Published On : Sun, Dec 30th, 2012

New Year Health Resolution – Why not Health Coaching?

Ronny had a BMW M6 with him (approx Rs.1,23,47,414/-), he was a casual driver like anyone of us. Now having such a car is everyone’s dream but he was lucky to have it. Ronny had hired two special professionals, one who would look after the engineering of the car and the other would instruct him on how to drive the car. Just like that BMW M6 our bodies are unique and magnificent structure, which needs two special professionals one is the physician and the other is a health coach. The physician looks after the engineering of your body and the health coach instructs you on how to keep you going.
Every day there is news about Obesity, Alcohol Addictions, Suicides, Rapes, Abuses, Murders and chronic diseases and illnesses. Now all of us know habits are hard to break and habits such as smoking, addictions of alcohol, tobacco, drugs, overeating are difficult even to understand. Doctors are for diagnosing and treating but they are not trained in changing people’s behaviours, attitudes, beliefs, lifestyle etc. So whom does one have to consult in such cases?

What is Health Coaching?

“Health coaching is not about quick fixes but a lifestyle change that will give people the tools to live a sustainable, healthy lifestyle without deprivation,” said Allie LeFevere, a coach who serves on the Health Coaches of Chicago board of directors. “We want healthy habits to become a natural part of life rather than a forced plan.”

A health coach acts as a holistic authority and supportive mentor hybrid. The Health Coach focuses on the mind, body, spirit, emotions and social wellbeing that helps patients make the changes in their life. Health Coach has a broader understanding of the disease process and the nature of illness, healing and wellbeing by addressing the biological, physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, social and environmental influences that affect the patient’s health. The hallmark of health coaching is working with the “whole person”.

Health coaches are trained to help patients change their behaviours, attitudes and lifestyles using a customised and tailor-made approach. Health Coaches work based on Doctors diagnoses, so where a physician serves as an engineer treating the disease; the health coaches serve as an instructor, changing their attitudes, beliefs, and lifestyle. Health Coaches create a dynamic partnership that move the patient towards a satisfying and healthy lifestyle. They use both innovative and practical strategies to help the patient clarify what they want, explore options, enhance personal accountability and take action for optimal health. This connection empowers the patient to recognize their own innate ability and resources to make a desired change and to maintain this change throughout their life.

There are numerous examples in the literature of health coaching programs achieving good outcomes for smoking cessation, alcohol addiction, weight loss, and in cases of many chronic diseases such as Cancers, Diabetes management, Asthma, Arthritis, PCOS,  etc. Health Coaching also helps patients adopt healthy lifestyle thus preventing and controlling diseases.


– Aliakbar Shabbir (Integrative Health Coach)

*References for the article can be obtained from the writer.