What Is a Health Coach?

Health coaching has become an in-demand service with the potential to make a substantial difference in the quality of people’s lives. Health coaches may work in solo practice or operate as part of a collaborative team of practitioners in hospitals and integrative medicine clinics. What Does a Health Coach Do? A health coach deals with human behavior, motivation, and health. They help their clients build new, healthier habits and set and achieve health goals. Coaches can help individuals through:
  • Discovering the “why” behind the health changes they desire
  • Empowering them to be involved in decisions and actions regarding their own bodies, minds, and life circumstances
  • Helping people identify challenges and oversights that are preventing change
  • Providing support and accountability
  • Using their in-depth knowledge of health and wellness to help them navigate various health concerns
As you can see, health coaches have unique skill sets. Health coaching can fill a gap in the healthcare system, which is why health coaches are increasingly in demand. Even within the conventional medical system, health coaches have a significant role. They can function as an interpreter and advocate for people engaging with a medical system that seems to have less and less time to listen to patients or explain the details of treatment plans. Health coaches don’t just work with unhealthy people. They can support individuals with numerous health challenges and goals, from starting an exercise regimen to reducing stress, managing hormonal imbalances, implementing autoimmune protocols, or weight loss.

The Practice of Health Coaching

People often succeed in achieving their desired outcomes when working with a health coach when they’ve been unable to make changes on their own. This comes partly from incorporating fundamental steps, such as goal-setting and the creation of action plans. Much of their success also comes from:

  • A coach being present
  • A coach listening to them, taking into account what they say and what they don’t say
  • The types of questions coaches ask
  • Developing a collaborative coach-coachee relationship

Sometimes coaches merely touch on a simple question or reflection, leading clients to reflect and consider their health challenges and goals in a way they never have before. Coaches also use their intuitive skills, tap into empathy and compassion, and develop an artful working relationship with clients. Health coaching is a supportive and robust partnership between coaches and their clients that guides people toward the changes that they want to accomplish. Coaches and clients can develop a relationship built on respect and trust, allowing them to explore clients’ reasons for wanting change, values, and what is possible. As you can see, health coaching is a multifaceted approach that requires both training and practice to master.

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