What is Health Coaching?

Over the years I have quite dramatically changed how I work with clients and I’ve noticed two things: 

  1. Firstly, that I am getting much better results in terms of my clients getting well and staying well;
  2. Secondly, that I’m building much deeper, ongoing relationships with my clients and also getting more referrals via them. 

So what am I doing differently?  As strange as it sounds, I’ve actually started to give up the ‘steering wheel’ and take a ‘backseat’ in my client’s health journey. 

I’m now trying not to give them ‘health rules’ or specific guidelines that I think they should follow and instead am asking them what they think they should be doing. 

Sometimes their answers really surprise me and more and more I am realising how true Norman Cousin’s words are when he said that “each patient carries his own doctor inside him”.

I think if you can connect with your clients and, more importantly, get them to connect with themselves and their health issues, and get them to connect with who and what they really want to be, then you will help your client to really heal on a very deep level. 

The verb ‘to heal’ comes from the Old English word hãl which means whole and when a person connects with who they are and where they have come from, when a person sees and acknowledges themselves in their entirety, when they realise they are whole, then they can truly begin to heal.  This is the essence of holistic health.

Image by John Hain from Pixabay

Nobody can force a person to connect with their past, with their pain or with their illness.  This is something the person has to do for themselves.  What that person needs, in order to achieve this, is a safe space.  And this is what you can do for them – you can create a safe space for them.

Whether you’re a massage therapist, reflexologist, beauty therapist, homoeopath, naturopath, counsellor or doctor – no matter what your profession, you can hold a safe space in which your client can explore their own issues and their own health and begin to feel whole.

More than anything, your client needs a safe space in which to explore their thoughts, let go of past traumas and negative thought patterns, and discover what is really possible for them. 

Michael Gervais is one of the world’s top ‘high performance’ psychologists and he has coached world record holders, CEO’s of huge companies and even famous musicians.  He says when working with clients you need to do three things: 

  • Be curious
  • Be quiet
  • Observe.

At the same time, your clients need to do three things:

  • Feel their pain
  • Know they have options
  • Trust themselves.

In order to create a safe space in which your client’s can let go of their old narratives and choose new ones, you as their health coach need to be very aware of how you do two things:  how you listen to them and how you talk to them.  You need to listen actively and talk passively. In my next blog I’ll focus more on how to ‘listen actively’, ‘talk passively’, connect with your clients and help them connect with themselves.

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Author: Ruth Hull. Ruth is a homoeopathic doctor, integrative health consultant and four-times published author. She is based in Perth, Australia, and also consults online: http://www.ruthhull.com


DISCLAIMER: You should not rely on this information as a substitute or replacement for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you have any concerns regarding your health and before making any changes to your lifestyle or diet you should always consult your general medical practitioner or other health professional. The use of any information provided by Ruth Hull and/or The Health Lounge is at your sole risk and no assurance can be given that the information provided will always include the most recent findings or developments. All events and information are provided according to the laws of Western Australia.