What is a Health Coach?

With a healthcare system that relies heavily on a conventional medicine approach to health, it is no surprise that many people are not familiar with the rapidly growing field of health coaching or how a health coach can complement their current medical care to have a life changing impact on their well-being.

So what is integrative health coaching? Simply put, health coaching empowers you to make lasting health behavior changes that are critical to you thriving in your best health and preventing illness. It bridges the gap between medical recommendations and your abilities to successfully implement those recommendations into your complex life. A health coach partners with you to facilitate behavior change based on evidence-based clinical interventions; however, a health coach is not a therapist or a doctor, and is not licensed to give diagnoses or prescribe medications. You should think of a health coach as a complementary and important part of your wellness team to address your health holistically, as coaches work in tandem with your physician and other health professionals.

Why Health Coaching?

Does this sound familiar? You go to the doctor for an annual checkup. You get your weight and blood pressure recorded and your heart and lungs listed to, only to be told you are in relatively good health, but could afford to lose some weight. Your MD asks if you have any concerns and you mention you are overly stressed at work and you’re having trouble sleeping. You leave the doctor’s office frustrated, with a prescription for a sleeping pill, wondering how you are going to lose the extra pounds with busy season approaching at work.

The problem. With doctor’s having an average of 8 minutes to spend with patients, it’s no wonder why there is less conversation about the root of our illness and more prescriptions doled out to treat our symptoms. Our healthcare system today isn’t designed to dedicate enough time to patients to help them find their personalized path towards wellness, and breaks down in communication and coordination of care with the extended healthcare team necessary to address a patient’s holistic health. Don’t get me wrong, conventional medicine is beneficial; however, most of us need more than what can be offered by this care alone in order to achieve optimal health and make the changes necessary to get there. We often times know what we should be doing to feel better and achieve our goals, but we find ourselves at a loss for motivation, time, resources, and accountability and come across barriers we didn’t plan for. We are tough on ourselves when this happens, but let’s face it – life is busy, we aren’t perfect, and it’s hard work to break engrained lifestyle habits!

So what do you do? You join others advocating for their health by stepping outside of the conventional medicine approach to seek out an integrative approach to health, which involves a health coach as part of your complete health support team. When you work with a health coach as a complement to and part of your overall healthcare team, you are more likely to achieve better health outcomes and reach your health goals (whether your personal goals or requested by another healthcare professional).

    How Does the Coaching Process Work?

    I often get asked how the health coaching process works. While coaching packages can be highly customized, the coaching process remains consistent.

    First, we start our work together with a complimentary consultation, so fill out the form below to request your consultation.

    This consultation is a 20 minute phone call where we can get to know each other, chat about your health goals, and make sure we’re a good fit for each other. It’s a no-pressure way to get acquainted and an opportunity for me to gain an understanding about how you envision your optimal wellness and what you may want to focus on during our work together. After this consultation we will decide how we should best move forward and if you elect to purchase a coaching package, we find a time that works in both of our schedules to start working together. Before our first formal session, I will request that you complete a Personal Health Inventory Assessment that helps you assess your health holistically by evaluating the multiple areas of the “wheel of health.” This helps us both understand where you are today and where you want to be as you develop your personal vision for your health.

    How do we meet?

    Online coaching is fantastic because it offers maximum flexibility, which is important when you’re already struggling with health issues! However, if you live in the Raleigh/Triangle area and would rather meet in person, I offer sessions by appointment at my office. I also offer group workshops frequently on specific health focus areas, so make sure to check out upcoming events.

    How long do we work together?

    Typically I work with clients for a minimum of 3 months, with an average of 6 month. This is because it usually takes a minimum of 3 months to make lasting behavior health changes and see progress in the health area of focus.

    My coaching specialties:

    • Pre-natal and postpartum health & wellness
    • Family health & wellness
    • Busy working women – finding balance in your health
    • Adopting a whole foods nutrition lifestyle