What is Health Coaching?Health Coaching blends health education with health promotion, using a diverse range of interventions, all with the common aim of helping people to improve their own health and wellbeing. Health Coaches' key roles include:
- Undertaking health & wellbeing assessments
- Providing education about nutrition, exercise, and stress management
- Helping patients navigate the healthcare system
- Offering ongoing emotional & practical support
- Providing continuity of care
Health Coaches use a combination of motivational interviewing, education and support, in order to encourage people to talk about what is troubling them and what they want to achieve. They then mobilise the skills and resources necessary to support and assist patients/ clients in developing and reaching their own personalised health and wellness goals.
Health and wellness goals vary widely and may include:
- Reducing chronic pain
- Improving mobility
- Reducing stress
- Losing weight
- Quitting smoking or reducing alcohol
- Improving digestion
- Improving sleep
- Improving nutritional status
- Boosting energy levels
- Improving general fitness
Who may benefit from Health Coaching?Typical recipients of health coaching include:
- People with long term physical conditions
- People seeking to lose weight
- People seeking to reduce unhealthy behaviours (for example smoking / excess alcohol / poor diet)
- People seeking to manage stress
- People with a specific short term need or condition
Management of chronic conditionsLong term conditions that affect health, such as chronic pain, diabetes, hypertension and arthritis, are also known as chronic conditions. A recent systematic review published in the Journal Patient Education and Counseling  found that for those living with chronic conditions, Health Coaching, alongside usual Medical care, may provide:
- Improved physical and mental health status
- Increased physical activity
- Better weight management
Lifestyle improvementsNHS Health Education East of England recently conducted an extensive review comprising 275 studies of Health Coaching , the majority of which found Health Coaching to have positive effects on lifestyle behaviours and attitudes, including:
- Reduced tobacco use
- Reduced alcohol intake
- Increased fruit and vegetable intake
- Increased exercise levels
- Increased self confidence in managing health
- Increased motivation
- Cardiovascular disease
- Type 2 Diabetes
What can I expect from a health coaching program?During the first consultation, a full medical and lifestyle history is taken. We focus on your current health issues, how they are impacting on your life, where you are now and what you wish to change. The aim of the first session is to formulate a set of personalised health and wellness goals based on your individual health needs, and to develop a plan for achieving them.
During the following sessions and throughout the course of the program, we will gradually work towards your health goals, developing new strategies, techniques and knowledge, that you will be able to incorporate into your daily life in a sustainable way.
The end results vary from person to person, but generally include improved nutritional status, healthier lifestyle habits, improved physical activity levels, weight loss, better stress management and improved quality of sleep.
Length of Health Coaching Programs vary according to need, but typically comprise fortnightly sessions for a period of 3 - 6 months.