So what is a health coach? Well first we need to understand how our health system is set up.
The health system in the western world – Australia, USA, UK etc is fundamentally flawed. Our health system was historically set up to treat acute trauma. Now acute means immediate, it means now.
So, if I fall over and break my arm – I go to hospital, they reset it and fix it and I am back at home in a day.
If I am involved in a car accident – I go to hospital, they perform lifesaving surgery and I make a full recovery in a couple of weeks.
So the health system is really really good at treating acute trauma.
But what our modern health system isn’t really set up for is treating chronic trauma. Chronic means over a long period of time. So chronic lifestyle related diseases such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, obesity are great examples of chronic diseases – in that they develop over many years, even decades.
They are lifestyle diseases because they develop as a result of a poor lifestyle – eating the wrong foods, drinking too much, smoking and being largely inactive. The good news is, lifestyle diseases are completely preventable and reversible.
So our health system is really great at treating the symptoms of chronic disease, ie prescribing you medication for reducing cholesterol for example. But the health system is not really set up to treat the root cause of the problem, which is your lifestyle.
And that is where a health coach comes in.
What is a health coach?
In my case, I work with people who want to change their lifestyle, either because they are sick of being where they are or because they need to for health reasons. I take them through a 12-week transformation program, where we focus on changing habits and behaviours around diet and activity, reducing stress, getting more sleep and working through inevitable self-sabotage that always comes up during the process of change.
So, there is a real need for health coaches in our modern society. We are providing the solution to the biggest problem we face. Chronic lifestyle diseases which our health system is simply not equipped to deal with at the root cause.
A good health coach is really a heath ‘coax’. Someone who can gently and persistently persuade someone to take action around their lifestyle. To coax the client into discovering their own truths and their own answers.
Other traits of a good health coach include:
- A master of habit and behavioural change;
- Someone who inspires aliveness across all areas of someone’s life;
- A great listener;
- Asks great questions;
- Has a curiosity around human nature;
- Has no judgement;
- Provides a safe space for vulnerability.