Health Coaches work with clients one-on-one to set health goals and create an action plan, and they’ll meet with clients regularly to help keep them on track.
Professional Coaching is a multi-billion dollar industry according to a 2012 ICF Global Coaching Study conducted independently by Pricewaterhouse Coopers. "Amidst the current global financial crisis, coaches everywhere are still seeing an increase in clients and coaching generated income," explained ICF Global President, Janet M. Harvey.
Over 12,000 coaches representing 117 countries throughout Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, North America, and South America participated in the study.
Benefits Canada reported back in 2012 on the growing popularity of Health Coaching in Canada, and the benefits to corporate wellness:
"Lifestyle health coaches deliver individualized lifestyle management interventions on a variety of topics: nutrition, physical activity and exercise, weight management, stress/depression management, tobacco cessation, sleep and fatigue management, preventive exams and immunizations, and reduction of cardiovascular risk factors. Ideally, lifestyle health coaching programs are integrated with—and supplement the care provided by—employees’ healthcare providers.
These programs offer health management benefits, and they can also be cost-effective. Coaching delivered from call centres via the telephone and internet by non-physicians (e.g., nurses, nutritionists, registered dietitians, exercise physiologists and health educators) has been proven to be as effective as face-to-face coaching but at a substantially lower cost, since it allows for greater scheduling flexibility, decreased travel time and lower transportation costs, according to a November 2011 article in the New England Journal of Medicine."
Health Coaches are not meant to replace doctors, holistic nutritionists, or natruopaths. Instead they are the a supportive, and integral go-between to help clients adhere to and reach their goals.
Health coaching draws on principles of psychology and the practices of motivational interviewing and goal-setting. Sustained, consistent behavior change is critical to ensure that individuals, particularly those with chronic disease, are able to adopt and maintain healthy lifestyles.
Working with a Health Coach can increase confidence, and motivate clients to make long-term lifestyle changes.
Medical professionals simply do not have the time, or the training to focus on the art of change, and adherence to recommendations. It is a time consuming process that is best left to Health Coaches.