Dear American Medical Association,
When you tell your patients to lose weight, do you give them a guidance counselor? Change is hard for every one of us. Do you help your client understand not just what outcome they need to achieve but how to reach eat? Do you give them the support that makes the difference between a fleeting fantasy and a changed lifestyle? When you tell your patients that they need to go on an anti-inflammatory diet, do you even know what they need to do? Do you have the nutritional and dietary background to understand how to incorporate the changes necessary to complement your medical wisdom?
The American Medical Association has now validated what we trained Integrative Health Coaches have been saying for years. At one point, it was but a dream to work in collaboration with doctors, nurses, and other medical practitioners.
Today, I can say it’s here. It’s finally here. The day the American Medical Association has acknowledged, accepted, and encouraged the field of health coaching. http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/ama-wire/post/practice-needs-health-coach-one
When the American Medical Association – the AMA of all groups – encourages practices to engage with a health coach, you know the day is here. The day when our profession becomes validated by the very doctors and nurses who kind of blew it off. I know because when I graduated from nutrition school, I approached physical therapists, doctors, naturopaths, and others — and they all had some odd looks and attitudes. One doctor thought it was a great idea. Most just kind of went: Oh, a nutritionist! But that opens an entire new topic. See, a nutritionist or dietician is trained in the science of foods. They can help with actual nutrients. They can help with prescribed diets. But they rarely look at the whole person.
Somewhere in my bag of tricks, I have a document that outlines the differences between a health coach and a nutritionist. The legal issues are always spelled out in your respective state. The licensing laws are clear.
The way the Institute for Integrative Nutrition answers that question here:
Health Coach or Registered Dietician?
While I am happy to work with medical professionals, I’m finding that many want to have an existing staff member just take a few classes. Well, if you go that route, do it right. Do it in a way that your happy staff really know how to coach. Coaching is different. There is an ongoing relationship built on active listening and positive reinforcement of goals and steps. The intimacy between coach and client takes time — as does the training to learn how to do it. That’s why we stand out.
In my practice, I work closely with all kinds of clients. Some want to ease pain, other’s want to reduce inflammation, and others are mainly focused on shedding weight. And some want to restore their health after surgery or improve the quality of their lives and hopefully reverse chronic illness. In all cases, the goals may be different but the outcome is a healthier, happier, more vibrant being.
It isn’t rocket science. But it takes a lot more than a 15 minute appointment to make this work. That’s why I come to your office and offer not only one on one consults but group sessions focusing on specific areas common to all. That’s why I try to make it easy — I provide great materials, current thoughts, trends, and get this: Workable Solutions to the complications of living healthfully amidst the chaos of our time. I even set up shopping tours, home kitchen audits, and help people find ways to simplify what appears to be a daunting challenge. And — I’ll help clients come up with menus, recipes, and ways to expand a meal.
It can all be simplified so that it’s workable. I’m here to help.
But – if you want to learn on your own — or you want to send a staff member to school — please consider my school as they offer a Landmark Education program specifically designed to coach and guide people to better living. They apply a concept called primary foods. They teach an integrated approach that really helps people live life well. Here’s a link to their site: Institute for Integrative Nutrition