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Zenchi Clinic/Functional Wellness Coach & Body Worker – Exclusive Interview Nicky Abell-Francis

Nicky brings her drive and force to the fore in Functional wellness coach programmes. Specializing in recovery support for specific conditions of ME (CFS), Fibromyalgia & long covid. Her supporting work covers bereaved clients trying to find freedom to move on. Helping to ignite the spark to progress forward once again. Having lost her own husband suddenly, their daughter within months crashed into developing ME(CFS). Nicky went on to train with the Chrysalis Effect programme. Seeing how burnt out & highly stressed clients can tip into crash phase. Developing chronic fatigue and numerous widespread health problems. Over the past ten years Nicky set up her multi therapy clinic.


Image photo of Nicky Abell-Francis

Nicky Abell-Francis, Functional Wellness Coach & Bodyworker


What led you into the health and wellness sector using your alternative approach?


I always found anatomy and how the body works fascinating. Starting off in the beauty arena I enjoyed working with the whole body holistically, not just one part. Moving forward I studied a wide range of massage styles. My interest in Chinese medicine coming about with my shiatsu training. Leading into a world-wide journey to study other cultures and ideals for wellness. 


I went on to teach carers and family members the importance of massage skills. How touch can ease pain and provide better functioning of the body for many neurological conditions of disabled clients. From cerebral palsy, motor neurone disease to spina bifida. If you are wheelchair bound or restricted in movement the body needs daily external bodywork. I loved this encouraging the loved ones to feel they were making a difference in a practical way. This benefited pain reduction, movement and their demeanour.


Any Dream ambitions that inspired you?


Living in the south of the UK in Brighton, I was introduced to holistic options for health way earlier. Before becoming mainstream in other areas. New ideas from maternity doulas, cranio-sacral osteopathy to qi-gong and shiatsu massage. My inspiration was to set up a multi therapy clinic, with a wide range of therapies in one location. I achieved this ambition in 2010 after moving north to Chester. Business offices were less expensive to rent at the time. Creating a five-room clinic set up. Sourcing a range of therapists to cross refer and bounce off for health alternatives for our clients. 


Ideally, I wanted an exercise studio but space and costs were prohibitive. Only in 2023 have I moved on to focus on being freelance and reformulating my lifestyle for coaching and massage work. There comes a time when you need to focus on you and what works best. I love change and look constantly for alternatives to healthy ways of working. This also means looking inward at how I construct my life.


How do you approach Functional medicine – (wellness coaching) how are you different to others?


It’s hard to stand out from the crowd I admit. I actually dislike being told to do things, with coaching we never tell but try to draw out what the correct path to go along may be, via the intuition of the client. This is a very individual journey.


I love looking at the personality and certain aspects of something like numerology, another subject in itself. We work with a certain energy of specific numbers in life. For example, our birth date never changes. By reducing our date of birth down we become one number between 1 to 9 plus some super special numbers of 11 and 22. These are never broken down. Richard Branson is 22 and he definitely has that certain superpower we would all like to have.


I am a number 6, a nurturer and this is my Life path number. I am here to work to care for other people, with a tribe or group and for the benefit of helping others. My bodywork and now coaching style will have these attributes working in the background. I didn’t become a nurse although love anatomy as too squeamish. But went into beauty then body and sports recovery work. Now the wellness coaching industry.


Knowing our number of our life path allows us to delve into what the negatives and positives of our number are. So, we can be aware of how we may approach situations. Either too focused or no plan. It’s not an undocumented subject but akin to feng shui or astrology. Sciences that have been around a long time, just not known in mainstream media. It is a way to understand why we react, struggle or maybe even find we are doing the wrong job. This is vitally important when our bodies start to show signs of discomfort. It is not always a disease or organ failure it could be we are working against what our mind really needs.


I have energy of a 1 Leader and 5 that encompasses freedom and travel, so self-employment is perfect for me, but not to work alone. This going against my 6 energies. I would not be happy or healthy if I don’t recognise this trait. Freelance work at different locations is ideal. Working from home in isolation with no human connection is not a perfect career.


Are you totally holistic in your work? What clients would you work with? Your niche tribe?


