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What is a Health Coach

Health Coach is a term that has really become popular in recent years. It seems to mean something different to each person. I think this is because Health Coaches can come from a variety of backgrounds, and philosophies. Because of this, I can't tell you what everyone means by this term, but I can definitely tell you what it means in our practice and what it can mean to you.

What a Health Coach is not

Health Coaches are not medical providers as a whole. Though a medical provider may be a health coach. This means that we don't prescribe medications or diagnose medical conditions, nor do we advise that you go against medical advice. We will happily recommend receiving a second opinion if you are not satisfied with what you have been told in the past. We also recommend doing your own research, and then discussing that with your doctor.

Health Coaches are not registered dietitians (RD), though a RD may become a Health Coach. This means we will not be putting you on to a dieting program. And we will not be prescribing a certain way of eating for you. Nor will we prescribe certain supplements or herbs.

Health Coaches are not physical therapists or personal trainers, though a physical therapist or personal trainer may become a Health Coach. This means that we will not be creating an exercise program for you.

Health Coaches are not the same as accountability partners. You don't have to worry about disappointing your Health Coach or feeling like you need to lie about your week so that you don't have to feel shame. Health Coaches are here to encourage you to do your best, when you are able. We are not going to make you feel bad about not being able to accomplish your action goals for the week.

Health Coaches don't tell you what to do with your life or what goals you need to pursue.

What a Health Coach is

Health Coaches are collaborators. We are sounding boards. If there is something about your health or a diagnosis or medication that you would like to talk about and maybe get some clarity with, we are happy to listen and research with you. We can help you think about other specialties that may be helpful. For example, I often recommend that people who have had children and suffer from low back/hip pain, go see a pelvic floor specialist.

Health Coaches will give easily researched, general nutrition information. They will encourage you to find the diet and way of eating that works best for you. In my practice, we focus on adding beneficial nutrition and water. Then you may decide that you want to change other aspects of your eating habits. You may find this through trial and error, or you may choose to consult a registered dietitian. We may talk about supplements and what they can be good for, then we will encourage you to research which supplements will be right for you.

Health coaches may suggest specific exercises or stretches for you depending upon their background. I am a massage therapist, yoga instructor, and have trained as a personal trainer. This means that I am qualified to help you refine movements or exercises, if that will help you reach your health goals. Some suggestions are simple, like take a 30 min walk outside, when the weather is pleasant. Or do some stretches throughout the day to help you feel more limber.

Health Coaches are here to encourage you to make loving choices for yourself, whatever that may mean. We end each session with action steps, that we agree upon. However, sometimes life gets in the way. If there was something that you were unable to do because you needed a mental health rest or your finances were not available, then we will either move the action step to the following week or rework it to make it more feasible for you to accomplish.

Health Coaches work with you to set realistic goals and pathways to achieve them. We will talk about where you see yourself at the end of our journey together and how best to get there.

Do you have any questions about what constitutes a Health Coach? Leave the comments below or email us at

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