How to become a holistic health coach

Are you passionate about helping other people with health and wellness? If you find fulfillment in supporting clients through nutrition and holistic remedies, then you might want to consider becoming a holistic health coach.

People are frustrated by poor results from medications, a complicated healthcare system, and medical bills that continue piling up. You can provide personalized support by helping those who are seeking answers to their health problems. Not only can a holistic approach reverse certain health conditions, but it can also offer practical solutions for disease prevention.

What is a holistic health coach?

Fitness trainers support clients with diet and exercise recommendations. Holistic health coaches take this process to the next level by looking at the whole picture, including stress, anxiety, and habits that could be impacting overall health and wellness.

It’s important to note that holistic health coaches don’t have the credentials to diagnose clients. Instead, they focus on finding the right skills and tools each client needs to meet their health goals. 

For example, if a client wants a family-friendly meal plan for the ketogenic diet, a holistic health coach can create a menu and a shopping list. Health coaches can also assist with weight loss, stress management, and more.

Becoming a coach

What does it take to be a professional, certified health coach? Follow these steps:

  1. Research the industry. An online search can help you find educational opportunities that will help you get qualified to offer coaching services. Consider talking to experienced health coaches so you can get a behind-the-scenes perspective about the industry.
  2. Pick a niche. Traditionally, holistic coaching focuses on nutrition and includes supplements, allergies, and lifestyle. But it’s common for coaches to have a specific area of focus. Decide if there’s a particular group you’d like to work with, such as postpartum mothers or the elderly. Knowing your target demographic makes it easier to dial in your marketing plan to connect with the right clients.
  3. Choose a program. Keep in mind that there isn’t a regulatory organization that requires specific training hours or education requirements. It might be tempting to look for the fastest way to get a health coaching certificate, but it’s better to choose a program that includes detailed coursework and top-notch training, so you’re prepared to help your future clients. Holistic health coaching programs are available through universities, such as the University of Delaware and Duke University. If you prefer a smaller institution, you can obtain a reputable certification through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN) or the International Association of Wellness Professionals (IAWP). You’ll find many programs, which is why it’s essential to consider your options before starting your certification program.
  4. Identify your services. How do you want to work with your clients? Most holistic health coaches start with one-on-one services, either in person or over videoconference. As your coaching business grows, you might transition to group coaching or wellness retreats.
  5. Establish an online presence. Not only do you need a website, but it’s also smart to build other profiles on social media platforms. This online presence is an important step in establishing yourself as an industry authority.
  6. Complete practice sessions. One of the most effective ways to get comfortable with your coaching services is to practice. Many holistic health coaching certifications require these practice sessions while you’re still enrolled in the program. Practicing with friends, family, and colleagues can help you hone your skills in a less stressful environment. Then, you’ll have more confidence when you start working with paying clients.

HIPAA-compliant solutions for health coaches

Automation is vital to help you manage the administrative tasks involved in your coaching business. These services must meet HIPAA regulations, because you’ll be dealing with protected health information (PHI), personally identifiable health data. Always make sure you’re using tools and software with sufficient security for protected health information.

If you’re on a Silver or Gold JotForm plan, you can opt for HIPAA compliance and take advantage of forms to simplify the client intake process. Examples include

All forms are customizable, making it easy to gather the necessary information from each client. You can use a variety of other healthcare form templates to update medical history, collect bill payments, acquire signatures for consent, register new clients, and access medical history information. 

JotForm’s HIPAA compliance safeguards provide a secure system for gathering and organizing client information. As you learn how to become a holistic health coach, setting up a systematized process will be a foundational step in your success.

AUTHOR
Firm believer in personal data privacy in the age of information. Close follower of the new regulations concerning patient confidentiality & HIPAA. You can reach George through his contact form.

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