Health Coaches, The Simple Solution To A Failing Health Care System

Poor lifestyle choices such as smoking, overuse of alcohol, a diet lacking in whole foods, a lack of physical activity and inadequate relief of chronic stress are key contributors in the development and progression of preventable chronic diseases, including obesity, type 2 diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular disease.

According to the centre of disease control and prevention, as of 2012 around one hundred and seventeen million people in the USA had one or more lifestyle related disease, one in four adults had two or more.

Think about your last annual checkup, did your primary care physician take your blood pressure, record your weight, listen to your heart and lungs—probably, but how long did you spend talking about your diet and exercise habits or your stress levels, did they pick up on the dark rings under your eyes from the trouble you’ve had lately sleeping?

Lifestyle related diseases are the most common, costly and preventable of all health problems so why are they still happening?

Recent reports from the online medical resource, Medscape which features data from more than nineteen thousand doctors in twenty six specialities shows that between seven and thirteen minutes is the average time a Doctor spends with each patient, a common complaint is that busy doctors spend little time helping a patient make better dietary choices but are trained to treat illnesses and ailments in accordance to pharmacological protocol. Patients leave frustrated and without the necessary tools to create long lasting lifestyle changes.

The solution—enter Health Coaches.

A Health Coach is a new breed of healthcare professional whose job is to guide individuals through the minefield of dietary and lifestyle change. They support clients to make behavioural changes by utilising techniques such as goal setting, identifying obstacles, and just good old positive reinforcement and support.

A Health Coach won’t tell you what to do, they’ll prompt you to visualize what you want and help you identify and personal barriers that may get in the way of you reaching your goals.

The Institute For Integrative Nutrition, the largest Health Coaching school in the world is on a mission to improve the worlds health and happiness one health coach at a time and has graduates in over one hundred countries around the world but what makes a Health Coach unique?

Relationships, exercise, career, and spirituality are just as important to your health as the food you eat. Health Coaches understand this and take a holistic approach to supporting the whole person as opposed to prescribing quick fixes and medications which fail to improve longterm health and wellness. Not only are Health Coaches filling a void in the current health care system, their approach is leading to better, more comprehensive care of the individual as a whole.

Emma is a travelling Health Coach, host of the ‘Some Day’ to ‘Nailed It’ podcast and storyteller on two wheels. You can find entertaining articles and updates over here.

This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.
CONVERSATIONS