Samvida Patel, IIN Content Editor, Class of February 2015
Have you ever felt excited about a new endeavor, only to experience that sinking feeling when it came time to share your idea with others?
“What will they think? What will they say?” Or worse, “What if they point out roadblocks that I didn’t consider?”
If you answered yes and have asked yourself these questions, you’re not alone. As members of the Integrative Nutrition team, we have witnessed students caught between their hesitation and enthusiasm for health coaching, ever since we first created the concept in 1992.
Of course, circumstances are different now that health coaching has attained an astounding market value of USD $6 billion. People increasingly prioritize their wellness, seeking out Health Coaches to support them in improving their well-being. “Health Coach” has essentially become a buzzword in modern-day healthcare.
Even so, we know that some uncertainty is perfectly natural when diving into a new career. To help you shake off that fear, here are five advantages of health coaching that are not as widely known!
1. Health coaching is one of the fastest growing professions in healthcare.
Health coaching grew 8% per year from 2006 to 2017, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 16% increase in employment between 2016 and 2026.
Since its founding, IIN has trained more than 100,000 graduates in 150+ countries around the world! When we first created this field, many had their doubts on whether they could be successful Health Coaches, but our program specifically includes business and marketing support to equip students with the resources and confidence they need to attain their career goals.
It’s on you to show up, put in your 100%, and make use of the tools provided to set yourself up for success. As with any professional endeavor, time and effort are required to see desired results.
Check out how IIN graduates have achieved success in the field here!
2. Health coaching is based on scientific research.
The term “holistic” is often mistaken for “unscientific,” but the two terms are really not synonymous at all!
Taking a holistic approach means addressing health from all aspects of a person’s life – not just the food they eat, but the exercise they do, the quality of relationships they’ve cultivated, the stress they’re experiencing, their work-life balance, and much, much more.
In fact, we intentionally teach various modalities in nutrition and lifestyle practices that support well-being because they all showcase findings that positively benefit health. And yes, we know that different schools of thought are often contradictory; for example, a plant-based diet is great for heart health, but the Mediterranean diet, which includes fish, has also repeatedly shown to have numerous health benefits. So which one should you follow?
That’s where the dichotomy lies: Nutrition is very much a science, but no one can account for individual variances in the subjects participating in a research study. The reason why contradicting dietary approaches have their share of benefits (and drawbacks, too) is that individuals respond uniquely to different foods.
This is the very premise our curriculum rests on – bio-individuality, the idea that there is no perfect diet that works for everyone, and what works for one person may not work for another.
3. Health Coaches are increasingly sought out by the medical field.
Check out this article emphasizing how Health Coaches are needed to improve our current healthcare system. Medical establishments across the country are utilizing Health Coaches to work with the most challenging patients because they are “from the community; they speak the language of the people they serve.”
Health coaching isn’t designed to replace conventional healthcare, but rather increase its effectiveness. Take a look at Parsley Health’s perspective and success with doctors working alongside Health Coaches here!
4. Our Integrative Nutrition Health Coach certificate is recognized worldwide.
Until recently, we’ve heard from parents, teachers, and society that we need to go to college and get a degree before getting a job. But that’s not the case anymore.
According to a study cited by marketwatch.com, 45% of recent college grads “worked in a ‘non-college job,’” which the study defines as “less than half of the workers in that role required a bachelor’s degree.”
Big name companies, like Google, Whole Foods, and Apple, are known for hiring candidates without degrees. Why? Because increasingly hiring managers value pertinent experience and a demonstrated ability to show results, which Entrepreneur indicates degree programs typically lack.
Luckily, opting for a certificate program is a growing trend – and for the right reasons: Forbes describes certificate courses as a beneficial way to “build skills in a new or growing specialty,” which in turn “increases overall marketability.”
And that’s exactly what IIN’s certificate helps you achieve: the necessary coaching skills to guide clients in creating lifelong positive shifts in well-being and the opportunity to gather practical coaching experience before graduating.
If you want to continue your education and obtain a degree, IIN also has partnerships with universities offering bachelor’s, master’s, and even doctoral programs! You can learn more about these here.
5. Health Coaches can work in sync with nutritionists and dietitians.
While it can seem that each of these professions are closely related, their scopes of practice are very different, with each serving a unique purpose.
Nutritionists and dietitians practice in accordance with the national dietary guidelines, providing advanced nutrition care to patients to improve their health.
While Health Coaches also address nutrition, they do not prescribe or treat, but rather they support clients in intuitively understanding what foods and larger patterns in nutrition work for their bodies. In addition, they also help clients gain a big-picture focus on their well-being goals, guiding them in making lifestyle changes outside food.
IIN emphasizes the concept of primary food, which is the notion that there’s more to our health than what’s on our plate and includes things like career, relationships, self-care, physical activity, and spiritual practice, which all contribute to our well-being and dictate how happy and healthy we are.
Now, let’s look at a few ways that becoming a Health Coach can positively transform personal health:
Reclaim your health – Even if you’re not looking to turn your IIN education into a business, you can become your own Health Coach and improve the health of you and your loved ones. Through exploring 100+ dietary theories and topics like meditation, Ayurveda, and self-care, you’ll discover the best ways to nourish and fuel your unique body.
Improve your relationships – You’ll learn about balancing the areas of primary food, the power of human connection, and how to form healthy relationships and communicate more effectively. Many people develop deeper bonds with their loved ones, let go of unhealthy relationships, and make lifelong friendships with the like-minded people in their class.
Love what you do – What if your job was the key to your health? Many students come to our program because they’re passionate about health and wellness and unsatisfied with their current careers. After completing the Health Coach Training Program, graduates go on to help others, launch businesses, write blogs, and develop products. Most important, they spend their days doing something that truly feeds their soul.
We hope this helps shed a new light on health coaching and the opportunities that exist in the field! If you’ve been considering our program, you can contact our Admissions team to learn more!