I am not all holistic, the word tends to put people off. They imagine crystals, reiki, healing, chanting and more. This is not the case a lot of therapies are dismissed due to this reaction or belief. But years ago, we had no medicine or surgery as we know today. So medical help was passed from generation to generation. Herbs, leeches for release of stagnant blood or enzymes to heal were frequently go to options used. We have many side-affects to drugs nowadays and this is in some cases because we have taken one ingredient out of nature’s mix to use for its effects, but nature had a whole host of other ingredients that buffer and help reduce these unwanted symptoms. We just choose to ignore that. Pop another pill to counteract and yes once again that too has side effects.


What is Bereavement Coaching is that not counselling?


No, it’s a little different. I came into coaching in this area as an initial way to help people move forward into a new way of living life after losing someone they loved or cared for deeply. When my daughter experienced the death of her father at 14 years of age, she did not want to talk about it. As she said it will not bring him back but just make her sad going over past memories. She couldn’t prevent or change what had happened. Her goal was to look at plans for her future to lift her spirit and make her father proud indirectly. She did this of her own free will. It was a very strong and mature thing to do. But within months initially she developed ME(CFS) of his death.


The Chrysalis Effect programme I ultimately joined for more functional ways to help my child. It supports people who have been diagnosed with ME(CFS) and other auto-immune conditions like fibromyalgia and now long covid. 


 A lot of the triggers or past problems of clients can be trauma based. Many issues from bullying, difficult births, accidents, operations, toxic relationships can build up and certain constitutions cannot cope. The body just stops the mind from hurting and decides to protect it. Admittingly a very dramatic and strange way to stop energy production, causing a cascade of symptoms but very effective. The mind has other things to think about than the traumas of the past.


Our bodies are highly intelligent and it will keep the score of many things we endure. But coaching is different as we look at the future. We find solutions and enjoyment, however small that maybe. How tiny goals of health producing exercises can slowly shift the mind to be more positive. Not stuck in what could have been sadness and loss. 


My Chrysalis Effect coaching is different to my other work it follows their specific programme and I am additional for the client to engage with. I act really like as a guide and wing man for them to achieve progress quicker. Someone to hold their hand along the way. Encourage and work out a bespoke programme for recovery which can be overwhelming with brain fog, tiredness and discomfort they may be experiencing.


What do you bring to the table with bereavement coaching?


Having been through several myself and seen others suffer at close hand, I feel very akin to gaining the spark back of optimism. My background of many holistic and mainstream therapies I have come across over the years, allows me contacts to refer people to who are trauma specialists.


Releasing and resolving sensitive emotions stemming from abuse, sexual, physical or having to be a carer from a young age. These clients need to be supported in a special and effective way. Counselling or coaching are not appropriate to fully help. Opening up conversations in a positive way, reading the body language that’s presenting. Noticing how the mind in some cases is not revealing the full story. This is vitally important helping me see more specialist treatment might be required. 


‘You don’t open Pandora’s box and leave the client to deal with it’


What is it you can do to help your clients?


Many long-term sickness problems in the business world can be due to burn out, overwork or background stresses. The body breaking down develops when it is unable to deal with personal and work challenges all at the same time. Every team leader, CEO or manager need to look at the bigger picture. What is going on for my staff behind closed doors. A sticky plaster and a chat won’t cut it with the modern-day issues and viruses we encounter nowadays. We can recover from an illness but it can leave a lasting legacy of damage. As seen with the covid virus.


Therefore, I work very well with the grafters at grass root level. The Entrepreneurs dealing with family and their blossoming new enterprise. Getting the formula right in all areas of wellness is what we plan. So, the job and the life go hand in hand, not fighting against each other. The mother or carer juggling too many expectations. Or the one person who questions what it’s all about? Change is required but they unable to see where? What path might be the way forward to enjoy their work and health again is the most important aspect.


How do you describe yourself?


I offer an alternative way of looking at how to live, non-conforming to what is expected but finding solutions that can aid a better way of doing things in life for the individual’s personality, values and beliefs. Working on are they correct, current and healthy for them. 


We revaluate routines, job and homelife. Functional wellness coaching breaks down what is destroying health and rebuilds into a new structure.


I am a Health Reformulator


A guide to set my client on a path to enjoyment and vitality. Doing what they wanted to do but never thought possible.


If you need to change your lifestyle or know someone who is heading off the precipice?


They don’t have to be the CEO or leader, look around and it could well be your parent, child or friend.


I offer a complimentary meeting online to see how we can be the perfect fit for the first step forward.


Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and visit my website for more info!

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