesterol readings becoming normal and no more need for hypertension medication for my clients. I want to be a part of more people living their best lives.
3. If you could go back in time, what year would you travel to and why?
I would not choose to go back in time to anywhere in my lifetime…I honestly don’t see a purpose. However, I would love to travel back to when the pyramids were being built (as a spectator only) because though I have not seen them in person, I can’t fathom how they were actually formed back in those days. I’d love to see that firsthand.
4. What is your favorite childhood memory?
My favorite childhood memory would have to be when I was around 13 and my family would go to Boblo Island. This was an amusement park located on an island in the Detroit River. This little park was so much fun and back then, I was a roller coaster fanatic. This particular trip, I was with all five of my siblings, several friends and tons of other family members. For whatever reason, the park was nearly empty and because of this we kind of had free reign on the rides. Our entire group took up nearly all of the seats on the Falling Star ride and because there was no one else in line, the operator of the ride just let us stay on and keep going. We probably rode that thing ten times. All I can remember is us howling with laughter, smiling ear to ear, and throwing our hand in the air every time we went around. We talked about that trip for years and when Boblo Island closed for good sometime later, that memory became even more precious.