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What is a health coach and what issues can they help with?

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What is a health coach and what issues can they help with?

When asked what people want most, health is at the top of the list. However, our modern lifestyle does not necessarily contribute to the achievement of this goal. Everyday stress, obesity, lack of exercise as well as alcohol and nicotine consumption have a significant impact on physical and mental well-being. This is where the health coach comes into play: he offers you help to help yourself.

If you are involved in health issues yourself and would like to pass on your knowledge, you may be thinking about training to become a health coach. However, there are some requirements that need to be met. In the following article, we will explain what the requirements are and how you can find the right training.

What is a health coach?

The term health coach is not legally protected. Theoretically, anyone can call themselves a health coach. How you can still easily find a reputable coach, we discuss later. Since the training content varies greatly, it is not so easy to define what a health coach does in detail. The methods can vary a little depending on the coach.

In a nutshell, however, it can be said that a health coach advises you on health issues. The goal of health coaching is to improve your well-being.

During the coaching, which can take place individually or in a group, your personal health awareness is trained. In addition, the background of your unhealthy behaviour will be discussed: Why do you think that only a cigarette, a glass of wine or chocolate can help you when you are stressed? What can you do instead? What healthy alternatives are there?

Important Notice: At this point it should be mentioned that the Health Coach does not replace a visit to the doctor or a medically necessary therapy. If in doubt, always consult a doctor to rule out a serious cause of your complaints.

Methods of health coaching

Although each coach may work a little differently, there is usually a pattern that is followed:

  1. Accurate analysis of your current health situation.
  2. Recognize and name the problems that exist.
  3. Setting your personal health goals.
  4. Mobilization of your inherent resources to achieve these goals.

In addition, the following three methods are widely used:

Systemic constellation work

Systemic constellation work originally comes from the field of family therapy, but is also used in health coaching. It is about breaking down inner conflicts into their individual parts in order to finally be able to solve them. If other people play a role, they are included in the constellation: Who stresses you, when and why?

In the context of coaching, you now begin to put yourself in the role of the other person. What is behind their behaviour? How can you react more appropriately than before?

Example: You and your partner often argue. In order to suppress the negative emotions, you have often resorted to a glass of wine and a cigarette in the past. Now you learn to deal with the conflict and solve it constructively. If you succeed in leaving your old pattern more and more often, you will no longer need to numb your feelings with nicotine or alcohol.

MBSR

MBSR is a special behavioral training that combines stress management with meditation techniques. Stress and discomfort are often caused by anxious thoughts about the future. The MBSR technique guides you to mindfulness so that you can stay fully in the present with your thoughts and learn to enjoy it.

By separating yourself from your Fears of the future you can examine them more critically in terms of their reality content. Are you perhaps worried about things that will probably never happen? This is not so rare. If your problem is something that you cannot solve at the moment, MSBR will help you to deal with the situation in a more relaxed way.

Somatic Release Method

Surely you have heard the term psychosomatic before. This means that mental problems affect physical health (example: stress-related headaches). Destructive thought patterns and emotional wounds often express themselves through muscular tension. If the soul tenses, the body also tenses.

In the Somatic Release method, the health coach feels these tensions. This is called "Engaging". Accompanied by mental encouragement, the release of the tensions can contribute to an immediate improvement in well-being. By removing the physical blockage, the mind is once again free to find new solutions.

Topics and tasks of a health coach

A health coach advises you primarily on the topics of stress management, relaxation, nutrition and exercise. If you don't have a serious underlying illness, but would still like to live healthier for the sake of your personal well-being, you are in good hands with a health coach. In this way, serious illnesses can be prevented in the long term.

The following questions are typical for health coaching:

  • How do I manage to lose weight in a healthy way?
  • How do I integrate more movement into my everyday life?
  • How do I manage to stop smoking?
  • How do I learn Resilience?
  • How do I prevent burnout and depression?
  • How do I achieve a balanced Work-life balance?
  • What helps me in acute stress situations?

Of course, these were only a few examples of numerous possible topics. The health coach also imparts basic general knowledge in relation to a healthy lifestyle.

Fields of application and professional perspectives of a health coach

A health coach can be used in diverse institutions and industries. These include:

  • Sports clubs / gyms
  • Spa facilities
  • Health Houses
  • Hotels
  • Beauty salons
  • Adult Education Centres
  • Occupational health care
  • Offers for special target groups (senior citizens, people with obesity)
  • Personal Coaching
  • Cooperation with physiotherapeutic practices
  • Cooperation with massage practices
  • Cooperation with medical practices
  • Cooperation with psychotherapeutic practices

As you can see, there are many options open to you after your training as a health coach. If you are already working in the health industry, your coaching training can be wonderfully combined with your previous work. Of course, there is also the possibility to open your own practice just for health coaching.

However, a little patience is usually required before the latter pays off financially. To become an established health coach, it is essential to first make a name for yourself in the coaching industry. The best way to do this is to benefit from the experience of established coaches during your training, as is the case with Greator.

What topics does a health coach NOT cover?

A health coach is neither a doctor nor a psychotherapist. Coaching is generally aimed at fundamentally healthy people who are interested in personal development and in improving their quality of life.

