Becoming a health coach may sound very attractive, considering the booming coaching industry that reached $20 billion this year.
It is one of the most popular specializations, but does it really serve its purpose? Most importantly, will it serve your purpose of pursuing this career path?
So before you start looking into any health or wellness coach certification programs, here’s what you may want to look into:
- What Does a Health Coach Do?
- Standard Health Coaching Certification Programs: Key Features
- What Is Holistic Health Coaching?
- Introducing HoloBody Certification
- Becoming a Certified HoloBody Coach
Once you know all the pros and cons, you can decide better and choose what matches your aspirations best.
What Does a Health Coach Do?
A health coach is an expert who specializes in nutrition, stress management, human behavior, physical activity, and motivation.
According to Ajit Nawalka, co-founder of Evercoach of Mindvalley, people turn to a coach when facing a challenge or seeking growth in some area of their life.
So a health coach helps clients resolve health or wellness challenges or achieve their health goals. This may include weight loss, giving up unhealthy habits, and even overcoming addictions.
A good health coach first helps a client (or a group of clients in case of group coaching) to become aware of their inquiry as clients aren’t always clear about what they want or need.
Their initial focus is to understand the real problem instead of trying to solve it. Once they diagnose it right, they move on to figuring out the solution.
The same is with growth — they use various coaching techniques to define your health goals and align them with your core values.
Ajit explains that client goals often come from analogies or someone else’s results, even jealousy. But it’s not truly them. If you can align them with their essence, you can truly help them take action towards achieving their goals.
Once the area of concern or growth is identified, health coaches assist and encourage them along their journey.
Standard Health Coaching Certification Programs: Key Features
Health coach certification programs train people to work as certified health coaches. Most of these programs focus on a particular area like nutrition or cover several health-related areas such as behavior change, lifestyle management, and exercise.
If there is one focus, it’s usually called nutrition or fitness coaching specialization.
So what are the pros and cons of health certification programs available in the market? Some pros seem like an advantage depending on what you are looking for and your starting point.
For example, Precision Nutrition Certification helps students master the science of nutrition, so if your goal is to deepen your knowledge in this area, this program can match your goals.
But in general, highly specialized programs will limit your health coaching expertise to one aspect of health and wellbeing.
Let’s look at the most common features of traditional health coaching programs:
- Approved by the National Board for Health and Wellness Coaching (NBHWC)
- Printed and online course materials
- Offer hybrid or fully online and self-paced curriculum
- Offer a base-level and master-level programs
- Well-researched and evidence-based
- Include mentorship and community support
- Might be too specific to fitness or nutrition professionals
- You must have completed a bachelor’s degree or higher to enroll
- Requires NCCA-accredited certification, associate’s degree in the related field, or two years of specified experience
- Takes up to 12 months to complete or requires up to 16 hours a week of studying for a shorter program
- Limited availability
- Recertification is required every two years
The most significant challenge of these programs is that their either too general or too specific.
The bottom line is that your burning desire to dramatically change your career path and become a health coach isn’t enough. One solution to this problem is to consider holistic health coaching.
What Is a Holistic Health Coaching?
From the evolutionary standpoint, over the past few hundred years, we experienced unprecedented changes in our lifestyle. Compared with our ancestors (hunters and gatherers), our bodies evolved dramatically from what they originally developed for.
So health and wellness of a modern human are based on much more aspects than mere nutrition and physical activity.
Unlike fractured (or specialized) health coaching, the holistic approach considers the complexity of modern life. It encompasses all aspects of health — nutrition, sleep, physical activity, emotions, environment, and even your sense of purpose.
Thus, when it comes to behavior and identity change, it revolves around multiple areas rather than changing one’s eating or exercising habits.
For example, according to the research done by the University of Leeds, seven systems determine your body weight:
- Physical activity (exercise, standing, sitting, walking, etc.)
- Environment (physical environment, city, office, etc.)
- Physiology of the human body (gut microbiome, etc.)
- Food consumption (nutrition, etc.)
- Food production (what type of food do you have access to?)
