What can a Health Coach do for you?
One of my most frequently asked questions is, “What, exactly, is a health coach?”
When you think about the word coach, you perhaps see Bill Belichick with his headphones, telling Brady what play to use. Or, maybe you think of your high school soccer or baseball coach.
What about the term business coach, it’s likely you’ve heard that one before. Do they help you with social media, or financial reporting, or advertising? Or, perhaps building a web site is beyond what you want to tackle, and you find a coach to help you set one up and teach you how to keep it going.
There are many different kinds of coaches. Each has his/her own expertise.
In business, as well as sports, you choose a coach based on what your needs are.
It’s the same with your health. There are coaches who specialize in nutrition and will help you figure out a healthy diet. Others can help you build muscle with personalized training at the gym.
And there are some, like myself, who specialize in helping you heal your whole body. I use a functional medicine approach, or what used to be called “holistic” (whole person).
Our bodies function as a system, and much of modern medicine, with a specialist for every body part, forgets that the ankle bone is connected to the leg bone… (I’ll bet you sang that 😊)
When you come into one of my coaching programs, you complete a 7 day food and/or pain log. You also fill out an extensive assessment which lets me know what you do for work – if you sit all day at a computer, drive a truck, stand on a cement floor for hours, or perhaps, as a dental hygienist, you bend over people’s mouths all day. All this is done before I even meet with you. Posture and body mechanics play a large role in the cause of your back, neck, and shoulder pain. High levels of stress from a job that you don’t like can cause you to feel tired all the time, gain weight, or become depressed.
When we begin your coaching program, I observe you as you walk into my office. I watch how you walk, and note how you sit, if you cross your legs or ankles, or sit round shouldered. I notice if you smile when you say hello, or laugh when I say something corny.
I have found that many people come in thinking that they need one thing, but we find out it’s really something else. This is because I look at your whole self, not just the one part of your body where you’re experiencing pain.
For example, a client came to me for help with lower back pain he was experiencing. I noticed that he was also favoring his right shoulder and when I asked him about it, sure enough, he told me that that shoulder had been giving him trouble for years and he was going to need surgery eventually. Hmmmmmmm.
I asked him to do an exercise for me as part of my initial assessment, and, saw for myself, that his range of motion in that shoulder was significantly less than normal. In fact, it became obvious to me that he’d been compensating for the lack of strength in that shoulder for such a long time, and that this was affecting his posture, his walk, and was most likely the root cause of his lower back pain as well! He had not seen that coming at all, nor had his doctor. Unfortunately, unless a bone is broken, medical schools don’t teach how to find the cause of an injury, only how to take care of the symptoms.
That was well over four years ago, and this man’s back has been fine ever since. He is faithfully following the program I gave him back then, and every time I see him out and about, he tells me that the shoulder exercise I gave him saved his life! Yet, he came to me for back pain relief. That’s the difference between what I do and what your typical doctor appointment covers. When he went to his doc to get help with his back, they only looked at his back. That’s how modern medicine works, or more precisely, doesn’t work!
Another example is a woman who came to me for weight loss. I have to admit that when I looked at her food log, I thought it couldn’t possibly be accurate, as she eats quite healthy. I read her entire assessment again, and then I asked her what she thought was the reason she could not lose the weight. We talked for several minutes about many aspects of her life before I saw the true cause of her health issues. I noticed by the way she talked about herself, and her mannerisms, that she thought she wasn’t pretty (not true). She believed that she’d always been overweight and probably always would be, that she had no willpower, and the list went on. Her real problem had nothing to do with nutrition, or exercise. And with further discussion, I found out that she’d been bullied as a child by a family member.
So, I asked her if we could try a type of guided visualization where I’d take her back to those incidents in her childhood, and she would have to feel the way she felt back then and describe it to me, and we’d go on from there. She agreed and I handed her a box of Kleenex.
The process that we did together is called RIM and it’s taught by Dr. Deb Sandella in Colorado.
When we finished, she had an entirely different perspective about her childhood, was able to forgive the people who bullied her, and she felt like a huge weight had lifted off her shoulders.
She told me that day that she’d been helped more in that one session with me than in three years of therapy. That was quite a compliment. A few months later she was well on her way to accomplishing her weight loss goals, and more importantly, she felt good about herself!
There are hundreds of examples like these, but I think at this point you can see how important it is to look at your body as a whole – a system of parts that are all related and interact with each other. This is how you find the true cause of your pain, or inability to lose weight, or the reason you are feeling tired all the time, or have no energy.
My group coaching program is coming up again on March 17th. If you’d like to experience group coaching – either in person at my studio in Otis, or through your computer or iPhone, this is a great opportunity! No matter what your goal is – weight loss, better sleep, learning techniques to reduce stress hormones in your body, achieving inner peace, or igniting your passion and vitality again, this is your program! Check out the testimonials from past participants here!
For a limited time, this group coaching will be available for $159. In summer the cost is going up, so if you’re thinking you’d like to see these same results – Sign up now!
Meanwhile, here is link to a video that helps improve your balance as well as your brain health! Have fun with it!
Best of Health,