Today we’d like to introduce you to Sascha Alexander.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
Sure. I made the decision to be an Autoimmune Health Coach because of my own autoimmune journey.
Autoimmune disease is a wide category of chronic inflammatory illness that is very much on the rise, especially in women, especially in industrialized nations. MS, Lupus, thyroid disease, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Type 1 Diabetes, and Crohn’s Disease are some of the most well-known autoimmune diseases, but there are actually 80 autoimmune diseases currently recognized and many more that are “autoimmune-adjacent” like endometriosis, asthma, IBS, autism, etc.
Basically… almost anyone you know with a chronic illness that isn’t genetic is probably on the autoimmune spectrum. These are diseases that attack multiple systems of the body at once and create long-term pain, malfunction, and organ failure. And they are notoriously difficult to diagnose and treat. For that reason, like many autoimmune patients I was undiagnosed and getting sick for years.
From age 8 to age 28, to be specific, but my real health crisis, when we knew something was really wrong and I became unable to function in many ways, hit at 28. It was during that dark time between 28 and 31, when I was debilitated and unable to do much besides research my condition, go to work, and go to doctors, that I worked with my own health coach to get onto the Autoimmune Protocol. And that time with my coach was a huge turning point in me taking control of my own recovery.
At that point, I had finally been diagnosed. My doctor here in LA, Dr. Shiva Lalezar had discovered, when no one else had, that I had Hashimoto’s, an autoimmune disease of the thyroid gland. I was thrilled. It was one of the best days of my life. I finally had a jumping off point to get better. For some context, for an autoimmune patient, being undiagnosed is the most expensive and terrifying part of the process.
It’s a time in which you will be shuttled back and forth from health care practitioner to health care practitioner, undergoing unbelievably expensive and often invasive testing that is often not covered by insurance, and often delivers indefinitive results. So basically, hell. You are constantly terrified that what you have may be deadly, or maybe already is killing you, and over and over again, you find that no one is able to help.
This can go on for years. I remember feeling, during that time, like a body bleeding on the sidewalk that everyone would just step over and keep walking past. It is an intensely alienating and kind of indescribable experience. Add to that that doctors are often also calling into question your judgments, feelings, and assessment of the situation as “real” – and you have a picture of what early stage autoimmune disease feels like. It’s a true nightmare.
So when my doctor diagnosed me, it was like opening a window and getting to breathe for the first time in years. I cried and cried with relief and joy. Finally, I had proof that what was wrong was real, and I could treat it. I had a place to start. My doctor recommended that I look into a Paleo Diet. That’s when I found my health coach, Angie Alt.
Angie is a coach who supports people in adopting the Autoimmune Paleo diet, a diet and lifestyle system that can massively improve symptoms for autoimmune patients. When I did her six-week online program, my whole recovery changed. I saw that I could change anything in my life with the right support. I could cook all my meals. Eat only organic. Give up foods I thought I would never say goodbye to. I could do it. Me. It was extraordinarily empowering.
I also got to ask Angie questions about my illnesses that my doctors couldn’t answer. She could. That was life-changing. Having a coach who was a patient just like me fill in all these gaps in my understanding of my health, my body, and my disease. And Angie had opinions my doctors didn’t have. Knowledge about alternative treatments.
Personal experience to share. She was this unbelievably knowledgeable patient, who was well, now. It blew my mind. Could I know that much about this disease? And could I be well, too? Finally getting diagnosed was a HUGE step in getting well, but it was my time with Angie put me in control of my health. I had never felt that before. My coaching showed me that I can be my own doctor.
Now – It was another two years from that point forward that I really started to get my quality of life back. I cannot stress enough what a long process healing from an autoimmune disease can be. There were times even after my work with Angie and my diagnoses (I was subsequently diagnosed with a second autoimmune disease Interstitial Cystitis after that) that I was in so much pain I wondered if death would be better. But throughout those dark years, while we were trying to stabilize me, I had a different sense of advocacy for myself.
A different tenacity to heal and knowledge that it was possible. And the thing that kept me going most of all was the idea of my own coaching practice. I kept thinking that all of this that I had suffered had to be leading up to something. It had to be. That at the end of this, I would have something to give as a result of this darkness I had walked through. Angie showed me that. She was able to help others because of her own suffering.
Coaching became my way to live through that time. I was lifted up by the idea that if I started coaching, no one who crossed my path would have to suffer as long and as hard as I did. I started my training online in 2016 when I was still bed-ridden a lot of the time. I did a six-month coaching certificate program at the Health Coach Institute that helped me fill in the gaps in my knowledge and give me a structure to launch my business from.
Then come 2017 I started to get my first paying clients working on small 90-day programs mostly designed by my training program, not by me. In late 2017 and in 2018 my personal health started to take enormous turns for the better through the Root Cause Treatments I teach, and I started to change my coaching to reflect that. This year, I lead my first group program, taking on not just one-on-one clients, but also groups.
