Top Six Reasons People Seek Health CoachingOct 01, 2023 06:00AM ● By Noah Chen
Since the pandemic started, the wellness industry has reportedly grown by almost 10 percent a year. As Americans learn about the potential health hurdles of our modern life, many have begun to seek out individuals to help them progress on their journey to increase wellness. Enter the health coach: someone who is trained in providing clients with personalized support to improve their well-being and lifestyle choices. As Shika Daniels, a board-certified holistic nurse coach and owner of WELLIV in Atlanta, puts it, "A health coach should inspire you, hold you accountable and help facilitate your goal attainment—with you in the driver's seat."
Natural Awakenings interviewed several health coaches in the greater Atlanta area to find out the top reasons people choose to engage in this particular kind of coaching.
1. Weight Management
"I would say that, by far, people come with [the goal of managing their weight]," says Gail Turner-Cooper, the founder of Align Health Coaching in Atlanta. However, she stressed that weight is just one aspect of a broader health picture. In fact, a health coach is really aiming to tackle the reasons weight became an issue in the first place.
The founder and owner of Healthy Living with Hope in John's Creek, Hope Knosher, NBC-HWC, I-AYT, RYT 500, recalls a client who initially came to her for weight loss, but it soon became clear there were other factors that needed to be addressed. "One by one, we worked through the underlying issues and eventually came full circle to weight loss," Knosher says. "She was then successful in making sustainable lifestyle changes and losing weight."
2. Low Energy and Fatigue
Turner-Cooper reports that many clients come to her saying their energy is getting depleted faster and faster. This fatigue can significantly impact one's quality of life and frequently leads to a desire to change. As with weight loss, the underlying factors—such as dietary habits, sleep patterns and lifestyle choices—need to be understood by the health coach to effectively address the problem. Once these things are understood, the coach can provide personalized guidance to help their client regain energy.
3. Sleep Troubles
"A very, very common reason why people come to see me is because they have lost the ability to sleep," says Turner-Cooper. Sleep plays a pivotal role in maintaining and sustaining optimal health, and disturbances in sleep patterns can impact many aspects of the body and mind. Health coaches work with clients to understand the root causes of sleep problems and develop strategies to improve sleep length, consistency and quality.
4. Information Overload
"Some clients have no idea what to do or where to begin or how to stick to their goals," says Daniels. Some of her clients have tried numerous times to make changes but could not generate results. With so much information in the world about what is and isn't good for you, it can be very difficult for anyone lacking specialized knowledge in personal health to know how to begin facilitating the changes they desire. Many individuals turn to health coaches for help on this front. Health coaches often educate clients on the best ways to achieve their goals and help them differentiate between what past strategies might have been working for them and what strategies might have been based on misinformation.
5. Quality of Life and Mental Health
Study after study reports that mental health concerns have become increasingly common, especially in the wake of the pandemic, and many seek out health coaches for help. "Health coaching has been shown to improve all the major quality of life measures, including social, physical, emotional, cognitive and spiritual," says Knosher.
She explains that health coaches are often called upon to lower stress levels and improve relationships with others and with themselves. While health coaches do not replace mental health professionals, they can play an important role in helping clients improve their mental health and raise their quality of life.
6. Advice Following a Doctor's Visit
Clients often seek health coaches following a diagnosis from a doctor. Daniels notes that "everyone should always first consult a doctor or health care professional for any health, mental or physical conditions of concern." Once they have consulted a doctor, Daniels explains it's the job of health coaches to facilitate the change necessary to address the issues the doctor found.
However, Turner-Cooper mentioned that sometimes individuals walk through her door first, only to be referred to doctors later, and vice versa. At the end of the day, health coaches are there to provide support, knowledge and guidance as they help their clients move forward on their health journey.
The demand for health coaches continues to rise as people seek personalized support and guidance. Weight management, energy depletion, sleep issues, information overload, mental health and concerns raised by doctors are some of the main reasons individuals turn to health coaches. These professionals are trained to get to the bottom of the health issue at hand and provide a holistic path toward healing and personal betterment. While health coaches work in conjunction with medical professionals, they bring unique insights to help clients achieve lasting improvements in their health and lifestyle. ❧
Noah Chen is an Atlanta writer and journalist who writes for a wide variety of large companies and publications.