In truth, if staying healthy was easy we would all do it. Most people know what they need to do to improve their health but still struggle. Traditional medical practices are important but usually do not have the time to ensure that patients adhere to healthy practices, such as exercise.
Typical health problems that a person might face include
- Managing weight
- Starting/managing an exercise program
- Smoking cessation
- Stress management
- Sleep problems
- Elderly/child care challenges
- Managing medication protocols
DHC provides educational presentations and individual or group health coaching to tackle health issues and more. Presentations can be tailored to specific topics; such as nutrition, issues with exercising, or mindfulness techniques to reduce stress.
Health coaching sessions typically are bi-weekly with follow-up texts or emails in the off-weeks. Sessions focus on SMART mini-goals that allow the client to achieve his/her goals within three to five months, or a total of six to ten sessions.
A DHC coach works individually with a client. The client completes an initial assessment of his/her well-being, using tools such as the Wheel of Life developed at the Duke University Center for Integrative Medicine. The client also creates a vision of his/her goals to be accomplished within the next three to five months.
Sessions are driven by the client’s agenda. The coach provides guidance, feedback, and sometimes suggestions, but the client creates the outcome and solutions. Sessions typically last well under an hour and can be conducted face to face, via Skype, or phone. DHC has successfully coached internationally.
Coaching is not therapy but a focus on obtaining sustainable, measurable improvements to health issues. Health coaching also is not consulting: the coach does not impose a solution on a client but provides guidance and structure to help develop a plan that works for him or her.
Numerous studies show that clients who receive health coaching in addition to other treatment information have better adherence to health protocols than people who get medical advice but do not receive coaching. Studies also show that health coaching techniques result in clients staying committed to their goals even after the sessions are finished.
Health coaching is an inexpensive method for companies to invest in their employees well-being, happiness and productivity. Less than half of companies have wellness programs for their employees. However, research suggests that wellness is an extremely powerful element that can play a significant role in employee engagement, organizational productivity, talent retention, creativity, and innovation.
Health Coaching benefits for companies include
- Lowering health costs by reducing health risks,
- Provide better adherence to behavior change,
- Provide the personalized behavioral change interventions necessary for success, and
- Provide more sustainable, lasting changes.
Health Coaching can help employees satisfy their four core needs—physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual—which contributes to a happier, healthier workforce.