HEALTH COACHING FAQs

What is a health coach?

A health coach is a professionally trained expert in behavior change and healthy habit formation. Health coaches work in partnership with clients to identify their health and wellness related issues. Together they create goals and action plans for a healthier life. Coaches provide support, accountability, reflection, insights, resources and more.

 

Do health coaches collaborate with other healthcare providers?

Yes. While a health coach never replaces a doctor or other practitioner, they do provide a bridge between medical recommendations and the patient’s actions toward healthier behaviors. In fact, a 2014 Medscape report showed that while physicians are spending more time with patients, the majority spend less than 20 minutes per visit. And doctor visits are typically not on a regular basis. Health coaches can help fill the gap by spending more time with patients and supporting them in making and sustaining the desired health behavior changes.

 

Is there research that shows that health coaching actually works?

Yes. An increasing amount of research is being done in this area. Numerous clinical studies have demonstrated positive health outcomes for individuals who work with health coaches in areas such as chronic disease management and prevention.

  • A study conducted by Edelman et al. using multidimensional interventions, including health coaching designed to make favorable changes in patient behavior, concluded that there was a statistically significant reduction in the 10-year risk of coronary heart disease. [1]

  • Research conducted by Wolever et al. (2006) suggests that integrative health coaching can help patients reduce their risk of diabetes and stroke. [2]

  • Patients with Type 2 diabetes improved medication adherence, exercise frequency and glycemic control when they received 6 months of health coaching.[3]

  • Patients with Type 2 diabetes improved medication adherence, exercise frequency and glycemic control when they received 6 months of health coaching.[4]

 

Is Health Coaching for Me?

If you answer “yes” to any of the flowing questions, health coaching may be just what you need:

  • Have you tried to adopt new health habits before but haven’t been successful?

  • Has your doctor told you that you need to change your lifestyle in some way or ways?

  • Do you wish you had more energy to do the things you need or want to do?

  • Do you feel stuck? Have you made some changes but still can’t get to where you want to be or how you want to feel?

  • Are you struggling with something in your personal or professional life and just don’t know how to get around it?

 

How Many Sessions Does it Take?

It varies, but we usually recommend people commit for a minimum of three months. This is based on the principles of behavior change and the fact that it takes about that long for a new behavior to become a “sticky” new habit.

 

Is There a Way to Try Health Coaching Without Committing?

Yes. You can have a free 20 minute trial session with Integrative Health Coach, Jackie Oken. The free trial is a good opportunity to meet Jackie, to make sure you and she are a good working fit, and to further understand how coaching might be of help to you. CLICK HERE FOR YOUR FREE TRIAL SESSION.

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[1] Edelman, D., Oddone, E., Liebowitz, R., Yancy, Jr, W., Olsen, M., Jeffreys, A., Moon, S., Harris, A., Smith, L., Quillian-Wolever, R., and Gaudet, T (July 2006).  A Multidimensional Integrative Medicine Intervention to Improve Cardiovascular Risk.  Journal of General Internal Medicine, 21(7), 728–734.

 

[2] Wolever RQ, Webber DM, Meunier JP, Greeson JM, Lausier ER, Gaudet TW. Modifiable Disease Risk, Readiness to Change, and Psychosocial Functioning Improve with Integrative Medicine Immersion Model. Altern Ther Health Med. In Press.

 

[3] Wolever RQ, Dreusicke M, Fikkan J, et al. Integrative Health Coaching for Patients with Type 2 Diabetes. A Randomized Clinical Trial. Diabetes Educ. June 9, 2010.

 

[4] Wolever RQ, Dreusicke M, Fikkan J, et al. Integrative Health Coaching for Patients with Type 2 Diabetes. A Randomized Clinical Trial. Diabetes Educ. June 9, 2010.

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Richmond, VA 23229

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