The Role of Health Coaches

Do you know what the role of a health coach is?

This post is Part 1 of a 3-part series that is intended to answer that question “What does a health coach do?”

Have you ever thought about why rates of cancer, heart disease, and other illnesses continue to rise, despite increasing healthcare costs?

We tend to normalize illness based on how widespread it is in the United States, but illness is not the normal state of our bodies.

Our bodies want to be well – they are meant to be well.

Despite the high costs of healthcare in the United States, the care Americans receive is not necessarily better than other places.

Doctor’s offices are often booked with multiple appointments back-to-back. This fast-paced environment can lead patients to feel rushed and like they’re not truly being heard. Or worse, patients may not even bother to fully explain the issues they’re having.

We also have given over control of our health to the insurance and pharmaceutical industries and trusted in a system that is designed to deal with sickness, not health.  It is reactive, not proactive.

If this all sounds grim, don’t despair!

There is a solution to this problem: the role of Health Coaches in the healthcare community.

According to a recent article in The Hill, certain healthcare start-ups have created models known as “holistic care teams.” These teams typically include a physician, behavioral health specialist, nurses, a registered dietitian, and health coaches. 

That’s exactly what we have created here at the Holistic Wellness & Detox Center. Our center provides the services from our Wellness Practitioner (Dr. Mary), Functional Nutritionist (Hollie), Medical Thermographer (Shar), Medical Podologist (Eva & Eva), Phlebotomist (Mia & Jillian) and Health Coach (Karen).

The model is revolutionary as it encourages patients to take responsibility for their own health while providing support, guidance and accountability – three things that are rarely found in conventional healthcare systems.

In addition, this model saves the healthcare industry money. One study found that compared to a control group using a more typical healthcare system, hospitalizations are down 37% and healthcare spending is down 12%.

Ideally, for this idea to work on a large scale and truly intervene with the conventional healthcare system, public-private partnerships will need to emerge as a way to pay for these holistic care teams. 

In the meantime, our center has opted to be independent because not all healthcare communities in the Lowcountry have figured this out yet.  So we thought … why wait to bring this model to you?

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post on “Why You Need a Health Coach”