- Social psychology (friends, family, etc.)
- Personal psychology (own beliefs, thoughts, etc.)
From this map, you can see that our bodies are a complex system. That’s why we need a holistic approach.
Introducing HoloBody Certification
The HoloBody Certification is an in-house training for aspiring holistic health coaches, developed by Vishen, founder of Mindvalley, Ronan Diego, head of health and fitness of Mindvalley, and Ajit Nawalkha.
How is this model different from other wellness coach certifications?
The HoloBody stands for the holistic body where the body represents a whole system, including your mind, emotions, and spirit, and the model itself isn’t isolated from it.
Ronan explains that most health and wellness coaching approaches are limited to two factors – nutrition and exercise. But there are much more elements to it.
On top of that, when people try to do something about them, they push their bodies into something they may not be designed to be.
We often want to transform our body to meet our needs — our need to feel confident or become strong or beautiful. We demand all these from the body to give it to us.— Ronan Diego, head of health and fitness of Mindvalley
Apart from taking the wrong approaches to your health, we do it for the wrong reasons.
Instead of pushing it to match your needs, you want to provide it with the resources it needs to thrive and nurture its strengths.
HoloBody approach covers seven essential needs that ensure health and well-being:
- Nutrient richness: Having all nutrients to fuel our body’s needs.
- Frequent movement: Our bodies developed to move all the time. It’s the foundation of our survival.
- Sound sleep: Adequate amount, regular and quality sleep.
- Inner stillness: Our resilience to stress.
- Deep connection: We are wired around social connections. It’s paramount for our happiness and well-being.
- Sync with nature: The physical body needs its environment (sunlight, gravity, etc.). Lack of this connection brings our bodies to decay.
- Sense of purpose: People who have a sense of purpose take care of themselves more.
This is what HoloBody is all about — a holistic approach to transforming your body into the full expression of what it wants to become. So it’s not so much about transforming your body but transforming your relationship with it.
With such a holistic approach, efforts become easy because you work in alignment with your body by accepting and nurturing it.
Moreover, this program utilizes the power of your subconscious mind to rewire your brain and embody a brand new identity, healthy, vibrant, and whole.
Stories from HoloBody-Certified coaches
Most HoloBody Certification Program students enrolled to transform their relationships with their bodies holistically.
They’ve learned how to feel at home in their own bodies and developed essential coaching skills to encourage their clients to learn the same on their journeys.
Here are some transformational stories for inspiration:
Lynda Hamilton, strategic communications consultant, New York, the United States
“This HoloBody Certification Course has been the culmination of my own Hero’s Journey!
I wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone who is ready to authentically go deep into their own operating systems for true transformation. You will never regret it, even if you do not coach in the end – who knows what your journey and discoveries will be!”
Lisa Gruenloh, founder & president of Purpose Journey, Inc., Naples, United States
“After four months in this program, I am 15 pounds lighter, my energy has been restored, and I have a much healthier, kinder relationship with my body and myself!
The inner monastery process and mapping out my body journey were particularly helpful. I had a critical breakthrough around my pattern of putting on weight under specific conditions that triggered some early trauma. And, of course, Vishen’s mind practices were phenomenal.”
Arlene Wright, orthodontist at the Family Orthodontic Practice, Trinidad and Tobago
“If I could have spoken to my younger self from 4 months ago, I would say 100 percent this is exactly the course I should take.
This course, along with the excellent teachers, Vishen and Ronan, and the awesome facilitators, proved to be far beyond my expectations: the wealth and extent of knowledge, the questions that were thoroughly answered, the coaching sessions, the extra resources, all my peers — it was truly amazing.”
Becoming a Certified HoloBody Coach
Have you heard about a concept of a wounded healer? You can heal others when you’ve healed your wounds.
And this is what you’re going to do if you start your HoloBody Coaching certification — you will transform your health and learn how to assist others along their journeys.
And the great news is that if you aspire to become a successful health coach, your aspiration is more than enough.
Mindvalley’s HoloBody Coaching certification is open to anyone willing to do better in their health and life and be of service to others.