March 21, 2016
Last Updated:
March 4, 2021

The Health Coach and Client Relationship: How Everyone Wins

How do you generally feel after seeing your doctor? Inspired, supported, motivated? Is the relationship one of mutual respect? Do you feel like he or she is fully present and engaged, interested in hearing your questions and concerns, and committed to helping you thrive in all ways?

An unfortunate reality of our current healthcare system is that doctors just don’t have the time to really get to know their patients. They are focused on addressing the most acute problem as quickly as possible, and are often bogged down by bureaucracy. This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t see a doctor for a serious illness, but there is definitely a missing link when it comes to what many of us assume doctors should do: help us get healthy!

Increasingly, Health Coaches are being recognized as that missing link.

The Health Coach/client relationship is completely different from that of a conventional doctor/patient in the following ways:

1. The relationship is seen as a partnership.
Rather than being an almighty authority on what you should do and how you should do it, Health Coaches take the time to truly get to know their client and customize wellness or lifestyle recommendations that fit their client’s unique preferences or circumstances. There is no one diet that works for everyone and Health Coaches support the individual. The Health Coach and client will communicate openly to create and implement a plan that moves the client towards their own personal wellness goals.

2. Changes are implemented gradually.
Ongoing support truly makes the difference because it allows the client to implement small adjustments over time while troubleshooting their personal challenges along the way. You won’t be left on your own with a list of “do’s and don’ts.” Instead, each week you’ll get 1-3 simple suggestions to experiment with, along with tips for integrating these new healthy habits into your daily life. For example, quitting sugar might be a tall order on its own, but reducing processed sweets by slowly crowding them out with naturally sweet foods is simple!

3. Loving accountability and support.
Health Coaches do what they do because they are genuinely passionate about creating a healthier and happier world, and that happens through heartfelt connections one client at a time. As such, Health Coaches are personally invested in your success! They will check in with you regularly, inspire you in small but meaningful ways, and be there when you need them.

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Those are just some of the ways that an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach can benefit their clients, but what about the coaches themselves? How does this career and client relationship serve them?

It is a benefit that goes BOTH ways. Health Coaches are fulfilled by this work because…

1. They learn from every client.
Just as Health Coaches offer valuable insights to clients, coaches themselves learn and grow from each client relationship. How? Every client presents them with a unique set of challenges to engage their problem-solving abilities, push them to explore and research a new area of study, and guide them on their own journey towards greater knowledge and fulfillment.

2. A successful career is made through service.
It is incredibly rewarding to know that you are actually making a difference in the world! Health and happiness are values that a Health Coach can be proud of and every client allows them to act out their personal mission while also supporting them through meaningful work and professional abundance. It’s not often that a “job” can be so gratifying but that’s exactly how health coaching feels. 

3. Witnessing transformation is a joy.
If you have ever experienced the bliss that comes with seeing someone come alive through your positive influence then you’ll know what we mean here. As a Health Coach, it is an incredible privilege to be the force that guides transformation in others. When a client/coach relationship comes to an end, the Health Coach often feels just as amazing as the client, and that fuels them even further to continue sharing the message of health and happiness with others.

"The greatest way of self-improvement is to contribute to others and then through that process, realize how you can motivate yourself to continue to make yourself better." – Joshua Rosenthal, Founder and Director Integrative Nutrition

Health coaching is more than just niche in health care; it is a powerful movement for change that is already creating a better world.

Are you IIN? Have you ever worked with a Health Coach?  What was the impact on your life?

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