How well does your body function? Has disease and illness slowed you down? Has chronic illness brought your “fun” to a halt? Are your relationships suffering from the drain of illness? Is your work ethic being disrupted by lack of function? Do you ask yourself why you cannot function like you expect? A functional map can put you on a journey of a lifetime. Without the map, most of us wander to and fro without clear direction and get frustrated with our lack of function.
Healers (doctors, health coaches, etc.) are just maps to healing. One pays for the map but the journey is yours, not the healers. You go at your own pace on this healing journey but the map can be helpful to stay on course.
If you talked to 100 people and asked them what their favorite road trip would look like, you would get 100 different answers. The goal is the same, all 100 want a road trip. Yet, the destination, the length of the trip, the speed of the driving, the stops along the way, the sight-seeing, the restaurants and the hotels will all be quite different choices for each person.
It is the map that is the same for everyone. The map is the basic factual information. It shows the roads, the towns, the lakes, the cities, the parks and interests along the way. Our bodies are the same, as humans there are a lot of similarities as to basic function.
A certified health coach has the training to know the basic similarities of humans and the complexities of bio-individuals. Health coaches have a functional map that can guide any human with any circumstances to a destination with a willing participant.
Let’s look at the word function in the health field more closely to understand how this plays out.
Restore Function, Not Treat Disease
Functional Medicine is the science of health.
Medicine is the science of disease.
This completely goes against our grain of thinking of the last 80-100 years of medical intervention. But think about it. In the last 80-100 years, we have more disease than ever.
Let’s try something that actually works, with lifelong results.
A functional doctor focuses on balancing the body systems to get them to their highest function. By doing this, they have treated any disease in the body.
When we focus on all the different diseases, we get lost in the process and not the solutions.
When we treat the whole body, the functions of the body, treating the specific disease is less important than creating an inhospitable environment for disease.
With that basic understanding of functional medicine, we can understand that health coaches who focus on the whole body through restoring function, do not need to be trained in each and every disease, the same as no doctor has been.
Legendary Jeffrey Bland PhD, the father of Functional Medicine and Dr. Mark Hyman, famous medical leader and board president of Institute of Functional Medicine refer to the fact that no doctor can know the intricacies of all the different diseases of our modern time. Having specialty doctors lose sight of the whole body so root causes are not addressed. These two top doctors completely agree and promote treating function, not necessarily specific disease.
Institute of Functional Medicine was formed in 1991. It is a nonprofit organization that teaches doctors around the world how to do things differently, for lasting results. It continues to thrive and grow today due to the concept of restoring function, not treating disease.
As the director of Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine, Dr. Hyman says they have a 3,000 person waiting list. Why? Because this is where the results are.
Video from Doctor’s Farmacy: Jeffrey Bland, PhD on The Future of Medicine l Doctor’s Farmacy EP8
Functional Medicine and Health Coaches
Time to work together.
Most health coaching certification programs focus on this functional medicine concept, within the limitations of a coach. We do not have a medical degree. We cannot treat or diagnose disease, and the good ones do not want to. It is not about naming the disease, it about restoring function which creates health.
That means, health coaches are specifically trained to apply the practical aspects of the functional concepts to their clients. Everyday life comes with many complications while on a health journey. Certified health coaches are a guide to the everyday practical aspects that it takes to transport a person into a healthy lifestyle and maintain it.
Back to the map concept. A certified health coach has the map. Each person desires to get to a different outcome that is specific to them. Some people travel by car, some by plane, train, or their own two feet. The journey is different for EVERYONE.
A good certified health coach will explore what works for each particular individual and their current physical state and the surroundings in which they live.
- Some may need to take very tiny baby steps and start with the basics.
- Some have been on a health journey for years and simply need some refinement.
- Some may need one bright idea that catapults them to where they want to be.
Already Under Doctor’s Care
Many, many, people are under the care of a physician. Health coaches provide support to someone who is under a doctor’s care without undermining that relationship. Health coaches are to provide further education than what a doctor has time for.
In time, some people choose to move away from mainstream medicine because they have learned how to take responsibility for their health and their lifestyle choices that create disease.
Yes, doctors have a completely different set of highly educated skills. Those skills are focused on disease, not health as we discussed earlier. There are times that combining a doctors education and testing can be very beneficial.
