It would be easy to answer that question with the same old “make a difference” or “change your life.” And both those answers are right in some cases. But it’s been said so often that you might be left feeling a little underwhelmed. In which case, read on…
In the developed world, where our first response to illness is so often to reach for medicine, the idea of health coaching may at first seem a bit too alternative, like a return to ‘quackery’ – an unproven solution to, well, almost anything.
I’m a medical professional and a scientist (Ph.D.) by training and inclination. And I’m happy to report that health coaching most definitely isn’t some weird activity practiced by cunning sorcerers on simple folk.
So what can a health coach do for me?
A health coach is there to offer you support and to be an authority on behavior change. They can help to provide motivation and give you the tools to reach your goals. A bit like a kind of ‘change agent.’
My job as a health coach is to mentor you towards greater self-reliance (or empowerment). That means you’ll be able to recognize and understand how to make changes that result in a real difference to your health and wellbeing. In other words, health coaching is about enabling you to self-care and not need to rely on other people for solutions.
Of course, no one is saying that you should ignore any medical advice from your doctor. I won’t undermine your licensed practitioner. But I can work with you to achieve your goals.
For example, your doctor might have advised that you also need to make some lifestyle changes along with the prescribed medication. Perhaps to give up certain habits like smoking, drinking alcohol and/or caffeine, or to consume fewer calories. You might need to adopt healthier behaviors like regular exercise and better quality sleep. The thing is, these lifestyle changes require time and effort. Your regular doctor can only do so much. And this is where a health coach can help.
I’ll spend time getting to know you and understand what you’re trying to achieve. Next, we’ll work together to make a plan. I’ll show you some tools and strategies that can help you get there, one step at a time. Then I’ll work alongside you to make those changes permanent.
I won’t tell you what to do; it’s always going to be your choice. But if you’re feeling overwhelmed by the bigger picture, I can help you – step by step – to achieve your goals.