“So” I hear you ask, “what made you decide to become a health coach?” I’ve been in practice as an osteopath for more than 14 years now. When I started out I thought the most important thing I could do was to make sure I had the best possible technique. So I focussed on getting my soft tissue work (massage) just right, and learning new techniques for joints which wouldn’t respond to normal mobilisations and articulations.
But somewhere along the way I realised that what the patient did about their problem was just as important as what I did to them in the clinic. At the same time I noticed quite a lot of resistance to “doing homework”. Patients wanted me to get them better with a magic bullet. They didn’t really want to change their exercise routine (or start one) or try to knock work at a reasonable time.
So I realised that in the few minutes left at the end of a session (or sometimes at the beginning) I was having to coach patients in order to get them to see things differently and to start taking responsibility for their health. I had become a health coach by default.
I must have been doing this amateur health coaching for some years before I had the first email from Jo and Andy. This dynamic duo run a company called Beyond Training, and they are NLP1 practitioners. Master Practitioners to be precise. After that first email, they just kept coming. Jo and Andy must have realised that I needed their services – I just didn’t know it yet!
Moving from amateur to professional health coach
In the end they sent the email which clinched it – a free one-day confidence event at Waterloo. At the time I was well on the way to getting divorced. I had moved into my new house and needed to make some changes if I was to be able to support myself. So I signed up for the confidence day and realised what an amazing thing NLP can be.
The next month I attended their three-day self-coaching mastery course, and this year I did my practitioner training. The master practitioner training starts in two weeks and I can’t wait!
With the practitioner training under my belt I decided that I could call myself a health coach. With my new NLP skills, I am able to coach people who want to lose weight or give up smoking. I am lucky because my osteopathy training has given me a good grounding in the human physiology and how it can go wrong. And my earlier background in psychology and developmental psychology has given me some understanding of how people think and how emotions work. However the NLP training has taken this to quite another level as it has given me a toolbox for helping people find their own inner resources which will allow them to achieve what they want, rather than trying and giving up because they fell at the first hurdle.