What is a Health Coach?
Some of you may have heard the term ‘Health Coach’ before, but not quite sure what it meant. Or maybe you have been approached by someone who said they were a Health Coach and said, “hey! I have this awesome product that will help you with xyz, and I think it would be great for you!” In this post I will be going over what a Health Coach is and is not, what to look for in a coach, and how to find one.
Although the title Health Coach is not regulated and anyone can call themselves a Health Coach – be wary of the fact that some people who claim the title of a Health Coach are part of an MLM and are either trying to recruit you to be a part of their tribe or sell you a product. That is not necessarily a bad thing, but if you are looking for a Health Coach to help you make sustainable lifestyle changes, then that is not the type of health coach you will be wanting to hire.
So what is health coaching?
Health Coaching is a client-lead relationship based on empowering the client through thought-provoking questions, ideas, and paths toward forming healthy habits that are sustainable. Think of it this way – you are driving with someone you trust, you are in the driver’s seat, them in the passenger – you have the lead, the ability, and control. Whereas your trusted partner next to you is guiding, supporting, and keeping you accountable as you drive. That is a lot like the relationship of a health coach and coachee.
A health coach is someone who will walk alongside you by helping you get from point A (where you are today) to point B (where you want to be) through empowerment, support, accountability, and small goals.
A health coach is not someone who will tell you what to do (unless asked by the client for suggestions), sell you products, treat, advise or diagnose health conditions. However, most Health Coaches have access to resources they can refer you to. If you are working on or treating certain health conditions, your Health Coach may want to be in collaboration with your health care provider/team so they can best support you and your well-being.
One important note here:
As stated before, “Health Coach” is not a regulated title yet, so anyone can technically call themselves a Health Coach.
However, as of 2017 there is now a certification where coaches can become a Board Certified Health Coach (NBHWC), which is regulated. But, it is important to know that there are still many amazing health coaches out there that are certified through their own respective training programs.
If you are feeling overwhelmed or confused, I totally understand. Since there are so many variables when choosing a health coach, we are going to dive into what you should be looking for.
What to Look for in a Health Coach
- They are Board Certified (They will have this designation next to their name, NBHWC)
- They hold a coaching certification from an approved Health Coaching program (still a great coach if not Board Certified)
- They focus on client-lead lifestyle changes
- They may have a specialty, but still help guide you in taking the reigns on your own health
- They are in it for you and what is in your best interest in health & well-being
- Offer packages of either individual (1:1 coaching) or group coaching
Where can I find a Health Coach?
There are a few ways you can find yourself a health coach:
National Board Certified Health & Wellness Coach
One way to search for a certified health coach is through the NBHWC Directory who will give you a full list of coaches that have passed the National Board Certified exam and they will list their contact information so you can reach out to them.
A second way to find a Health Coach can be through social media. This platform is amazing for Health Coaches, but remember to be sure to find a Health Coach that is either Board Certified (which they will most likely list on their profile) or someone who has been through an approved certified program.
Health Coaching has created a major shift in the healthcare industry and for people in general. This has opened up the path and shed light on the true values and successes in healthy living. It all starts within, you have the power, ideas, and truths to find what is best for you and your health. It may take a Health Coach to help open that up for you, but the idea is to help you get there in a healthy way. The end result is you taking your health into your own hands for good.
I have seen so many positive impacts through health coaching and through the people that I have helped. I am so grateful to be a part of such a rewarding and empowering career that allows people to truly gain the health they deserve and want.
“You are creative, capable, and complete.”
Thank you to my incredible and inspiring professor who taught me what it means to help and be by someone’s side – helping me develop and strengthen my coaching skills. You are a light in this world!