My journey to becoming a Health Coach was, I believe, one of destiny and inspired action!
I started out my Career in what I thought was a Healthcare system, as a Midwife. I then moved into the world of pharmaceuticals and spent time between the two professions, until I had a serious horse riding accident and became unwell. Following this and my personal journey with dis-ease, I then moved into the wellness arena teaching Yoga and became a Health Coach.
What had become apparent to me during my careers and during my own challenges with dis-ease were that, we are very much operating in a sick care system. This was so dis-heartening for me. I had entered two professions in order to support others in being well. Hence, whilst I believe my Destiny was to discover and find my true calling, via my own challenges with dis-ease and that inspired me to follow my passion for helping others, through Yoga and Health Coaching.
SO, WHAT EXACTLY IS A HEALTH COACH?
As you may know – the health and wellness arena is growing rapidly. This is in part due to more and more people realising that there is much more they can do to look after themselves and their health and whom are seeking alternatives to our current sick model of care. We are seeing a significant rise, year on year, of lifestyle related dis-eases and our current sick care system cannot support this. It has also become concerned with a band aid approach (focusing on symptoms rather than prevention).
Think for a moment….. when you have needed to visit your GP (General Practitioner). How much time does your GP spend with you during your visit? 10-15 minutes if you are lucky, right?
This is because most Primary Care Providers set 10-15 minute consultations for their patients. Ever feel like your GP has their eye on the clock more than you? That is because they do, they have to. Why? Because they need to quickly assess your symptoms and their primary goal is to stabilise you and get you on your way (in truth many patients are also looking for this quick fix). All too often your GP will do this by leveraging prescription drugs, which may not have been necessary and the thought of using non-drug alternatives is, not even considered.
At first glance this is not their fault as, this is how they are trained – to focus on sickness and trying to cure. In all honesty, it is not an enviable position to be in and one that they find themselves in, with surgeries over subscribed and under funded. Does your GP have time to chat with you about your health habits or nutrition? No. Time to discuss your lifestyle and activity levels? No. And clearly no time to discuss any added stress in your life for eg a challenging boss or a difficult relationship.
However, not surprisingly, these are exactly discussions that may actually keep you healthy and well and what’s more out of the GP’s surgery in the first place.
Even if your GP did have the time, the truth is they are not trained in these areas. They never acquired the skill set of how to develop a long-term sustainable plan, to keep you healthy and motivated, while holding you accountable. Furthermore, they are not provided with a good level of education around nutritional guidance – a major building block of wellness. These are just not part of their training in medical school.
However, the good news is that GP’s like Dr Rangan Chatterjee (https://drchatterjee.com/about/) who is a well know GP, Clinician, TV presenter and Author, is just one of the change makers of our current times and is leading the way with his altered approach and willingness to partner with Health Coaches and support a Health Care Prevention System and considering the bigger picture. Hopefully more of his colleagues will start to follow his and others’ lead.
He says “As doctors, we’re largely taught to ‘cure illnesses’ by just treating symptoms. Our training is not as useful for the current epidemic of chronic lifestyle-related conditions that now flood our surgeries”. The majority of my patients don’t need a pill, they need a lifestyle prescription.
He and others are realising that taking a pill for a lifestyle-related disease, will not lead to sustainable and positive health and wellness outcomes. They will however, lead to side effects and short term fixes.
Lifestyle measures, with support and guidance and an holistic approach is required and that encompasses every aspect of an individuals life. This is not to say that prescription medicines are not vital in certain circumstances but are they what is required in life style diseases?
Many Health Coaches, like myself, are propelled into becoming a Health Coaches after personal experience of our current sick-care system, often after being referred from one specialist to another and sometimes, years of frustration and learning that we can heal ourselves, given the right support and guidance. Through nutrition, lifestyle, holistic and alternative methods and becoming ambassadors for health, wellness, alternative measures and inspired action.
SO WHAT EXACTLY DO HEALTH COACHES DO?
We support our clients in achieving their health goals (as varied as they may be), through lifestyle and behavioural modifications. Everything from better weight control, to de-stressing and gaining energy, to improving nutrition, to helping them understand auto-immune conditions and their own unique health concerns and dis- ease better.
An added bonus of a health coach? We listen, we take time to understand. Not only are we trained wellness advocates – I have also personally come from a medical and pharmaceutical background and have studied over 100 dietary theories. My speciality is in the area of Burnout/CFS/ME/MS and Auto-immune. We mentor, inspire, support, guide and motivate our clients to cultivate positive health choices. It’s heart-centered health care at it’s finest.
The reality is that most people know what they need to do to be healthy, but they just don’t do it. Why? There are many factors as to why and this is and this is where our role comes in. Our role is to help you understand and explore your life and any related dis-eases in depth.
A POSITIVE WELLNESS FUTURE
As more and more individuals, medical doctors and practitioners become increasingly aware and ready to engage in the field of health and wellness – I am hopeful that we will begin to reverse the statistics on preventable, lifestyle-related and chronic dis-eases.
THE FUTURE CAN BE BRIGHT
If we take a “back-to-basics” approach of nourishing food and wholesome living and with the advancements happening in genomics, epigenetics, medical devices and the microbiome – we may well be able to reverse the trend of our ever increasing trend with stress related illnesses, diabetes, heart disease, autoimmune disease, depression, mental health disorders, some cancers and much more.
With a real shift in perspective on the horizon and others whom are passionate about a much needed Health Care and Prevention model – that’s a healthcare future that get’s me excited – how about you?
If you feel you would like improve your health and wellness and would like to know more or work with me, then please don’t hesitate to contact me today.