Today we’d like to introduce you to Dave Frech.
Dave, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
After being active throughout my early life by playing sports, I fell out of shape after graduating from college and working 50-60 hours a week. After a few years of poor eating and living a sedentary lifestyle, my health suffered and my anxiety increased. I realized I needed to change. Slowly I started being more active, eating healthier and began meditating.
Then about ten years ago, I became interested in acupuncture through personal experience. I was diagnosed with a stress fracture in the second metatarsal of my left foot. I was told I needed to wear a walking boot for three weeks to allow the fracture to heal. However, several more weeks and then months went by and I still could not walk without pain. At this point, the doctor recommended surgery in which he would remove 3mm of the bone from the center and staple the two ends back together. He then provided a written document outlining a long list of possible negative outcomes. I felt strongly that there had to be another way. After getting a second opinion and starting physical therapy with limited success, a friend suggested that I try acupuncture and after about 6 treatments, my pain went from 6/10 to 1/10.
While in school studying acupuncture, I learned that in ancient China each village was under the care of one doctor. In return, they took care of him (fed him, clothed him, etc.). The traditional Chinese doctor’s job was to keep the village from getting sick in the first place. Once people got sick, they were unable to support the doctor. It made more sense for him to keep them well than to wait until they were sick. Today we call this preventative medicine. That philosophy really resonated with me. I developed a strong interest in developing the skills necessary to help people stay in front of the wellness curve by learning how to guide them through making sustainable wellness changes. That led to my also becoming a certified wellness coach and personal trainer.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I guess it depends on your definition of smooth! The truth is that making a change is always challenging, but it’s the satisfaction of overcoming those challenges that often leads to our proudest moments and most memorable accomplishments. For me, the decision to leave a secure well-paying job to go back to school full-time was difficult, but I spent many years preparing myself to make a career change (e.g. reading books like “What Color Is My Parachute”, taking career placement exams, etc.) so I could feel confident I was moving in the right direction and successfully navigate the challenges ahead.
I also knew going in that requirements to become a licensed acupuncturist were rigorous. My master’s degree involved four years of full time study. The program runs year-round, with no summer breaks. The degree involved over 2600 hours of classroom and practical instruction and over 1000 hours of clinical observation and hands on treatments. To top it off, we are required to pass four certification exams to earn our license to practice.
Upon graduation, I volunteered in a remote clinic in Nepal for nine weeks treating local villagers with acupuncture, cupping, gua sha and Chinese herbs. This was just a few months after the devastating earthquake that occurred in April of 2015 and many residents were still living in temporary shelters as was I. It was both challenging and also an amazing life affirming experience that I will never forget.
After returning, I set up to build a practice, which involves wearing many hats, from marketing, advertising, and all the other logistics of running a business. However, I truly love having the opportunity to work with my patients and clients to make a meaningful impact on their health and wellness.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Dave Frech, Licensed Acupuncturist, Certified Wellness Coach & Personal Trainer – what should we know?
I think what sets me apart from others is the ability to work with people regardless of where they are on their wellness journey. As an acupuncturist, I treat a variety of physical and psychological issues with my primary focus being on pain and stress related health issues (hypertension, digestive issues, anxiety, etc.).
As a wellness coach, I help people through the change process. I do this by helping my clients first understand all the internal and external influences that may be supporting or derailing their change efforts. I then help them uncover their strengths, skills and other resources that they can use to make lasting changes in their lives. One of the great things about wellness coaching is that, unlike acupuncture, my clients can be anywhere. We simply need a phone connection.
As a personal trainer, I focus on developing training programs that deliver safe, effective, fun and interesting workouts. My primary focus is working with individuals (or groups) who have struggled to make changes in the past and are looking to improve their health and wellness through sustainable lifestyle and fitness activities. I train primarily using body weight exercises and interval training, so that my clients can learn how to work out effectively without the expense of costly equipment or taking valuable time getting to/from a gym.
When you hire me for any one of the above roles, you often receive overlapping guidance from my other areas of expertise. For example, I am currently working with a client as her personal trainer, but I’ll include wellness coaching tips on how to successfully incorporate healthy changes into her daily routine.
Or when someone comes for an acupuncture treatment, I may recommend personal training exercises or stretches that will help speed the recovery process.
Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
I believe there are three qualities that are most important to having successful interaction with my clients and patients. First, at the heart of being a good health and wellness practitioner, is being a good listener.
I believe that it’s important to enable each patient to tell me their story, just as I have told you a part of mine. Next, I focus on being empathetic and compassionate with all my customers. This enables me to build trust and rapport with them. And last, I strive to create an autonomous relationship in which each person feels respected and has the final say in how they choose to improve their health and wellness.
I believe that good health is our most valuable possession. It’s what enables each of us to fully enjoy everything else in life, and enables others to fully enjoy us. At the end of the day, I’m most proud of being able to focus my passion in a way that helps others to live better healthier lives.
- Acupuncture: $85 first treatment, $75 for follow up treatments.
- Address: Wellness Chicago (Acupuncture) / 820 N Orleans, Suite 345, Chicago, IL 60610
Textured Dance & Wellness Studio (Personal Training) / 4140 N Sheridan Road, Chicago IL 60613
- Website: www.davefrech.com
- Phone: 312-498-5867
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/acu.davefrech/