I just read a great article from AthleticBusiness.com about the increasing demand for health and wellness coaches in 2015. Dr. Ann G. Kulze was interviewed for the article, and this quote really struck me:
“What’s driving it is an ongoing demand,” says Kulze. “As chronic diseases continue to uptick, you’re going to see more and more players getting in the game because of that demand (for help) … It’s driven by a crisis that the traditional health care system isn’t set up to handle.”
And again… “…a crisis that the traditional health care system isn’t set up to handle.”
Yes. This is exactly what I found while a patient myself. I was searching for something my doctors, and all the specialists I saw, could not provide. I kept going to more specialists, being passed off from one to the next, and some where located at world renown hospitals. They were tops in their fields. Brilliant, brilliant people. Great people, truly.
And yet…they couldn’t give me what I really needed…helping me to heal, as best as possible.
They are fantastic at diagnosing, and offering medicines that they hoped would help my body. In some cases they did help. But as any patient with chronic illness knows, there are also side effects to some of these meds. And others don’t work at all. And some of those cause problems too, even though they never helped you.
Please know I am by no means anti-medicine. I still take two meds that have helped me. Ironically, one medicine I take is to counter the problems the first one causes. We’re working on a long term solution to that issue now.
What I found myself really needing is someone to help me heal my body and help me figure out what lifestyle changes I needed to make. I didn’t know where to start, but I felt the push to figure it out.
For over 15 years, I explored this on my own. I was frustrated when I’d ask a brilliant doctor about what I should eat, or if there was anything else I could do, and they’d say no. Or that it had nothing to do with nutrition, etc. Some even laughed when I’d ask them.
So I went rogue.
I followed my doctors’ advice, but decided to begin my own journey to learn the things I didn’t know that could possibly help me get better.
And without this journey and all the work that I did, I wouldn’t be able to eat or walk right now.
I started with learning stress management tools. Actually, I believe I bought the book- Stress Management for Dummies. Hilarious as I think about it now. But it was a great place to start.
Over time, it evolved into going back to graduate school and studying health so I could learn more and teach, which I was able to do in a college setting. Loved that, but I found myself wanting to teach people who really needed it, for their own health journey.
Later, I studied whole foods plant-based nutrition. And yes, nutrition does play a role in our health, even if our medical schools don’t value it. (That I will never understand, but I digress…)
With all this experience and knowledge I realized that I lacked one-on-one skills to help people with behavior change. I learned a tremendous amount about health and leadership at the public health and community health levels, but I didn’t feel I was equipped with enough one-on-one skills, to work with people individually. And that, I found, is what I really wanted to do.
We studied a lot of theories, but I wanted more.
Enter O You!. O You! is the Oprah Magazine’s bi-annual conference, and I was lucky enough to attend one with my best friend and soul sister, Psychotherapist and (now) Life Coach, Alyce Jurgensen.
While there, Life Coach and all-around amazing human being, Dr. Martha Beck spoke, and she was, well, amazing. We had been a fan of hers for years, but hearing her speak in person was just awesome. Later Alyce learned about Martha’s life coach training program, and to make a long story shorter, we both signed up for Martha’s training program.
That training gave me far more than just the one-on-one skills I was looking for. It opened the door to a whole new world and way of living, and ways for me to help people heal body, mind, and soul. Far more than just the physical body.
And as I’ve learned first hand, to heal one, you have to heal them all.
Fortunately, I have since found a couple of doctors who are healers themselves. Doctors who truly listen and hear their patients, doctors who look for the cause of dis-ease, and doctors who want their patients to truly heal. And oh my goodness, am I thrilled to have them on my healing journey now.
But in addition to what we’re doing together, I continue to do the work and exploration needed for the mind and soul, as they are all inter-connected.
This is where really skilled coaches come in…
There are lots of names for us- the popular and most common ones being health and wellness coaches. It would probably be easier for me to use that title, instead of health educator, because they are far more familiar to people. But, quite frankly, I worked really hard to earn the title of health educator (hello three years of grad school!), and I’m proud of it, so I’m keeping it.
We are the people who can help bridge the gap between your medical care and your lifestyle. As a health educator and life coach, I can help you with the things most doctors don’t address, don’t know, or don’t have the time to teach you.
Per the article, “Modern medicine is not constructed to answer the demand that we’re facing and we simply need more boots on the ground because of the demand.”
I love being considered “boots on the ground.”
If you’re in the space where you’d like some assistance, please get in touch!
Please don’t wait until you’re “sick” before you start making positive changes in your life. You are worthy of a better life right now.
I’ve also seen many people who are receiving medical care, continue to suffer when it’s likely things could be better. Or continue to have a poor quality of life, when there was much more potential to heal.
Again…please…get in touch! I’d love to assist you on your healing journey. Let’s enjoy this beautiful life of ours a bit (or a lot) more.