Now I have a thriving business and a robust physical recovery of my own from autoimmune disease. It still feels crazy. Autoimmune Recovery is something I genuinely thought I would never have. And then… all these years later… here it is. It’s surreal. It truly feels as though I was dying and was given back a life. Yesterday I was on a run in my neighborhood just marveling: “My god, look I can do this now!” I can breathe, run, smile, and stretch. It’s unbelievably moving.
Now I know my clients can have that, too. Any of them. No matter how bad they think they are. As Angie said to me all the time during our coaching: “If I can do it, you can do it.”
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
You know… the coaching part of this journey has been a pretty smooth road! And even in the moments in which, it wasn’t smooth, it was always really exciting and fulfilling.
The coaching profession is honestly a total thrill. The work is wild, unexpected, inspiring, and a lot of the time I am receiving as much as I am giving. As a coach, you get to see the most miraculous things transpire in people’s lives. I am in the miracle business. That is not an exaggeration. It really makes you see and feel that life is limitless for all of us.
Plus, in a way it’s easy. As a coach, my clients bring the agenda – the agenda is them and their lives. I just get to sit back, relax, be super present, super tuned in and just… give what I naturally love to give anyway, curiosity, insight, love. And then I watch the magic transpire. It’s amazing. Don’t get me wrong, there is a huge learning curve when it comes to coaching, and at times, that was crazy uncomfortable!
Particular moments that stand out are beginning to send my first invitations to people to come coach with me. Oy! That was terrifying! Preparing for my first talk as a coach – I basically thought I was going to throw up for a full 12 hours before that one. Setting my fees and speaking them aloud to clients. That’ll grow you up!
And, of course, making my own $20,000 investment in coaching so that I could build my business. I mean. That was a serious moment of buckling down and preparing to feel extremely uncomfortable in the name of what I wanted. In a way, my disease helped me there. I had already been so uncomfortable in my life that an investment like that felt like: “It can’t possibly be worse than what I’ve already seen.”
It was worth it. Taking a risk to live into a bigger dream of your life than you ever thought possible for yourself is an incredible, life-affirming process. That’s what I invite people into as a coach. It’s amazing to live life on your edge. Coaching has also healed me in so many ways. It’s hard to describe what you gain by sitting with so many people and talking with them about their dreams, their lives, and their shortcomings.
It broke down a lot of barriers inside of me around who is “good” and who is “bad” who is “successful” and who “isn’t.” It really built my self-esteem to see irrefutably how similar we all are, and that status really is in my imagination. Plus, proposing to work with people over and over again and seeing who says yes and who didn’t was a crash course in “it’s really never about you, it’s always about them.”
What I see in my practice all the time is that the people who say yes to pay my fees are the people who want their transformation so badly that they are ready. It’s not about me. It’s about their willingness to say yes to their dreams.
Finally, the client acquisition process was really good for me. It forced me to put down that old, tired, low self-esteem game and stand up and say: “I have value to share.” So I guess what I mean about my path is that when those hard moments came up, which of course they did, I felt supported by the process which I loved, and my clarity that this was a fit for me. I felt very aligned in my purpose starting my business. It was clear to me that the value I offered the autoimmune community was immense, so I was willing to be uncomfortable for it.
I’m working in a niche that is desperately under-served. Most autoimmune patients who meet me are falling all over themselves with relief just to be speaking to someone who actually understands what’s going on with them. Let alone someone who can tell them where their doctors are missing things, and that there is hope for them to actually get better. Permanently. Right now, in this time in history, that is extremely rare. Offering it is an honor and a thrill.
I have the advantage of being on the front lines of a huge change in medical history. If you can call it an advantage. Deep physical and emotional suffering and long-term trauma at the hands of the medical industry is what prepared me to be so uniquely suited for this moment in the healthcare revolution. So… an advantage that felt like a curse for much of my life, but looking at it fairly — a true advantage. When it comes to my business, what I’m offering is desperately needed.
Also, it’s essential to share in this section that my road would NEVER have been as smooth as it was if I didn’t have extremely powerful coaching supporting me in launching my business. Without my coaches Amber Krzys and Carolyn Freyer-Jones, there is no way I would be experiencing the success I am experiencing.
I remember three or four months ago my sister and I were catching up here in LA, and she said: “Sounds like you have a successful business, Sascha!” And I paused and said: “Wow, it does sound that way.” And we both kind of marveled that two years ago I said: “I’m gonna start this thing,” and then boom, here it is. I just kind of did it.
