Health & Wellness, Are They Synonyms?
Is there a difference between health and wellness? The short answer to that question is, Yes. Health refers
to a physical body being free of disease. However; wellness takes into consideration the overall balance and well-being of your entire life – physical, social, spiritual, emotional, intellectual, environmental, and occupational. A person may have glowing physical health, but other areas of their lives are not fully in sync with their body.
The Mind-Body Connection and Health & Wellness
It’s no secret that our minds affect our bodies, both physiologically as well as psychologically. So, it follows that if our emotional and intellectual health is sound, it will be mirrored in our bodies. Likewise, if we’re under a great deal of stress or upset, that too will affect our health, our bodies and our moods. All things are intrinsically linked.
What’s the Difference Between Health Coaching and Wellness Coaching?
Since the terms health coach and wellness coach have been used interchangeably over recent years, perhaps now is a good time to differentiate for clarity sake.
Coaching is premised on using a conversational style that adheres to specific principles and methods designed to help people explore their personal world and discover ways to make positive changes in their lives. It isn’t about fixing people or providing the answers. A skilled coach empowers people to believe in themselves and the truth that they have what it takes to make changes successfully. A good coach is intuitive, modest and truly passionate about their work.
Coaches help people learn:
- Where the change is needed
- Why it is important to the individual
- Explore what is stopping or slowing them down from achieving their goals
- Brainstorm together to find workable solutions
- Together with the individual, create a solid plan to move forward successfully
With all of this in mind, let’s talk about the differences between health coaching and wellness coaching.
Health coaches are professionals who have specific training in areas of physical health. They can be physiotherapists, dieticians, personal trainers, nutritionists, naturopaths or proficient in another health-related area. They are often found in medical clinical environments or corporate health organizations where they work to help people through medical issues and onto better quality of life. Their experience may also qualify them to help people lose weight and improve general health.
It’s important to note that health coaches and wellness coaches share the same skill sets when it comes to coaching, however; their focus may be different.
Wellness coaching is a recent profession that has come out of the current psychology movement that helps people enrich their lives and improve them, not just deal with mental health issues. A wellness coach may work with individuals who are seeking direction and change in their lives – perhaps a new career or improvement in their relationships. They may work with people who are quite happy in most areas of life but want to raise the bar, perhaps succeed at something they may have not been successful in before.
Given the nature of coaching and the deep connection between mind/body health a wellness coach often begins the process at the physical level – dealing with diet, exercise, and nutrition and then moves into other areas. Wellness is a word that applies, as we said earlier, to more facets of health than just physical. When one area is out of balance, often others are as well.
The Wellness coach begins in health coaching and moves gradually into supporting people into making changes in areas that have been challenging, including stress management, time management and relationships.
At For the Health of It, I use the skills and training I’ve received over the course of many years to coach my clients into the best version of themselves they can envision. I work with them to make the changes they desire, remove the blocks and become successful in many areas of their lives.