When was the last time you visited you primary care physician? Did they provide you with some recommendations, to eat better, or to lose some weight? Then I’ll bet they sat down with you for about 40 or 50 minutes, explaining to you just how you should execute their recommendation, right? If your doctor didn’t explain what you should eat, how to prepare it, what exercises you should perform, or basically provide with a blueprint for success, you’re not alone. If your doctor spent 15 minutes with you, that is about the average time you’ll get before they shake your hand and scurry off to the next patient. If you physician recommended you to a health coach they are partnered with, then your doctor is on the cutting edge of a new wave in healthcare.
Health coaches are one of the fastest growing segments in the Health and Wellness industry today. They carve out niches ranging from emotional eating to single moms, who don’t have time to cook. Health coaches provide patients/clients a sounding board for their issues and a platform to express their personal health goals and intentions, that normally are not found in most doctor’s practices.
The relationship between a client and a health coach normally begins with a health history. The health history is confidential and provides the coach with basic information about the client. A typical health history will include personal, social, health, medical, and food information. If the client fills out the health history form beforehand, the health coach can review it before the session begins, but it can also be filled out during the session. Either way works well for most coaches.
The health history session will normally last around 40-50 minutes. It is sometimes referred to as an initial breakthrough or discovery session because the client has an opportunity talk about themselves. This helps to build a relationship between the client and health coach. When this happens, clients end up providing a wealth of information not only to the coach, but to themselves. The coaches job here is not to just provide detailed recommendations, but to perhaps understand the root causes of the issue the doctor is treating, i.e. food allergies, or sugar addiction. Armed with this knowledge, both the client and coach can begin to set 1-month, 3-month, and 6-month goals.
It is up to the client as to whether or not they will work the coach. If they decide to work with the health coach, they will most likely meet every other week for 6 months. In between sessions, the client can email or call the coach, depending on their agreement, to ask questions and obtain clarity on the coaches recommendations. The coach will provide the client with session notes, CDs/DVDs, food samples, and handouts. Also some coaches will send the client’s doctor a progress report on a monthly basis.
Patients find that when they have achievable goals and a plan, recommendations to lose weight, lower their blood glucose, or blood pressure can be accomplished with the help, support and assistance of a health coach. So, can a health coach help you? The next time your doctor makes some recommendations that you’re not quite sure how to execute, ask them do they partner with a health coach, and find out for yourself. health coach