If you are building a new home, one of the considerations is the floorplan, right? If you are taking a vacation, would having a trip itinerary planned out be valuable? There are many reasons why you might want to make plans, but have you considered making a plan to achieve your optimum health and well-being, even — or especially — if you have a chronic medical condition, like fibromyalgia? Health and wellness coaching, an emerging field in healthcare, can help clients develop and implement personal wellness plans for people living with fibromyalgia, chronic pain, and fatigue. Ready to find out more?
What is Health & Wellness Coaching (HWC)?
Professional coaches are known for their skills in helping athletes and executives perform at their best. Now, professional health & wellness coaches are helping people reach their best health and well-being.
A health and wellness coach is trained and experienced in helping others with lifestyle-based health issues such as managing chronic conditions, weight loss, stress reduction, and improving diet and exercise.
HWC is a growth-promoting relationship where the client directs the process and seeks to achieve lasting changes through visioning, goal setting, and accountability. Coaches facilitate the change process with mindful listening, asking open-ended questions, and reflecting on what they hear in ways that promote client learning and growth. This coaching approach is an individualized learning process that enables clients to discover their answers and achieve remarkable outcomes in the presence of challenges.
Proven By Science and Not Emotion
Unlike health fads that come and go, HWC has evidence backing its effectiveness for improving health and well-being in people living with fibromyalgia and managing chronic pain.
When I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia in 2004, working with a health and wellness coach was not considered an effective treatment option to improve symptoms and reduce pain. Since then, through evidence-based research, the medical community has recognized health and wellness coaching as beneficial for managing fibromyalgia symptoms, chronic pain, and fatigue for a sustained length of time.
HWC utilizes lifestyle management interventions based on behavior change models and strategies. Researchers have documented the clinical effectiveness in healthy persons and those with certain common chronic diseases. In a pilot study of health and wellness coaching for fibromyalgia, clinically significant improvements in quality of life measures and pain occurred.
How to Choose a Health & Wellness Coach
HWC is a non-regulated industry, does not require certification, and anyone can claim to be a coach. Without industry standardization, it can be challenging to find the right coach for your needs and ensure the coach possesses the core coaching competencies necessary to be effective. It is important to remember ‘scope of practice’ and that a general health and wellness coach is not medically trained or licensed to diagnose and treat medical concerns.
Many programs train and certify coaches internationally and among the most well-respected are:
International Coaching Federation
The National Society of Health Coaches
Wellcoaches School of Coaching
A professional coach will want the client to achieve their best and honor them as the expert of their life. A relationship based on mutual trust needs to be established for the coaching process to be effective. If you are considering the addition of a health coach, these are five key questions to ask before hiring someone for your care:
How can health & wellness coaching fit my needs?
Do you have a specialty focus?
What is your educational preparation and training?
What is your method and style of coaching?
What sets you apart from other health & wellness coaches?
We've created a free e-book with science-backed information for all fibromyalgia warriors. Instead of spending hours and hours searching Google for answers on how the diagnosis process works, best treatment options, and causes of your pain, it's all right here!
Fibromyalgia is not a "one size fits all" diagnosis. What works for some doesn't work for others. The information provided is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. Should you have any health-related questions, please consult your physician or other health care provider promptly.
Teresa is a certified dietary manager, wellness coach, fellow fibromyalgia warrior, and co-founder of Fight Against Fibro. We're on a mission for a life with less stress and more energy.