What is a Health Coach?


What is a Health Coach?

What is a Health Coach?

Article by Jo Ann Bellistri  
Photo Credit: Halley Elefante
Magazine: Issue #12

A health coach serves as the vehicle that drives a person to the health destination they desire. The person has to set their mind and commit to that destination, while the health coach chooses the map, plots the route and navigates the trip, always ensuring a safe ride.

The journey can take many months or years, and along the way bumps in the road and detours are handled by the travelers together. The traveling is where the magic happens and the desired destination turns out to be minor compared to the experience of the journey itself.

Health coaches are different from nutritionists, therapists and doctors. Nutritionists will give their clients lists of foods they should and should not eat. Therapists do not provide an end in sight, and there’s no linking of food and mood. Most doctors do not work on the root cause of a symptom; instead they prescribe a medication to treat the symptom. Health coaches begin a process of discovery by using a positive and practical approach. They work with their clients and are present, engaged and gentle while they guide them toward uncovering the root of the problem

The traditional approach to treatment of chronic disease is to diagnose and prescribe. Unfortunately, most medical doctors do not see the connection between food and disease. A health coach sees that connection and also the other factors that are contributing to poor health. Stress, lack of exercise, bad relationships and lifestyle habits are discussed and considered. A health coach touches on many different areas of a client’s life and empowers that person to identify the unhealthy behaviors that need to be changed. There is cooperative communication between health coaches and their clients. Health coaches realize that every person they work with is different and needs to experience a journey that is set up only for them

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