It is essential to consult a doctor if the following problems occur:

  • Addictive disorders (alcohol, drugs, eating disorders)
  • internal diseases (e.g. high blood pressure, diabetes, metabolic disorders)
  • Diseases of the respiratory system
  • Diseases of the musculoskeletal system
  • Diseases of the internal organs
  • Severe depression and anxiety
  • Suicidal thoughts

By the way, a responsible health coach will refer you to a doctor if he suspects that there might be a serious medical cause underlying your complaints. However, it is possible to use the health coaching additional to carry out a medically necessary therapy. However, coaching alone is not enough.

How do you find a good health coach?

Since the term is not trademarked, you should be careful when choosing your health coach so as not to fall prey to a charlatan. So don't be afraid to ask about the coach's credentials. Can he prove to have completed a certified training (e.g. at the IHK or at Greator), you're on the safe side.

A reputable coach will also never over-promise you. A health coaching can help you, but still not perform miracles. The costs should also be transparent. If your coach has a homepage or uses social media, then take the opportunity to read testimonials from other clients.

You can also recognize a good coach by the fact that he supports and guides you to develop your own problem-solving strategies. He gives you the necessary impulses, but never forces his own opinion on you. The latter would also make little sense. A coach who puts you down when you have not reached the discussed goals within a certain period of time has missed his job.

Difference health coach vs. doctor

As already briefly explained, the health coach is in no way to be confused with a doctor. A coach is not allowed to treat medically relevant diseases (see above), nor is he allowed to give diagnoses or prescribe medication. He is also not responsible for physical examinations. All of this is the responsibility of a doctor.

The difference between a doctor and a health coach clearly lies in the training. Doctors must first pass the Abitur (with a certain grade point average) as well as a subsequent year-long medical degree before they are allowed to call themselves a doctor. In addition, unlike a health coach, the job title is protected. As a result, the expertise is completely different.

A coaching training of several months cannot replace years of medical studies. This is not even intended, because a coach is not responsible for the same topics as a doctor.

Become a health coach: These are the requirements

Which requirements have to be fulfilled for the training to become a health coach depends strongly on the training provider. However, most providers require a minimum age of 18 years and a recognised school-leaving qualification. Often, specific previous experience in the field of coaching, sports and health is also required. These include, for example:

  • completed training as a physiotherapist
  • recognised fitness trainer training (B-licence)
  • Degree in gymnastics or physical education
  • Experience in the areas of coaching or systemic consulting
  • Experience in the field of health management

Previous experience in the above-mentioned areas forms the basis of health coaching. A certain basic knowledge is advantageous in order to be able to follow the training contents better. Nevertheless, in some cases lateral entrants without specific previous knowledge can also complete the training as a health coach. Under what conditions this is possible, it is to ask the respective provider.

What social skills are required?

As a prospective health coach, you should naturally have an interest in the topics of health, fitness and nutrition. It is also important that you enjoy working with people and are skilled in goal-oriented communication. Of course, you will be taught important content and tips in the training, but a certain basic talent should already be present.

Furthermore, you should be tolerant, open and patient. You must not lose your composure at all if a client confides his problems to you or if there are no successes.

How do you find the right health coach training?

If you want to become a health coach, there are a variety of training options open to you. Which one is right for you depends not least on your personal preferences and circumstances. First of all, you should decide whether you want to complete the training online or as a face-to-face course. Both have their advantages and disadvantages.

Online training offers maximum flexibility in terms of time and location. This is particularly advantageous if you work full-time. Classroom courses, however, score points with personal exchange. However, you must adhere to predefined times and possibly accept longer journeys.

The duration of the training and of course the costs also play a role in the choice of coaching training. As a rule, training as a health coach takes about six to nine months. However, there are also crash courses in which the knowledge is imparted in only three months. The costs vary greatly depending on the provider. The following applies: Don't just look at the price as the only criterion.

It is certainly tempting to choose the cheapest offer to save money. However, if you want to establish yourself as a health coach in the long term, you should place particular value on professionally sound training content and a certified degree. Find out in advance whether these criteria are met. If not, you should choose another course.

Developing the basics with the Greator Coach training

The Greator coach training creates the basis for all coaching directions. Especially for the training as a health coach, as mentioned before, previous knowledge is often required. So it makes sense to first create a generally comprehensive basis. In this way, you also collect presentable references, which has a positive effect on the acquisition of clients later.

Our Greator Coach training takes a total of nine months and consists of two parts: the 3-month Greator Coaching Practitioner and the subsequent 6-month Greator Coach. In the first part of the training you deal with your own issues. Here you test the methods that you will later use in your work on yourself. The learning effect is enormous.

In the second part of the training you will get to know the most important coaching tools and their application (even better). With the help of retrospection and vision, the entire repertoire of possible actions and solutions will be revealed to you in order to help people with their specific problems. At the end of the training you will write a final exam and receive the exclusive Greator Coach Certificate.

You shape your future

The path to your future as a coach is paved. Depending on your wishes, you can now benefit from our reach and thus already open up your own circle of clients. Or you can complete one or more further training courses (e.g. as a health coach) to specialise in a coaching topic of your choice.

It's up to you to decide how you want to shape your future. Take the first step today and inform yourself about our Training offer.

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Reviewed by Dr. med. Stefan Frädrich

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