And how a Health Coach could help you.
This week is Health Coach week!
Whenever I mention Health Coaching in conversation, I am often faced with a blank expression and an empty stare looking back at me. No hard feelings! While most people know what a coach is, they’ve probably never heard of a Health Coach before. As a Health Coach in training, I felt it would be fitting to give a nod to this up-and-coming profession by explaining, once and for all, what it’s all about. What does a Health Coach do? and what might you want a Health coach for?
What does a Health Coach do?
In short, a Health Coach works with individuals, or groups, with the aim of improving their overall health and supporting them to feel their best through simple food and lifestyle changes. If you Google “health coaching”, you’ll probably find more information about how to become a Health Coach rather than what they actually do. While it’s true that almost anyone can be a Health Coach, the ones that are out there making a lasting, positive impact in people’s lives are all incredibly passionate about health and wellness. Most Health Coaches I know have struggled, or are still struggling, with health issues themselves. They’ve spent years experimenting with various diets, drugs and miracle cures all in the name of achieving better health, losing weight or just feeling better about themselves. They are not necessarily super healthy beings, if such beings actually exist, they are just like everyone else with exactly the same problems and exactly the same struggles. The difference is that they come to the table without judgement. A Health Coach is there to offer understanding, unwavering support and a tonne of recommendations designed to help you navigate your own personal health journey. Most people know what they need to do to be healthier, but most of the time, that’s easier said than done. A Health Coach:
- Wants you to succeed! They listen with open ears, help you define your personal health and wellness goals and why they are important for you.
- Guides you through the healing process by providing personalised recommendations in the form of actionable steps aimed at bringing you closer to your health and wellness goals.
- Makes sure you don’t fall off the bandwagon! A Health Coach will hold you accountable and offer support and guidance every step of the way.
- Helps you troubleshoot any roadblocks you might face throughout your health journey and works with you to tweak the process and help keep you on track.
I like to think of a Health Coach as the angel sitting on your shoulder, not just telling you to skip the chocolate cake, but also meeting you with a big thumbs up with every success and achievement you make. I should also point out that good health is not just about diet. Relationships, physical activity, your career, environment and even spirituality all contribute to overall health, just as much as the food we eat. A health coach understand this, and takes a wholistic approach in optimising your health and well-being. Whether it’s stress, a job you are hating or a difficult relationship, a Health Coach can help you explore which factors in your life might be putting you off-balance, and work with you to find ways to overcome them.
What does a health coach NOT do?
Health coaches are not dietitians, nutritionists, psychologists or doctors (although some are !). While they can’t prescribe medicine, or administer medical treatment, they can provide referrals if you need them. Health Coaches often work alongside medical professionals, supporting you in optimising the recommended regime and putting it into action. I don’t know about you, but i’ve often left the doctor’s office armed with a bag of medicines and complete confusion as to what I should do with them. A Health Coach is often the missing link between the medical guys that are telling you what you should do, and figuring out how to actually incorporate that advice into your life. Some coaches specialise in specific health issues such as cancer, autoimmune disease or hormone balance, so will have all the support you need to guide you through the healing process.
Finally, a Health Coach does not do the work for you! But they can support you and even give suggestions on what lifestyle or dietary changes might work best for you. Ultimately, it’s up to you to be your own best health advocate.
For more information about Health Coach Week 2018, and to learn what’s going on to boost the profession and support Health Coaches both in the US and Internationally, read this.
If you’re already a Health Coach, or would like to show your support for the work of Health Coaches globally, follow these links to sign the petition to support Health Coaches in the US and Internationally.
I hope this helps clear up some of the mystery surrounding Health Coaching! If you want to know more about Health Coaching and how it works, feel free to Contact Me.
Have you had any experience working with a Health Coach? Is there anything I’ve missed? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.