WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN COACHING AND CONSULTING?
Coaching is collaborating to move you toward your own vision of health and well-being. Together we look for the patterns, lifestyle routines and habitual thinking that support or sabotage your health, pinpoint what strategies will bring YOU the quickest results, and anticipate and prepare for potential obstacles.
Consulting is providing directed "how-to" information and advice about a specific topic, for example, replacing harmful skincare products with safe, non-toxic versions.
I JUST WANT TO LOSE WEIGHT! IS THAT COACHINg OR CONSULTING?
Coaching would be the better support for most of my clients to lose weight compared with consulting. The triggers that lead to weight gain and relapse into old habits can be similar for many people-- but the solutions are not. Coaching helps find your unique strategy to sustain weight loss.
Occasionally lifestyle and mindset changes do not bring the expected result, and then consulting with a functional medicine or integrative doctor and/or functional nutritionist helps address the underlying medical cause of the weight gain.
Will you recommend A FOOD OR EXERCISE PLAN?
I will help you understand or implement evidenced-based and accredited whole food plans and exercise plans that align with your values, schedule and current needs such as a medical condition, as well as help you find the resources and information you need. I will not advocate fads or popular culture approaches.
I will help you create lasting change, sustainable for the long term. This means finding out about what works in your life, not doing what works for others. It's also learning how you can adjust your own practices and make effective decisions as your needs change over the course of a day, season or year.
DO YOU WORK REMOTELY?
Yes! If my client lives in a different city or country, or if they are unable to make the trip to my office, we can work together via a web-conferencing platform. I have also worked with clients by telephone.
IS HEALTH COACHING COVERED BY INSURANCE?
Unfortunately not yet except perhaps in a medical setting such as a hospital, but it is an eligible expense for HSAs.
The good news is that The National Board for Health and Wellness Coaching, a nonprofit affiliate of the National Board of Medical Examiners, recently announced the American Medical Association's approval of new reimbursement codes for health and well-being coaching, effective January 1, 2020. This is currently only for the VA, and only if the health coach is a NBC-HWC. These aren't necessarily payable codes– they're often for data collection– but it's a first step towards reimbursing health coaching as a part of prevention and recovery.
WHAT IS CHRONIC DISEASE?
There are many definitions of chronic disease but for simplicity, the World Health Organization (WHO) states that chronic diseases are diseases that:
"....aren't passed from person to person. They are of long duration and generally slow progression.
The WHO goes on to state that cardiovascular diseases, cancers, chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes are four main types of chronic diseases. The National Counseling on Aging (NCOA) adds COPD, arthritis, Alzheimer's and kidney disease to this list.
The Center of Disease Control (CDC) states that chronic diseases:
"...last one year or more and require ongoing medical attention or limit activities of daily living or both," and that "We know that most chronic diseases can be prevented by eating well, being physically active, avoiding tobacco and excessive drinking, and getting regular health screenings."
Numerous other autoimmune conditions fit these definitions and descriptions of chronic disease but because their origins and manifestations are still often somewhat mysterious, it is harder for the medical community to classify them.
WHAT IS FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE?
The goal of functional medicine (FM) is to uncover why the body is not functioning properly. FM trained doctors and other FM healthcare practitioners are educated in seeking and treating the underlying causes of disease in addition to symptoms, including past and present lifestyle and environmental factors. Many conventionally trained doctors and healthcare practitioners also place importance on the lifestyle factors contributing to chronic ailments as well, taking an integrative approach.
Functional Medicine is logical, effective and emphasizes lifestyle factors. Two core tenets of FM include the ideas that all systems of the body are interrelated and therefore it is less effective to treat one system in isolation, and that food can be a form of powerful medicine.
WHAT IS A NBC-HWC COACH?
Not all health coaches have the same training or experience, and some have no formal training at all. Similarly, various coaching certification programs have little in common in terms of focus and standardization and are often conferred by independent companies.
Since 2017, the National Board for Health & Wellness Coaching (NBHWC) has been working as an affiliate of the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) to standardize the health and biometric knowledge and coaching skills important to health coaching.
The new National Board Certified Health & Wellness Coach (NBC-HWC) certification is given upon successful completion of an exam administered by the NBME. Being qualified to sit for the exam is an rigorous process, and coaching programs must now meet certain requirements in order for their graduates to sit for the exam. Currently there are only about 5,000 NBC-HWCs worldwide.
DOES A HEALTH COACH GIVE MEDICAL
Only if the health coach is also a licensed medical practitioner such as a doctor or nurse. Otherwise a health coach should never be helping you diagnose yourself or diagnosing you. Health coaching doesn't replace medical care, it complements it.
In my experience working with others, I've found that once a person is experiencing chronic disease or an extremely debilitated state of health, the body’s resources are depleted and it’s usually difficult to climb out of that hole without support in the form of medical treatment or prescribed nutritional supplements based on blood test or other lab results. Once a person’s ‘cup begins to fill,’ it becomes much easier for the body to respond to the lifestyle changes that will lead to true well-being and vitality.
I've had medical doctors (functional and conventional) who've been extremely instrumental to me in achieving the good health I enjoy today. Equally as important is my own ability to consistently maintain healthy lifestyle practices and balance! For me, neither approach was nearly as effective without the other, and both can (and should) be addressed at the same time if you have a chronic disease or condition.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN COACHING AND THERAPY OR COUNSELING?
Most coaches are not licensed mental health practitioners. Many coaches are educated in models of behavior change but not the numerous counseling theories and applications as are mental health practitioners, nor are they educated in mental health crisis management. Health coaches should however be knowledgeable about basic medical biometric standards and parameters of physical health.
The goal of my coaching is to address mindset and habitual thinking in conjunction with, and as it pertains to, the client's lifestyle actions and habits, for the focused purpose of instilling sustainable healthy lifestyle practices that increase well-being.
If a coaching client is unable to sustain focus on lifestyle change in the face of crises such as extreme grief, current trauma or abuse, mental illness or addiction, it is ethical practice for the coach to help the client attain the appropriate help to address mental health needs even if they continue to work with the client on healthy lifestyle practices and mindset.
The information on this website is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with questions about your medical condition. Do not delay seeking medical advice or disregard professional medical advice because of something you have read here.
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