If you think the pursuit of health is expensive and time-consuming, try overcoming an illness. ~ Lee Swanson
Whether you are interested in acquiring the knowledge base and skill set to BE a competent and effective health coach, OR you want to retain the support of a great health coach, it’s important to know WHY this profession is so important. Once we know why something is important, we can fashion our reasons WHY we want to DO, BE, or HAVE all the benefits that health coaching has to offer.
First, it is imperative to understand that health coaches do NOT have to have licenses (yet). This is an undefined and emerging profession that can support everyone in their health journey.
Second, the art and skills of health coaching can be added to the private practice of licensed professionals. How? Mainly, instead of writing a prescription, or giving a shot, or telling a patient to read a pamphlet, a health care provider can add depth and caring back into their practice. This can be done by combining the art of listening and facilitating with the solid science of their licensed practice to elevate the patient and client to the understanding of how to make health behavior changes stick and grow a healthier life.
So what advantages do people who are supported by Health Coach Facilitation enjoy? And why would you be interested in having a Health Coach on your support team?
FIRST. It’s no secret that people are becoming unhealthy in ever increasing numbers and percentages of the general population. According to the CDC: “Chronic diseases and conditions—such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and arthritis—are among the most common, costly, and preventable of all health problems.As of 2012, about half of all adults—117 million people—had one or more chronic health conditions. One in four adults had two or more chronic health conditions.
- Seven of the top 10 causes of death in 2014 were chronic diseases. Two of these chronic diseases—heart disease and cancer—together accounted for nearly 46% of all deaths.
- Obesity is a serious health concern. During 2011–2014, more than one-third of adults (36%), or about 84 million people, were obese (defined as body mass index [BMI] ≥30 kg/m2). About one in six youths (17%) aged 2 to 19 years was obese (BMI ≥95th percentile).
- Arthritis is the most common cause of disability. Of the 54 million adults with doctor-diagnosed arthritis, more than 23 million say they have trouble with their usual activities because of arthritis.
- Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure, lower-limb amputations other than those caused by injury, and new cases of blindness among adults.
SECOND: It’s important to know that people, as individuals, know that they do NOT have to be part of the health crisis. Most of what is killing us early in the forms of chronic conditions is related to lifestyle choices. That is, choices that we can make. What to eat, what to drink, how to move, changing thoughts that damage our beliefs, and getting stress conquered. If you are looking to become a Health Coach, this independent health support career is an excellent choice if you want to make a difference in people’s lives.
THIRD: Not only can a health coach support people in a ripple effect that goes out in all directions, but people we know and love can be facilitated, too. It’s no secret that most people who become nurses, therapists, or doctors do so because they know someone (even themselves) that they could help. If you are a person who doesn’t need to be a health coach or desire to learn about it, chances are you know someone who would love to have an initial conversation to see if coaching would be helpful for them! Some people even give a gift of a series of coaching encounters!
FOURTH: When you retain a health coach to facilitate your health improvement journey, you will experience an increased personal growth and developent journey. Facilitating others on improving health behaviors and beliefs can be a joyful service, and a joyfully received service, too.
FIFTH: Synchronicity. Have you considered hiring a health coaching facilitator? If you have thought about it, and don’t quite know where to start, drop a comment on this post. Perhaps I can help you find one with the expertise and intentions that match what you are looking for. An even more powerful synchronicity is probably already evident to you – and that is that the healer is healed. I’ll have to be honest with you. I took the training to become a Health Support Coach through a class that was comprised of licensed health professionals. I learned a lot to engage and help people, true. BUT: I don’t think I learned as much from that class as I did from the year-long class that I signed up for in 2012 (and loved it so much, I am doing it again now in 2017). Why is that?
- I earned a bona fide national certification from the 3 month training program that held a knowledge base component, and then an observation and coaching component. In other words, we had to LEARN and then DEMONSTRATE the skills. And it means I have to maintain my license, take CEUs, and pay to renew each 3 years.
- In the IIN® curriculum, I actually got my training in bite-sized pieces over a year. I had to not only pass the written tests, but (like most students I found out) I also LIVED what I was LEARNING as the same time. Drink more water? Easy to say – but I had to do it and journal about it and live it. See? the IIN® curriculum actually challenged me to WALK MY TALK.
What’s the synchronicity part? If you are looking for a health coach to facilitate your journey, that person is out there, also trying to find you. And secondly, if you are looking for the lived expression of better health, I cannot think of a better way than to dive into the journey to become a health coach and make the pilgramage with others who you’ll meet in class online. Everyone is everyone.
SIXTH: This is where I think the magic happens in health coaching. When you speak to a skilled health facilitation coach, you will be guided through a process where your STORY becomes your SUCCESS through planned and supported steps that you create. It’s like a magical kind of story-alchemy. Words change into successes through a shared process. If you are the person being coached, you learn to release the numbing we have all developed to get through life and look at your own fabulous SELF through love. If you are a coach, you see a reflection of humankind and parts of your own life’s journey in every client. We are one.
SEVENTH: Health Coaching helps the coach and the client both to shatter those fake “Ivory Walls” of nutrition. We put people over theories, and learn that reading about an improved healthy life is one thing, but DOING it is another set of reality all together. With a coach, a client has a team-mate to help figure out the best path to take and do what you yourself identify as the right thing. How? Health Coaches ask questions, reframe what they’ve heard to be sure it makes sense, and you know that you are loved, heard and cared about. My personal style guarantees you will NEVER EVER be given unsolicited advice or criticism. Ever.
Here’s a freebie for you to consider: Everyone knows that we can all do three things right now to improve our health:
- Eat more veggies
- Drink water
- Move our bodies
So here’s my questions for you to consider:
- Are you ready to love yourself enough to stop hurting?
- Are you ready to define and focus on a great life?
- Are you able and maybe ready to love your body?
This client and coach relationship is soul-to-soul caring in its purest and best form.
- Find out about becoming an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach (INHC). I personally think it’s the best health support journey for personal growth and for helping others I have seen. http://geti.in/2eyai8b
Lizzie Bennett is a Registered Nurse and Ordained Minister of some years. She is a Nurse Health Coach facilitator, and owns Three Moons Medicine™ as her private counselling and coaching practice, a blog, educational forum, Facebook page, and outreach to support others on their journey.