What Is A Health Coach And Why You Need One

by Dr. Susan Mann PT, DPT

The concept of Health Coaching is relatively new, as it originated around 2005. Integrative and Lifestyle Medicine is the study of managing multi-factor causes of diseases through lifestyle change. The lifestyle factors include our physical and social environment, genetics, behaviors, and habits which can all affect a person’s longevity and quality of life.

With all the factors and influences that could impact your health, we hope it’s obvious that you need a health coach. But, if it’s not, please read on…

What is a Health Coach?

woman meeting with a health coach

A Health Coach is trained to utilize various biopsychological communication techniques, such as:

  • Appreciative Inquiry
  • Motivational Interviewing
  • Non-Judgemental Communication
  • Positive Thinking 
  • Dreaming/Visualization
  • Brainstorming 
  • Assessing Readiness to Change
  • Generating Plans of Action
  • Accountability

The Health Coach is an empathetic listener, guiding the client toward positive change.

Health Coaches Teach You How to Cope With An Illness

We may suffer from a health issue that takes a while to diagnose or are surprised by a diagnosis that we think could be life-threatening! This may lead to unexpected changes in our lives. While at other times, we must to speak up to get the care we need. However, regardless of the situation, a health coach can help you find the most efficient and effective path back to a normal life. 

The startling realization may be that recovery may not be as fast as we want it to be! We may have to learn how to manage a chronic condition, to avoid unwanted progression or how to keep flare-ups in check. This has the potential to add more stress to your life.

More stress can lead to more health problems and suffering during your recovery and healing. A health coach can provide you the support you need to care for yourself with kindness, compassion and have a dramatic improvement in your level of suffering regardless of the severity of your illness.

You Need a Health Coach to:

Here are only a few of the ways that a health coach can lend support:

  • Nutritional Planning
  • Exercise Guidance
  • Stress Management
  • Mindful Practices with Pilates, Tai Chi, Medical Therapeutic Yoga
  • Meditations
  • Affirmations
  • Accountability and Support

Additionally, a health coach can help you establish your priorities and values which is imperative for creating the best lifestyle program for your unique situation.

It is important to accomplish something that will move you ahead from week to week, eventually meeting your bigger goal. By having a coach to check in with, keep you accountable, and guide you when you are unsure how to move forward you’ll be able to overcoming barriers to success by building on your past and current strengths.

We all find ourselves at different phases of change: 

  • Pre-Contemplation. In this phase, you don’t even realize that change is possible OR necessary.
  • Contemplation. In this phase you are thinking about making changes.
  • Visualization. You start to see what you want to happen and think about what you must do to see changes.
  • Action. In this phase you begin to take steps towards change and develop the tools to maintain your success over time.

We have to be mindful in our daily lives.

Overcoming Personal Health Challenges with a Health Coach

Sometimes we go on a “round robin” adventure, being referred to multiple specialists who refer us elsewhere. In contrast, a Functional Medicine Physician is interested in determining the root cause of a problem rather than just supplying medications to mask the symptoms.

They’ll evaluate many different systems of your body to determine how they relate to one another and which systems are the main culprit of your current symptoms and illness. This allows your body to find it’s natural healing potential to regain vitality, energy, and excitement about your life once again.

In addition, the Functional Medicine Physician or Integrative Lifestyle Medicine Practitioner can explain to you how your body works. So you’ll also learn the inner workings of the amazing physical body that you live in, every single day.

Maintaining Lifelong Health

Strive to stay well by ensuring you go for annual checkups: exercise, eat healthy, try to improve socialization, and balance out your “Wellness Wheel.” A “Wellness Wheel” is a graphic depiction of multiple categories that we should be balanced to promote a healthy lifestyle. This includes nutrition, sleep, stress reduction, socialization, financial stability, leisure/ recreational activities, and physical activity.

After working with a Health Coach, you are more aware of your mind-body connection. You have developed specific, measurable, actionable, realistic, and timely goals utilized to implement your plan. You focus on prevention: annual screenings, regular age-appropriate exercise, Pilates, healthy eating, meditation, and deep diaphragmatic breathing for immune function and relaxation. 

Act to Better Your Lifestyle – Contact Us Today!

Unfortunately, caring for ourselves takes time, money, and brain power. We need help from a trained Lifestyle and Medicine Coach. What happens if we don’t take care of ourselves? You could become hospitalized or undergo surgeries, which could cost much more than a few coaching sessions over a 3-month period.

Contact Us Today For Health Coaching

Would you like a long, productive, relatively pain-free, healthy, and happy life? Here at Garner Pelvic Health, we offer professional health coaching. 

Take action and book with us for a free consultation! 

References: Ginger Garner, PT, DPT< ATC/L and Jot Tatta, PT. DPT “Integrative and Lifestyle Medicine in Physical Therapy. OPTP, Minneapolis, Mn, 2022

Margaret Moore, Erika Jackson, Bob Tschannen-Moran,” Coaching Psychology Manual,” Wolters Kluwer, Philadelphia, Baltimore, NY, London, Buenos Aires, Hong Kong, Sydney, Tokyo, 2016.