How many times have you visited your primary care doctor for an annual check up and been dissatisfied with your visit? Often having to wait longer for the appointment than the actual time given, face to face, with your doctor doesn’t allow for much time to fully address a persons’ over all health.
My entire life I have been given a very decent health report during these routine visits with doctors, who would say things like, “very average blood pressure” or “you’re in good health” and so on. But I felt incredibly tired, my skin was oily with occasional breakouts and I was often feeling like I was in a ‘slump,’ as I called it. As long as I did not test for an illness, I was deemed healthy…and this is not a testament to my doctor, because I never stayed in one place long enough to even call a doctor “mine.” This is a very common practice for primary care physicians because of the limited time allotted to patients, in which all aspects of life should be addressed. And these brief visits usually only occur once or twice a year, if the patient keeps on top of it. Doctors diagnose and prescribe. And we often do not ask questions about what we can do first rather than what we can take.
For most people, certain ailments can be prevented or dealt with naturally, however it takes time to make the necessary lifestyle changes to start seeing results or feeling better. This is where a health or wellness coach comes in. I see the rise of the integrative health coach as a mediator between doctor’s visits and real life, and at times between eastern and western health practices. A health coach will help clients integrate their doctors’ recommendations into their daily life, and/or they will help clients to achieve personal goals focused on bettering their health and wellness. They address the many facets of ones’ lifestyle, exercise, attitude, and nutrition habits to introduce and implement behavioral changes that will aid in accomplishing goals.
A good health coach will not force a client into something they are not ready for, nor will they try to totally change ones lifestyle during session one. A good health coach will help prepare a client to make the changes they would like to see, at their own pace, by prompting them to analyze and figure things out on their own. Health coaches may make some diet and fitness recommendations by providing options, but they do not create fitness routines, as a trainer would do, nor will they make specific diet plans, as a registered dietician would do. Health coaches coach you! It is that simple and necessary.
No longer reserved for wellness resorts or spas, health and wellness coaches are becoming more and more accessible right where you live. Doctors see a need for this service and are even beginning to recommend coaches to their patients, especially when confronting a new diagnosis. Whether meeting with a coach in person or virtually, I am excited about a more conscious society, focused on improving over all health and wellbeing.
If you are struggling to reach health goals, think about working with a health coach! Being held accountable while simultaneously feeling supported is instrumental when making important and lasting lifestyle adjustments. Turning to someone for help with health is not a sign of weakness- it is brave! Once you hire that health coach, prepare to achieve a quality of life you love.