What is the difference between a health coach and therapy?
The short answer is: coaching looks to the future of wellness, therapy looks to the past. A Functional Medicine Health Coach is an expert at meeting clients where they are and taking them to where they want to be in their health journey in the least stressful way possible by practicing a transformational approach that is safe for both coach and client. We use positive psychology, the scientific study of what makes life most worth living, focus on strengths instead of weaknesses, empowering the client to reach their goals through lifestyle and behavior, but also can benefit those who are already healthy and want to optimize their personal wellness.
We all carry blind spots. A health coach will help you get through yours.
We also educate and support our clients, understand history of life events, doctor's plan of care, offer tools and recommended food plans, safe and effective physical activity, stress management, and mind-body medicine techniques. Coaches guide clients through individual or group sessions, will work directly with the client's practitioner if that is what the practitioner and client wants, and of course, celebrate successes.
BUT FIRST.....NUTRITION! Functional nutrition is focused on building health by restoring proper physiological functioning of the body. Epigenetics is the factors that bathe our genes and prompt them to express negatively or positively, as is methylation thereby contributing to all known dysfunctions. Nutrition is considered the most important aspect of health and there are many different protocols. Weight loss, detoxification, identifying food sensitivities, and the use of supplements can contribute to relief. We use the food, mood, poop journal to get you on your way. Your gut, hormones, mitochondria (energy system of each cell) and elimination are hugely important and affects the balance of sleep, depression, and other chronic problems. If you are seriously ill, we recommend working with a well-trained Functional Nutritionist. Functional Medicine along with functional nutrition seeks the root causes of chronic and autoimmune diseases.
The Oral-Systemic Connection is the link between the health of your mouth and your overall health. A landmark 1954 study was the first to show that oral germs, such as those that cause gum disease, enter the bloodstream and spread throughout the body. This sets up the unsuspecting person for serious and chronic inflammation: heart disease, diabetes, preterm birth, arthritis, pneumonia. Other oral threats include sleep apnea, crowding, root canal infections, abscesses, cavitations, medications, bruxing/clenching. HPV is the 'new' oral cancer danger overtaking smoking /vaping. Recent research is teaching us that certain bacteria can be found in Alzheimerspatient's brain, and cancers may include prostate, pancreatic, and colon. Even depression, anxiety, and mood can be affected! Ask your hygienist about this research or look it up for yourself.
Self care is inclusive of physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health. Although it is a simple concept in theory, it's something we very often overlook. Good self-care is key to improved mood and reduced anxiety. It is also key to a good relationship with oneself and others.
What isn't Self-Care? Knowing what Self-Care is not might be even more important. It is not something we force ourselves to do or something we don't enjoy doing. It should be something that refuels us, rather than takes from us. Self-care is not selfish. It is about considering our needs, thereby maintaining a balanced life.
Rest and relaxation cannot be overstated. Both are crucial to maintain optimal functioning. Quality deep rest actually detoxes the brain and repairs our body. Adults require 7-8 hours of sleep per night. Without it, our bodies suffer a variety of physical and psychological impacts including impaired memory, poor concentration, judgement, lowered stress threshold, reduced sociability and optimism, which can change vital signs and tissue repair. Chronic sleep deprivation can impact our metabolism and undermine our immune system resulting in weight gain and increased risk for illnesses. Relaxation is the act of releasing tension and refreshing the mind-body. It differs from rest in that our mind is rejuvenating and can assist in reducing the arousal we experience from stress and anxiety. Relaxing improves cognition, decision making, memory, lowers the risk for depression and other heart-related issues.
Stress or distress? Knowing the difference can affect our anxiety levels, sleep, ability to focus, less productive, and can trigger procrastination. Our physical environments at home and work influence our cognition, emotions and subsequent behaviors, including our relationships. Research has shown that disorganization has a cumulative effect. Brains like order, and constant visual reminders of disorganization will increase levels of cortisol draining cognition. A chronically cluttered environment can lead to a low-grade fight or flight response triggering physical and psychological immune system changes leaving us at greater risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
Relationship stress can be positive or negative. More on this under 'spiritual health'.
Financial literacy, personal and business management requires discipline. A healthy body and mind will contribute to sound financial decision-making. Financial health may come under the 'life coaching' domain, but as you can keenly see, everything is connected to overall health.
Functional fitness and functional exercise are the latest gym buzzwords. The focus on building a body capable of doing real-life activities in real-life positions is not just lifting a certain amount of weight in an idealized posture created by a gym. The bottom line? Keep it moving because being sedentary is considered the new smoking.
Enjoy an opportunity to socialize with friends and family while getting some quality down time, fresh air, movement, and 'grounding'.
Growing old gracefully is a blessing many people
do not have the privilege to enjoy.
Prayer and Meditation come in many forms just as stress does. Relaxation methods such as breath work calms the vagus nerve system, essential oils used in aroma therapy can be effective, llisten to instrumental soothing music, a walk in the woods. Whatever you enjoy doing, do it while meditating on the Word of God, prayer, or go dsomething you intentionally want to improve upon.
The definition of meditation is simply to focus on something deeply and carefully. You may want to enhance a virtue, character strength or one of your signature strengths, meaning the gifts God has given you as a unique individual. If you do not know your strengths, go to the Values in Action:
Nutrition for the soul: the Holy Spirit
One can argue that all of the above dimensions are based on where you are spiritually. Spiritual Health is essential; the connection with one's self, with others, the environment, and God. Have you ever asked yourself, "What is my purpose here on earth?" "Am I in alignment with Him
or not?" I bet you have at least once. Have you ever
been 'stressed' about the answers?
Prayer and meditation has been scientifically studied and found to be extremely valuable. It is not about 'emptying your mind' and NOT recommended to do so.
John 5:6 Jesus asked, "Do you want to get well?"
If you know the Lord Jesus, you know He wants you to be prosperous in your health as well as all aspects of your life. If you don't know Him, consider getting to know Him. All His promises are Yes and Amen (so be it).
Psalms 1:2 says "meditate on His Law day and night". Here is a brief compilation of promises to meditate on as you enrich your health. Just plug in the scripture verse and the link should take you there.
Many more are available, the Bible is called "the Living Word" for good reason.