What was once simply my fascination with healthy living soon became a passion for helping others. Nothing can be better than being part of a positive health transformation. The process is always very rewarding and fun. I love meeting new people, connecting with them, and finding the best approach to facilitate the necessary change for a happier and healthier life. I am not alone; Health Coaching as a profession is one of the most rapidly growing occupations in the United States.
Health Coaching is a new type of occupation. There is a tremendous need for Health Coaches considering the poor health condition of our nation. With the New Affordable Care Act preventative care has been strongly emphasized. A number of benefits have been made available to encourage all employers to provide wellness programs in the workplace. Health Coaches are essential players in preventative care both in and outside the workplace.
Although Health Coaching has amazing potential there are a number of significant challenges to overcome:
- Health Coaching has rapidly become a part of the wellness revolution. However, the word “Health Coach” is not part of the common vernacular for many people. The term is still very new.
- Currently, there is no single entity that serves over all regulation and certification of Health Coaches. There is no “Bar Exam” for coaches or one “American Medical Association” to unify and provide overarching support and oversight. However, there are a number of organizations such as the National Society of Health Coaches, the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, the International Health Coach Association, and the International Association for Health Coaches. Health Coaches are working together to make Health Coaching a well recognized and integral part of the national Health Care system. In my home state of Kentucky, I along with other local Heath Coaches, are forming a Health Coach Association to promote, advance, and improve Health Coaching in the state. One day we hope to be a chapter in a greater fifty state organization for Health Coaches across the Nation.
- Most doctors are not aware of the benefits of working with Health Coaches. Patients are in need of additional support to make permanent lifestyle changes. Their involvement and empowerment are crucial for successful recovery. This is where Health Coaches will play a major role in redefining a new healthcare system. Health coaching services will then be covered by insurance. There are many people working on making this happen.
Regardless of the challenges passionate, determined, and loving individuals shape the Health Coaching profession across the country every day. As a dynamic, ever changing, and adapting profession it serves all who are looking for positive health transformation!