Recently I embarked on a new path, Holistic Health Coaching. While Health and Wellness Coaching or Holistic Health Coaching seems to be a relatively new concept to most, the field of Wellness has been around since the 70’s from the work of John Travis; Don Ardel; Robert Allen; Bill Hetler and others. They took the much neglected area of preventative health and infused it with the psychological principles of behavioural change and development. Initially smoking cessation and weight loss were the areas most addressed. The field of wellness began looking at behaviour and tackling these challenges to help society reduce health risks.
Nowadays we need to look at other serious health risks such as stress and anxiety; over-working along with its effect on interpersonal relationships and career satisfaction. General connection to the self is a huge area of wellness. I explain to people that Health and Wellness Coaching is similar to Life Coaching; a lot of the principles and methods are the same but it is mainly centred around one’s health and how one feels day to day.
Health and Wellness Coaching (Holistic Health Coaching) has already become the next best thing in the U.S. There are extremely influential people such as Obama, Dr Oz and others who are driving forward the concept of Wellness Coaching.
Since the new health bill the attitude to health is rapidly changing in the U.S. It is now said that Health Coaching is the missing link between the person in the community and doctors. A doctor’s job is to diagnose and prescribe to the sick but who is there to keep people well after that? The answer is the Health and Wellness Coach. The coach is on the ground able to give support to the individual to achieve their optimum level of health. There aren’t enough doctors with the spare time to support the wellness of each individual patient, therefore the wellness coach can be considered an assistant to a doctor.
In the way that someone has the choice of a doctor, that person should also be able to choose a coach who they connect with. A coach who is well informed within their field.
The Coach should be up to date with what is current in wellness philosophy and practice. For example, if you are interested in discussing something like increasing health fats in your diet, the coach should be able to explain this to you in simple terms.
Or, if you are suffering from stress, the tools that are available to alleviate that such as: mindfulness meditation; yoga and Tai-chi. All of these are very useful to help combat stress and other emotional problems. A coach should also refer you to the appropriate person if they feel the client needs more specific help such as psychotherapy or nutrition therapy.
The coach knows a sufficient amount in nutrition, physiology and psychology to assist you in making a daily well-being plan but the coach is not a therapist in any of those fields, unless of course there is a crossover and the coach is also qualified other areas.
Often we follow US trends and considering the state of our own health crisis in Ireland and Europe I am sure we will soon follow with this exciting approach to health i.e. to stay well and withstand the pressure of the vagaries of the medical system. It is thought that once a number of people within a community make lasting lifestyle changes, then they will influence and support others in a community to do the same.
Work life balance is also becoming more important than ever if we are to ensure economic growth. In Japan there are 10,000 people a year who reportedly die from “Karoshi”, translated as ‘death from overwork’. Health Coaching can work very well in the workplace through talks, group sessions and also using a method called speed coaching. These are weekly or bi-weekly 20minute sessions with an employee over the course of 6 months.
Having gone through the process of wellness coaching myself I can genuinely say this method works very well. Through the process of coaching I realised that there were improvements that I needed and wanted to make in my own life.
After only a few sessions I had come out of a temporary funk where I had been feeling a little stuck and indecisive about in which direction to move.
While I was going through this time, I didn’t realize that I’d let my health slide and wasn’t always making the right choices. The success of the coaching came down to the holistic approach and also devising a plan that I could stick with. I found the support of the Wellness Coach invaluable, and probably the reason I stuck to the plan so well.
From my experience of coaching others I have noticed that often people simply want an hour to sit down and talk about how they are feeling without it being in a psychotherapeutic environment, which can be slightly harder to face.
I have found that people are uplifted from the coaching experience, motivated, and have a lot of appreciation for the coach who simply sends them in the right direction.
The client knows that they are fully accountable and that they have to be the ones to make positive change. They leave the session excited and confident in taking on the challenge to make those changes.
I am offering different Holistic Coaching packages including: Coaching For Lasting Lifestyle Change, DetoxWithMe which incorporates a detox to kickstart your health and well-being plan; and Coaching Within The Workplace.