We are now two years into a pandemic that has strained health systems and made booking doctors appointments next-to-impossible for some.
As hospitals grow busier with COVID patients, staffing shortages, and medical worker burnout, patients are now often facing long wait times for appointments and overloaded care providers. Physicians are now encouraging patients to take more responsibility for their own care.
“2021 Survey of America’s Physicians surveyed 2,500 U.S. physicians in May and June found that 57% had experienced ‘inappropriate’ feelings of anger, tearfulness or anxiety because of the pandemic, and 61% often felt burned out.” — The Physicians Foundation
The DIY Healthcare Movement
Industry trends show that the do-it-yourself healthcare movement has only accelerated during the pandemic, and it is here to stay. People are frustrated with an overburdened health system, so more and more consumers are turning to artificial intelligence gadgets, home kits, apps and monitors for tasks and tests previously handled by trained medical workers. They are testing for food sensitivities, measuring hormones and monitoring their own blood pressure, conducting EKGs, tracking blood sugar and cholesterol levels, and pricking their own fingers for blood tests normally done at the doctor’s office.
“With doctors under strain in the pandemic, patients are taking more of their healthcare into their own hands.” — The Wall Street Journal
However, too much DIY without the guidance of a doctor or the support of a health coach working on a collaborative team, could lead to missing important health problems. With the advancement of technology, patients are now able to input the data into their apps, and doctors can review the data and make changes to their medication via a patient portal, without having to waste time on a visit, or even a phone call.
Health Coaches in the DIY Healthcare Movement: What They Do and How They Can Help You
“More people are taking charge of their own health and wellness, and recognizing that health coaches are the key to creating sustainable and accessible change. The Functional Medicine Coaching Academy is leading the movement to transform healthcare, and Functional Medicine Health Coaches are empowering others in their health and wellness journeys all over the world.” — Sandra Scheinbaum, Ph.D., CEO & Founder of FMCA
Health and wellness coaches are part wellness authority, part supportive mentor, part collaborator and part behavior change specialist. Health coaches working in a collaborative care model with a physician can engage clients to follow the physician’s recommended protocols by virtually monitoring through the use of artificial intelligence. This can help clients adhere to specific food plans, eating schedules, and exercise to meet health goals. The health coach is able to follow along with their clients to encourage, educate, and celebrate successes.
Health coaches are required to stay within the scope of practice, meaning they do not diagnose, treat, prescribe, interpret medical results, write food plans, or recommend supplements. Keeping within the scope of practice means the health coach will be your accountability partner and educator to help you collaborate and navigate through the recommendations of your doctor.
Health coaches empower their clients to take charge of their health, to meet and exceed their wellness goals, and to create lasting change. Coaches provide accountability and a personalized approach, and they help the client tap into their motivation and overcome roadblocks in order to continue moving forward. Many health coaching clients report improved quality of life, physical health improvements, improved emotional well-being, and feeling less stressed.
Published: January 14, 2022