So what is a holistic coach? Is it the same as a health coach?
Yeah, kind of.
A health coach may focus on one or two approaches especially if you’re dealing with weight issues or a certain chronic disease or illness but a holistic coach will use many different approaches and techniques that draw awareness from body, mind and spirit. Using your whole self, bringing new perspective from different parts of you, creating new ways to view a problem.
Here’s an example of holistic coaching.
Imagine that you’re feeling stuck and don’t know what to do or where to turn. You have access to tons of information but don’t know what or who to listen to. Now imagine you had someone standing beside you listening to you, allowing you to freely open up about what’s bothering you. This person does not give you the answers nor do they judge you. Instead this person uses skills such as deep listening and asking powerful questions that help you find your direction, your inner voice, tapping into your own consciousness which helps bring clarity and those “ah-ha” moments.
And now you’ve gotten to your goal yourself by listening to your body, mind and spirit. How cool is that, having someone next to you guiding you to where you want to go without leading you there, letting you pave your own path, the way that feels right for you.
I find holistic coaching fascinating because I have believed for a long time, way before I knew anything about holistic health or coaching, that there is a connection between your mind and your body. When one is unbalanced, not allowing things to flow freely, it affects other parts of your body and may be why we have unexplained aches and pains.
When we’re feeling stuck or in a job you hate rather than exploring that further we tend to listen to the physical pains we’re having and rush to the doctor to fix it with medications.
But what if the problem could be solved by using simple and free techniques such as imagery,relaxation techniques, deep breathing or meditation, just to name a few.
This is where a holistic coach could be beneficial, helping you to navigate change, to find the answers within and to learn new skills that promote lasting change not temporary fixes.
Now I’m not saying all aches and pains should not be reviewed by a doctor but I what I am saying is we could use both, western medicine along with holistic treatments.
I think it’s worth exploring, don’t you?
In fact one of our oncologist here in DE is trying this out. He’s hired a holistic coach to see his patients, helping them to deal with the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation. The goal is to have patients manage symptoms at home with some of the techniques I mentioned above. It’s still in the pilot stage but I’m very impressed and know it will do well. Patients want alternatives and why not give it to them as healthcare professionals?
Anyways, I could go on and on about the topic of a holistic coach but instead I will give you my best recommendation for learning holistic coaching, a book from Dr. Linda Bark
titleThe Wisdom of the Whole: Coaching for Joy, Health, and Success
It’s the best book I’ve read so far on holistic coaching and here’s why-
In this book you will learn not just about holistic coaching, development of coaching and competencies of coaching but she explains eloquently the skills, techniques, and approaches used to be an effective holistic coach.
Dr. Linda Bark gives examples of coaching sessions and explains what techniques and tools to use and why. She also list powerful questions to ask your clients which is key in helping your client move forward. I’m learning to ask those powerful questions to myself and my clients, a key skill to have in coaching.
There’s also fun illustrations throughout the book and exercises you can do yourself to learn self awareness and get to know your intuitive self, which was my favorite section, the “Mythical” part of coaching.
Dr. Linda Bark also teaches holistic coaching several times throughout the year, read her press release here to find out when the next program begins.
There’s so many practical tools and techniques you can use personally and professionally that I couldn’t possibly discuss them all here but I plan to continue the conversation in future posts.
It’s a must read for anyone considering holistic coaching, even those already in practice, this book will help you be even more effective.
What are your thoughts about hiring a holistic coach? Would you hire one or do you want to become one or are you a holistic coach? Leave a comment below, would love to hear from you!