What does integrative health coaching mean?
Integrative means holistic, or whole person. Your life is not broken into segments. Family life affects work life. Work life affects family life. In other words, every one thing about you affects every other one thing about you. Integrative Health Coaching helps you look at all the pieces that make the whole of you, and learn to connect those pieces in order to obtain optimal health.
How do I know if coaching can help me?
If you have been diagnosed with a chronic condition such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or cardiovascular disease.
If you are feeling stressed, worried, or anxious.
If you want to lose weight, or if you want to be leaner.
If you are experiencing hormonal fluctuations such as hot flashes, irregular periods, more painful periods, retaining water.
If you feel “blah” most days, but you really don’t know why.
If you are craving foods, especially sweet and/or salty foods.
If you are running, running and sweating on that treadmill, literally or figuratively, and you still aren’t getting where you want to go.
How do I know if you are the right coach for me?
First, if you feel like you would like to know a little more about me, or what health coaching is all about? Call me. We will just talk, and I can answer your questions, then you can decide if I’m the right coach for you.
So how does health coaching work?
After you have had your complimentary consultation, and you’ve decided that coaching is for you, you will fill out a complete health assessment. This assessment will honestly tell you and me, your coach, where you are right now. Health coaching is a partnership between you and me. In our first session, we fully explore your vision of you and what health goals you are looking to achieve. We will discuss your values, such as independence or relationships, and how they connect to your vision of you. Each session after that, you will choose a focus and we will explore where you are, where you want to be, and figure out how to move forward with realistic, achievable goals.
Is an integrative health coach like a therapist?
No. The focus in therapy is on inner change, while the focus in coaching is on movement toward making and achieving realistic goals that become regular behaviors. In coaching, we explore your overall vision, whether this concerns professional advancement, changing habits, working towards optimal health, decreasing stress, improving relationships, etc (remember, this all affects your health). Coaching focuses on achieving dreams, taking action, creating momentum, deepening self knowledge yet always in service of increasing forward movement and stretching further than before. In working with a coach, you may refer to the past or have tearful emotional moments, but they are brief points in the process of moving forward and taking action rather than the focus of the session. You will put events in a healthy perspective, and not have past define present or future. Personal exploration happens in coaching too, but typically the emphasis is less on gaining extensive insight and more on action and taking the learning into one’s life soon.
I’m wondering what exactly is mindfulness and how does it fit into coaching?
Mindful awareness is described as paying attention to the present moment without judgment, or more simply, “being in the moment” or “present”. Mindful meditation is not a religious practice. It is not sitting cross-legged and attempting to clear your mind. It is not meant to eliminate thinking, but rather to help us look objectively at thoughts, feelings and emotions without getting dragged into the strong reactions. This allows us to respond to a situation with intent rather than with habit. In coaching, mindfulness allows us to connect more deeply with the how’s and why’s of our actions and habits. By truly understanding these, we are able to make lifestyle changes that are more meaningful, and thus more sustainable.
How often do we meet?
You will receive a complimentary consultation to see if coaching is the right option for you and also to see if we will work well together. There are many different styles of coaching out there, and both you and I want to make sure the partnership is a good one. If you opt to continue with coaching, we decide on an appropriate package and schedule an assessment session of about 60 minutes. Follow-up sessions are 45 minutes long. The exact number and frequency of these sessions depends upon the package you purchase. Most clients opt for sessions every 2 weeks over the course of 3 months.
Why a three month commitment?
Research shows that three months is necessary to create lasting behavior change. After the 3 months commitment, you can continue on a month-to-month basis.
Where do the sessions take place?
All sessions are over the phone. This eliminates your need to travel, especially in bad weather.
What is expected of me?
Change is not something that can be done passively. You must have a desire to change. I expect you to be “present” for our meetings and “present” in your life. Optimal health is a journey rather than a destination. There will be frequent reassessing and rebalancing along the way. Before our first session, there will be some forms for you to fill out and before each follow-up session, a few questions to think about. Finally, this is not about what I think you should do or what your doctor thinks you should do, but what you want to do. Because it is only when you truly want something to change, that it will.
Is integrative health coaching like the weekly weigh-ins at Weight Watchers?
No. Weight Watchers is a diet program that has been designed for you, not by you. Their program is structured around calorie restriction, and is solely about weight loss. You do not receive coaching at weigh-ins. Integrative Health Coaching looks at your life as a whole. For example, if you are chronically stressed, restricting calories probably won’t help you lose weight. You must first deal with the stress.
I am really obese and am considering bariatric surgery. Can integrative health coaching help me?
Absolutely! Your results will be slower than if you had surgery, obviously, but you will be learning how to change your lifestyle and behaviors so that you can be healthy and happy for life. With lap-band surgery, you may not lose all the weight you need to, which means making lifestyle changes anyway to get to your goal weight. Coaching can help you learn to listen to your body’s individual needs without surgery. Surgery is a very serious decision. If health coaching doesn’t work for you, the option of surgery will still be there.