Health coaching is a rapidly growing field that focuses on guiding individuals toward healthier lives. It is a $16 billion industry that is projected to increase by 12% in the next 10 years. However, like any profession, health coaching has its share of myths and misconceptions.
With all the new health and wellness trends popping up online, it’s difficult to differentiate between what works and what is just a trend. What’s more, many people are unaware of all the amazing benefits of health coaching. This can lead to them believing some popular health coaching myths.
Here are some of the most common health coaching myths and the truth behind them.
Myth 1: Health Coaches are Just for Weight Loss and Diets
Health coaching encompasses a wide range of health and well-being behaviors. While diet and exercise are important parts of living a healthy lifestyle, they aren’t the sole aspect of health that coaches focus on. In fact, a client can choose not to focus on diet and exercise at all during their coaching sessions.
Health coaches assist individuals in various areas, including nutrition, stress management, sleep optimization, chronic disease management, and making comprehensive lifestyle changes. They recognize that emotional well-being, stress management, sleep patterns, and other factors play critical roles in overall health. They adopt a holistic approach, addressing various aspects to help clients achieve their goals.
Myth 2: Health Coaches Can Provide Medical Advice
Health coaches are not licensed medical professionals. While determining diagnoses, prescribing treatments, and offering medical advice are the roles of those who hold medical licenses, health coaches collaborate with healthcare providers and complement medical care. They help their clients implement physician-prescribed treatments, such as a specific diet plan, exercise routine, and overall lifestyle changes.
By focusing on behavior change and motivation, health coaches are able to assist clients where their physicians cannot. Health coaches are there as accountability partners and supporters outside a doctor’s office. While health coaches offer valuable guidance, they do not replace the role of medical practitioners.
Myth 3: Anyone Can Be a Health Coach Without Training
Becoming a certified health coach typically requires training from reputable certification programs. Health coaches receive specialized education to form a solid foundation in health and wellness principles, behavior change techniques, and effective coaching strategies. What’s more, the National Board of Health and Wellness Coaching allows certified health coaches from these programs to sit for the national boards, achieving an even higher level of certification.
Health coaches certified by Functional Medicine Coaching Academy receive education and training around our six disciplines: Functional Medicine, Functional Nutrition and the Psychology of Eating, Positive Psychology, Mind-body Medicine, the Art and Science of Coaching, and the Career Navigator. FMCA graduates are sought after by collaborative care teams and have a 94% passing rate on the NBHWC board exam.
Clients should seek coaches with recognized certifications to ensure they receive competent guidance.
Myth 4: Health Coaching is Expensive
Many believe this health coaching myth because, overall, healthcare costs are expensive. However, there are many factors that go into the overall cost of health coaching. Many health coaches offer flexible payment options or sliding scales. Some employers are beginning to offer health coaching benefits to employees. Even gyms are offering health coaching services with memberships. So, the cost can vary.
What is expensive, however, is the overall cost of healthcare. A health coach may cost now, but it can help save clients money in the long run. By making lifestyle changes and achieving health goals, clients may avoid long-term health problems, saving money on healthcare costs in the future.
Myth 5: Health Coaches Use the Same Approach for All
Health coaches are far from “one size fits all.” Health coaching is highly individualized, and tailored to meet each client’s unique needs and goals. Coaches use a variety of techniques, tools, and resources to assist their clients and recognize that what works for one person may not work for another. A personalized approach maximizes the chances of success.
What’s more, not all health coaches are the same. Many health coaches choose to specialize in a specific niche. This is usually an area of expertise that interests them or has some personal connection. This is great for clients looking to work on specific goals or have a specific diagnosis.
Myth 6: Health Coaching Guarantees Quick Results
Health coaching is not a quick-fix solution. It focuses on sustainable behavior change and long-term improvements rather than rapid, short-lived results. However, this doesn’t mean that there will not be positive results when working with a health coach. Progress toward a goal is always a good thing. Just keep in mind, a healthy life is a marathon, not a sprint.
The overall pace of progress varies from person to person. Patience is crucial when pursuing lasting health transformations. A health coach is there to help clients stay on track toward their goal, so they can reach their end result.
Myth 7: Health Coaches are Only for Unhealthy People
It is not a health coaching myth that it can be beneficial for those suffering from chronic illness, disease, and unhealthy behaviors. However, you do not have to have any of those issues to benefit from working with a health coach. Health coaching is beneficial for individuals at all levels of health. Healthy people may still want to optimize their well-being and achieve their wellness goals
Myth 8: Health Coaches are Judgemental
Good health coaches prioritize empathy and non-judgmental support. A trusting and compassionate relationship between coach and client is essential for successful health coaching. They collaborate closely with clients to create a safe and encouraging environment for personal growth and positive change. A client is less likely to achieve success if they do not feel supported by their health coach.
Health coaches want to help others achieve their health and wellness goals. They create no judgment zones.
Dispelling these common health coaching myths about health coaching helps to create a clearer understanding of the role of health coaches and the great benefits they can offer clients. It is always important to research potential health coaches before choosing to work with them. This includes checking their qualifications.
Health coaching isn’t just another popular health and wellness trend on the internet. It is a proven way to help people live happier and healthier lives. It continues to grow as an industry and make an impact on the world of healthcare.