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The Health Coach Role

Updated: May 13

It has been now almost 5 years since I received my Integrative Nutrition Health Coach certificate from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, NY. Since then, I also had the opportunity to obtain the Advanced Education in Gut Health in 2022 at IIN and the Functional Nutrition Informed Professional certificate by Evergreen Certifications within the last year.

The word Coaching is becoming more popular, but very few understand the true meaning of a Health Coach. As a Home Care Physical Therapist I often have clients confused by their new diagnosis or overwhelmed by the new medication protocol and doctor's recommendations with regards to diet and exercises. According to a survey of over 4,000 Americans, more than 30% of respondents disagreed or didn't understand the advice from their doctors, meaning they are unlike to follow that guidance (Vogel, 2019).

Health Coaches can be a valuable resource not only for telling clients what habits will be healthy but helping them understand how their behavior affects health. A qualified Coach is educated in motivation, self-directed change, and in lifestyle domains that affect health like nutrition, sleep, the effects of substance use, relationships, spirituality, financial responsibility, and physical activities.

I'll share bellow the definition and the role of this wonderful specialty:

A Health Coach is defined as "a guide and supportive mentor who empowers clients to take responsibility for their health and achievement of their personal wellness goals" - Joshua Rosenthal, founder and director of IIN.

A Health Coach can tailor a personal wellness program to meet the needs of a client instead of prescribing one particular diet or way of exercising. They can educate and support clients to achieve their health goals through lifestyle and behavior adjustments by meeting regularly to discuss it all.

When working with doctors and other medical professionals, the Health Coach

  • can support you in implementation of clinician - recommended protocols

  • counsel on foundational aspects of health such as nutrition, sleep hygiene, stress reduction and physical movement

  • create specific and realistic action steps that support your health goals

  • provide accountability around adherence to goals through regular visits and messaging

  • hold space for you to navigate your readiness to lifestyle changes

  • supply you with relevant evidence-based resources including handouts, blogs, courses, books and podcasts

  • provide information and recipes on specific nutritional protocols

  • collaborate with clinicians to support nutritional supplement recommendations (1) Behavior change is notoriously difficult and the majority of efforts at lifestyle change falter. At the same time, diseases that are preventable through lifestyle change account for most deaths in the United States. By fostering a self-directed approach, Health Coaches empower clients to make incremental, doable changes that feel less intimidating and overwhelming. Over time, these changes impact individuals, families and their communities.

Hoping this is helpful, I look forward to meeting you whenever in need and ready for lifestyle changes to add growth to your life.

(1) Parsley Health - The Health Coach Role

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Felicitări, Gina! Mult succes în continuare!

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