Innately we all want to live long, happy and fulfilled lives. We want to see our children and grandchildren grow up and have the energy to be actively involved in their lives. We want to be able to set and achieve goals in our career and we long for meaningful relationships. Yet, in order to live abundantly in a society that praises productivity and idolizes burnout, it can be confusing to find this mystical ‘work/life balance’ that is so often mentioned in the ‘How-To’s’ of the wellness preachers.
In order to understand what a health coach is, it could be helpful to understand what a health coach is not. Understanding that people can hold multiple degrees and certifications, in and of itself a health coach is not:
It is also important to note that a health coach is not here for the quick fix or short term gain.
So this is how it works: Suzie (my imaginary friend), gets a rash. She goes to the first place she knows to go: the dermatologist. The dermatologist runs some tests, prescribes her a steroid cream and sends her on her merry way after 10-12 minutes (the average visit with a primary care physician in the USA.) After some time, with help from her new friend Mr. Corticosteriod, her rash has gone and she’s happy about it. She goes along enjoying the finer things in life, running a little below par but still making those deadlines at work so the daily glass of wine and no time for exercise is ok because she’s paying the bills. And because her rash has seemed to go away, she opts to stop using this inconvenient necessity in a tube. Three days later, the rash is back with a vengeance and is more painful and itchy than it was before. She also notes that her elbows and knees are a bit achey, but her busy life keeps her popping over-the-counter pain meds and showing up as she knows she “should.” She starts using her Rx again to help this rash, yet it doesn’t seem to be working this time. She returns to her doctor, frustrated and still without answers to what it even is, and they decide that she must have some genetic predisposition for autoimmune disease and they tell her that her body is now attacking itself. They barely remind her of the deadly side effects of the shot that they have now promised her for the rest of her life before they kick her out the door, scared, confused, ashamed, broke (because insurance wouldn’t cover the treatment) and even more frustrated than before. She goes home and binge watches a season of Game of Thrones and the ice cream is barely open before it’s gone. She wakes up feeling a little less sorry for herself because the meds are kicking in and her rash and achey joints are gone, so she jumps right back into the grind with a pain med to boot and strong coffee to be sure to meet that next deadline. Until her next symptom rears its nasty head and she’s back in the specialist’s office to start the whole process all over again.
She has sought help in the only place she knew how to, yet she feels confused and unsure as to how to move forward with her healing. She has been prescribed medicines that are helping her, yet she is feeling like there is more that she could be doing. She is determined to get to the root cause of her symptoms.
How many times have you set a new resolution, started a new diet, lost weight with a quick fix or got a jolt of energy for a period of time, only to gain it all back, throw it all out the window, and fallen even harder back to into old habits with an extra dose of guilt and shame?
There are always two people living inside of us: the us we are being and the us we aspire to be.
So, what does a health coach do?
Modern medicine has been founded on the treatment of acute symptoms and aims to minimize collateral damage.
There is a paradigm shift happening and doctors can no longer do it alone.
Medicine is a blessing, and if you are taking medicine that is helping you, BLESS THAT MEDICINE.
However, as a whole, we no longer need bandages to stop the bleeding, we need to take action to target the source of the wound before it happens.
Adding a health coach to your team is the most timely, affordable and suitable action for the preventative care and maintenance of chronic disease. Preventing chronic disease is the answer to living long, fulfilled and happy lives.
Chelsea interviews professionals to bring YOU today’s most updated knowledge on nutrition and wellness.