What Is Health Coaching

I am an ex medical professional who finished her medical studies 32 years ago, and fate had it that I have not practiced medicine for the last 18 years. You could say, I should be more knowledgeable about health matters than the general public, and I believe I am; however, health coaching was not known to me.

I registered at Health Coach Training and only when I asked my husband to practice with me, and after we practiced together, that he started to realize what health coaching is, and to appreciate what his wife is doing. This is just a reflection of the public’s awareness about health coaching.

For practice purposes, we discussed the level of satisfaction in 8 areas of life that he thought may affect his health, and he asked him to choose the area that he wished most to talk about. To my surprise, this was sleep; for I was not aware yet that he wakes up 3 times a night and was tired through the day. This was significant for him; he could not enjoy his work.

An alarm bell rang in my head. Could it be our relationship? Or is it something else? It was serious for me; I needed to explore it; for if it was our relationship, then we need to explore it and handle it. Or was it something else? It was equally serious for him, for if we thought it is his coffee, while our relationship was the culprit, then drinking less coffee will not be helpful.

We had to talk and explore various issues that play a role in his life and I say his life because it is not me who does not sleep through the night. It is him who needs to decide if there is anything that bothered him. It is he who decides whether any relationship exists between his sleeplessness and coffee or the kind of food he ate or may be work related issues.

Not knowing what he could do so that he slept better, we dug into ourselves and drew some answers from within and we started him on a tiny manageable step that he can do and he was committed to doing it. To start with, he may not drink coffee after 3pm and if this is not possible he should drink decaffeinated coffee after 3pm. Definitely he should take Max GXL for this helps people sleep better at night. I had recommended to him these supplements in the past, however, he did not take them. Now, he had to commit himself to take them.

With these steps in mind, he started the following day. This time I woke up with him at 5am to make sure he took his supplements. Of course I would not do that for any client; however, this is how sincerely I would go about helping you find ways to support yourself, so that you do not forget what you need to do.

What else did I do? I researched the internet to see what people actually do to help themselves with sleeplessness apart from going to the doctor and getting themselves a sleeping pill. And I found quite a lot. Relaxation exercises, foods that can be eaten and others that should not be eaten for evening meals, no alcohol at night, these are just examples which I showed to him when he came home. There were many others that can be used by any client with sleeping problems.

He also came to an agreement that he should not take a longer nap after 4pm. If needed, no longer than 30 minutes. I found myself alert around him, whenever I noticed him asleep I jumped to wake him up: ‘wakie, wakie – no sleep after 4’. And it worked. He did not sleep through straight away, it was 4 days later.

And I tell you something: his face lit up as we discussed his sleeplessness, as if he sensed the sincerity of my approach. He opened up when we explored together the reasons for his lack of sleep. He could see I genuinely wanted to help and support him. (He probably just prayed when my schooling will be finished, so that I have more time with him)

I think my husband’s story gives you a good idea and a vivid picture about what health coaching is all about. Basically, sometimes we know what we ought to do; however, sometimes we deliberately choose to ignore it. Knowing it and doing it are two different things. Having said that, sometimes we would not know what we can do to help ourselves.

As a health coach, it is my job to remind you of what you already know; to help you get the answers you need for the best choices for your unique situation; to forward to you sifted information that is relevant to your problem under discussion, aiming at shortening the learning curve for you; and help you identify what you need to do to accomplish your goal, and get you into action by taking tiny manageable steps each week and holding you accountable for moving forward.