Others may choose a combination of mainstream and natural approaches.
Others may find a healing modality that they thrive on:
- Chiropractic Care
- Traditional Chinese Medicine
- Ayurvedic Medicine
- Aromatherapy (Essential Oil)
- Functional Medicine
- or any combination of these and many more.
And many find that the education and guidance from a certified health coach is invaluable to transition them to better lifestyle choices that they can practically maintain and actually enjoy.
Travel Agent = Health Coach
A caring quality health coach is just like a top-notch travel agent. We listen to the desires of the client, their pace, their tastes, their limitations, their budget. We get to know them so we truly understand how to approach a game plan that is in the clients best interest with lasting results.
Travel agents know the terrain of lands far and near. Health coaches know the terrain of the human body and how to get it on course.
Only with lasting results does everyone win.
Navigating Daily Grind of Health
The daily grind of life gets intensified when we become ill. Everything gets harder. The frustrations increase. We have a harder time finding our way on the journey called life.
Certified health coaches clarify and simplify the daily grind. These lifestyle changes become a part of who we are over time and they no longer weigh us down like heavy baggage.
A whole-body healthy lifestyle will change the outcome of a person’s life experience. It creates a body that is inhospitable to disease. It creates a mind that is clear and bright. It creates a peaceful soul that has the ability to pursue their purpose in life.
Economics of Using a Health Coach
I know, it is frustrating and appears expensive to use a health coach because usually they are not covered under health care insurance. When we look past this inaccurate assumption, we can find an economic truth.
When you find an honest, educated and experienced certified health coach, you have found a treasure that will save you money.
Going down the normal health route one spends money on high insurance premiums that have deductibles that seem to rarely get met. That leaves you with high bills from every doctors appointment and every test and every procedure you get done. If this expense has not created solutions to your health issues, then you know how frustrating expensive our health care system is.
The amount of time that it takes to deal with the health care system is immense. Usually time has to be taken off of work. Not only is this a loss in finances but it becomes quite stressful to juggle it all.
“Definition of insanity is doing something over and over again and expecting a different result.” ~ Albert Einstein or Unknown
This is where the fun begins. We have the ability to make different choices. When one thing does not work, we have banged our head more times than we can count, then it might be time to try something different.
When one has gone to numerous doctors and had tests and procedures and continues not to find solutions, one has to make a choice. Are we going to keep spending our money on what we have been doing for years and continuing to be ill or are we going to try something different?
Remember, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and not getting different results. So, do we want the normal health care system to tell US that WE are crazy because they cannot fix us….. or are we going to stop doing the same things that keep us stuck….. are we going to try something new?
The focus on restoring function to the body works. Proven, scientific proof, thousands of thousands of people are healing through basic lifestyle choices and focused direction for their particular bodies.
A qualified health coach can save you hundreds of dollars on quality supplements alone. Not all supplements are of the same quality and will have the same effects. We have the training and experience to save clients considerably. We also have the connections to pass on savings on product and shipping.
If supplements are not your deal, hopefully food is. Food can be the most fun way to explore health. A talented health coach can take you down a delectable path.
Spending money on a health coach ends up saving money. A health coach can walk you through specific lifestyle steps that are bio-individual (specific to you, your health and your environment and circumstances). When was the last time you had a doctor have the time to sit down with you and learn enough about your life to know all of those circumstances.
How have you chosen to spend your money on your health and well-being? Has it been effective? If not, what adjustments can you make to be more cost-effective?
Maribeth Baxter, MBNC (Certified Mind-Body Nourishment Coach)
AFFILIATE DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging and social media activities, I may receive monetary compensation for links to products from this post. However, I only recommend products that I personally love and use myself. If it is not good enough for me, it certainly is not good enough for you!!
HEALTH COACH DISCLAIMER: Health/Wellness coaching is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any disease or condition. It is not intended to substitute for the advice, treatment and/or diagnosis of a qualified licensed professional. Trained and certified Health Coaches may not make any medical diagnoses, claims and/or substitute for your personal physician’s care. As your health/wellness coach I do not provide a second opinion or in any way attempt to alter the treatment plans or therapeutic goals/recommendations of your personal physician. It is my role to partner with you to provide ongoing support and accountability as you create an action plan to meet and maintain your health goals.