That’s what high-investment coaching offers. It moves mountains. I tell my clients all the time the stories of my own 5-figure investments in coaching. It opens up your world to hear a story like mine. That when I didn’t even have an IRA when I was living in chronic pain daily with fluctuating income, I spent $20k on my own coach because that’s how powerful my vision was for what was possible.
PS. After that investment, my entire life transformed for the better – that money came back right away ($8500 of its three weeks later) plus MORE. That’s how it works. Coaching is miraculous.
So, as you know, we’re impressed with Sascha Alexander Coaching – tell our readers more, for example, what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
What sets me apart from other practitioners and coaches is my focus on the Six Root Causes of Chronic Illness as a modality to get people well.
The Six Root Causes are a way to understand what causes an immune system to malfunction. They make up a map of sorts. A map to get well. What I found through extensive research, is that there are commonalities in all the stories of people who heal from inflammatory diseases. The stories aren’t identical, but they converge around the same themes.
Successful patients are uncovering and treating a variety of underlying health problems no one else had detected, including but not limited to heavy metal and chemical poisonings, parasites, infections, microbial exposures, gene mutations that impacted their liver, allergies that were driving their inflammation… and spiritual and emotional causes, too – trauma, codependency, desire to hide, fears about safety.
When I first looked at it all, on message boards, in books, from my own functional and osteopathic doctors, it seemed overwhelming. There were too many possibilities, too many roads to travel. But when I slowed down and looked deeper, I saw that there were categories emerging out of the fog. Six of them. And that all the root causes I saw fell into these categories in some way.
Toxicity, Microbes, Allergies, Poor Nutrition, Stress, or Gene Mutations. Those were the Six Root Causes. That was it! All the answers were in those six categories. I got this very clear message from within: address those categories, and I will get well. So I did that. And it worked.
I came to my doctors with my own plan, rather than waiting for them to give me theirs. I was the one ordering tests, requesting prescriptions, changing my diet, and emailing them the results. Together we made enormous leaps of progress in my own body. Leaps that I had never seen in my years of visiting practitioners without the Six Root Cause model.
Now I do what I did for myself for others, too. There aren’t that many people who believe in the ability of the chronically ill to permanently heal and tell them how. I am one of them. That’s what makes me the most proud. I am serving people no one is serving. I am providing hope in the darkness, and that hope is real because I’ve lived it.
Look, I was privileged when I got sick. I had health insurance during my crisis, and, when 80% of my health costs weren’t covered by that insurance, I earned well enough even without it to fund the research and testing and relentless experimentation that got me well. The vast, vast majority of people out there who are suffering do not have that opportunity. With my business, I bring the opportunity to them no matter what their financial situation is. That’s something that makes me very, very proud.
And I’m proud of my client’s success stories. Periods that come back, conditions that go into remission, getting off medications, losing weight, living with less or no pain, internal shifts in the way they hold their experience and value themselves.
Finally, I’m really, really proud of my own recovery. It is incredible what I have created for myself and my body.
So, what’s next? Any big plans?
I’m really looking forward to my own remission. My boyfriend and I are planning a party on the day that my thyroid antibodies come back below 60. That will be the day I can show my doctors: “Look. Look what is possible.”
I’m also looking forward to writing to all my doctors over the years and telling them exactly what we found and exactly what I did to get well. All the doctors who said my illness was imagined, or not that serious, or hopeless, will be getting a letter from me showing what I had and how I went into remission, so that they know it’s time to put down the tired notion that we don’t know what is causing these conditions — because we do.
And the doctors who did believe me — they’ll get letters too, to add to the anecdotal evidence they already collect about their patients and what we are learning about these diseases. To me, this sharing of my story directly with practitioners is powerful service.
Constructive criticism is required right now to change our medical system. Doctors can take it. They can take our disappointment, our anger, and our pointing out of the places they are failing. They are failing right now. It’s important for them, and for all of us to see that.
I tell my clients all the time that we need to let our doctors feel the reality of what they are complicit in. They are complicit in keeps thousands and thousands of patients sick and suffering by not seeking out the ample evidence that there are interventions that work for patients like me.
They are also complicit in blinding themselves to the reasons we are getting sick in the first place: the industrial poisoning of the country, and the irresponsibility and massive political control of Big Food, and Big Pharma. Two industries that are horrifically impacting human health in this country.
This is one of the biggest stories of modern times — when the real truth gets out. It will change everything. And it needs to. Because these diseases one day won’t just effect people like me, they will affect all of us.
For all these reasons, I’m looking forward to more visibility. Ted Talk, talks in Congress, talks on medical boards. That’s where we’re headed.
And on a smaller scale, I’m really looking forward to creating more free content so that patients that can’t meet me in person or afford my fees have all the resources they need to move forward with their own treatments even without coaching.
- Website: www.saschaalexander.com
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: @saschface
Courtney Lindberg Photography, Creative 18 Photography