Integrative medicine or Integral health coaching–is there a difference? Indeed, there is. For many people, medicine is essential for healing. Chronic and acute conditions require the breath of an conventional and integrative medical approaches. In my practice, this includes nutritional medicine, homeopathy, chiropractic and craniosacral therapy. These practices all seek to restore the body’s pathological limitations. However, these are not coaching practices.
Is integrative medicine enough? Illness is more then just pathological processes in the body or mind. Often, the conditions for bodily and mental dysfunction exists in our habits, in the way we live our lives. High blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, osteoarthritis, and many other conditions are significantly impacted by how we manage stress, our lifestyle choices, and how we healing. Our choices of food, of exercise, how we sleep all influence our health. What we fill our minds with on a hourly basis, whether we have a healthy social support system, as well as whether we are able to be of service to others or forgive past difficult situations., all influence our heal. Influencing these realms are the purview health coaching and my own practice is Integral Health Coaching.
How is health coaching different then medicine?
Coaching is fundamentally collaborative. When medicine involves medications or surgery, the physician is charged with providing for the patient. In a coaching model, the coach and the client essentially work collaboratively. Rather then the healer offering medicine, the healer was a coach works with the natural resources of the client, supporting their creative capacity to actively bring about positive change.
Coaching is transformative. The potential to learn and grow in a coaching approach offers unique opportunities to view illness as an opportunity to learn from rather then something to simply get rid of. Coaching approaches lifestyle and habits that support the inner workings our our body and mind. With practice we can deliver new ways of being in which we actively choose behaviors that are healing, naturally bringing health and healing into our lives.
Coaching is a process. As we learn to make new moves in our understand of ourselves, our awareness shifts to a healthier way of being, and the choices we make to support this healthier way. The work with the client and the coach evolves over time. The goal is often far greater then simply removing symptoms. The healing topic is just the beginning of looking into the potential how symptoms can lead to more fulfilling and healthier living.
Coaching supports self-motivation. Often in the convention and integrative medical model, patients are given advise and actions that will most definitely lead to healing and removal of symptoms. However, less frequently do patients actually follow through with these interventions. Health coaching attends to the motivation required to make the behavioral changes necessary for healing. Coaching practices are tailored specifically to the clients unique circumstances. The goal is to support success, allowing early successes to provide healing momentum. As clients feel the new emerging muscles, commitment and motivation grows. The focus is less on reduction of symptoms and more on strengthening new ways of being and motivations for healthier beliefs and behaviors.
As an Integral Master Coach™, my approach views change as potentially occurring in any or all of the four domains: experience, behaviors, cultures, and systems. Healing comes with strengthening muscles in these four areas. We can focus on deepening our awareness, improving healthy behaviors, finding the right people to spend time with or improving the resources and systemic structures the support healing. The integral approach assesses these four domains and uses strengths to help heal weaknesses. We each have things we are good at and area’s that could use some attention. The Integral Health Coaching seeks to leverage our strengths to grow new muscles in areas that need to be improved.
Integrative Medicine or Integral Health Coaching, do you have to choose? Not really. Each individual seeking relief from illness or suffering can have the best of both. Integrative medicine fundamentally is not exclusive of conventional medical approaches. Integral Health Coaching uses whatever is working best for the client to broaden healing potential through guided support and action. With the goal of relieving pain and suffering, Integrative Medicine and Integral Health Coaching are vital options for healing.