Holistic health is an optimal state of health where a person is in balance physically, mentally and spiritually. Holistic health coaching does not just focus on the illness or general health problem, but puts the whole person at the center, and the approach encompasses the whole body, mind and spirit.
Holistic health coaching is a form of health maintenance and health promotion that takes the whole person into account. The idea that all aspects of the person should be considered to promote optimal health and well-being stems from holism. Holism is a philosophy that promotes the primary goal of ultimate health and well-being. Working in harmony with traditional medicine, holistic therapies incorporate various forms of alternative therapies or naturopathic medicine to achieve their goals.
Holistic therapy is a treatment modality that promotes healing by treating the whole person, based on the principle that if one part of the person is ignored or thrown out of balance, it causes the whole system to become unbalanced.
Why is holistic health coaching important?
Today, more and more people are experiencing the limits of Western medicine when it comes to treating complex diseases involving multiple organ systems or autoimmune disorders. Conventional, or orthodox, medicine and treatment only address one part of the body, and in many cases the client does not experience a complete cure because other aspects of their being that are responsible for the development of the disease are ignored. This does not mean that we offer only alternative therapies instead of Western medicine, but that we work alongside (in collaboration with) Western medicine to promote the body’s self-healing processes through natural remedies, nutritional therapy and stress management.
The main goal of holistic health coaching:
To achieve optimal health. Optimal health, that is, when a person is in balance mentally, physically and spiritually, is the epitome of successful holistic treatment.
Holistic health coaching involves:
- Natural healing modalities,
- Nutritional therapy,
- Stress management techniques, and
- Lifestyle management strategies to regain and improve optimal health.
The origins of the holistic vision
The concept of living in harmony with nature is at the heart of a healing traditions dating back 5,000 years in India and China. These branches of natural medicine take the whole body into account and their treatment tools are geared towards restoring the individual’s physical, mental and spiritual balance.
As the Greek philosopher Socrates said: ‘The part can never be well, if the whole is not well’.
With the emergence and great development of modern Western medicine, the holistic approach has been eclipsed as people’s interest in medical innovation has grown. But as it became clear that modern medicine cannot cure everything, that certain chronic conditions do not respond to traditional orthodox treatments, and that some treatments may actually do more harm than good, the holistic approach was revived.
The holistic approach is proving to be much more effective in curing and treating a variety of diseases and conditions.
Holistic treatment is used to explore the whole person, to find potential underlying problems with their health and then address these in the treatment plan where appropriate.
When a client walks into the office of a holistic health counsellor or coach, they will undergo a full health assessment and evaluation, including an in-depth examination of their life history, lifestyle, thoughts and feelings. They will learn treatment options based on who they are as a person, what their physical and mental needs are, and how they can move their body towards healing.
In addition, holistic health coaches also work to help their clients help themselves. They do this through a few different options, such as:
- Educating and motivating clients to make positive lifestyle changes and take care of themselves
- Teaching and coaching people how to cope with lifestyle changes and stress
- Exercise and diet modification
- Mental health and relationships
- Spiritual development
Holistic treatments are divided into five modalities, which are specific approaches or methods of healing. To name just a few examples within each modality: Ayurveda, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Herbal Therapy, Aromatherapy, Homeopathy, Breathwork Therapy, Meditation, Yoga, Nutritional Therapy, etc.). A specific, individualized combination of these is used to achieve optimal health.
Each of these options is used to explore the inner corners of the client’s life to rule out other causes and underlying health problems. They are all designed to target and heal the whole person by engaging the mind, body and spirit in every program option and plan.
The main benefits that clients can gain from holistic health coaching include:
- Direct participation in the treatment, with the client being an active participant at every step
- Clients learn complementary therapies that are effective, yet gentle, non-invasive, natural and with the lowest possible risk. They can also be used in parallel with conventional medicine.
- They are seen as a whole person and not a disease.
In short, holistic treatment provides the benefits of total health and wellness through a variety of treatment options that best suit the client.
The holistic health coach
A holistic health coach believes in a holistic approach to health, believing that the whole body should function at its best. This includes mind, body and spirit.
A holistic health coach has a broad vision and knows that if any one of these areas is not functioning properly, it will affect the rest of the body. Therefore, a holistic health coach is concerned with the well-being of the whole person, rather than focusing on a specific part of the body or a disease, as conventional medical practices do.
What does a holistic health coach do?
- A holistic health coach focuses on the whole person, rather than focusing on symptoms. This helps him or her to promote the client’s overall well-being instead of simply treating symptoms.
- A holistic health coach teaches her/his clients how to live a healthy lifestyle while using balanced nutrition or nutritional therapy, ayurveda, herbs, aromatherapy, exercise and many other methods.
- A holistic health coach helps clients understand the balance needed in life to maintain good health and helps them achieve and maintain that balance.
- The holistic health coach also understands that the client may need traditional medication and medical treatment and will refer them to the appropriate medical practitioner if necessary. It enables the body to restore its health in parallel with, and in addition to, conventional medicine.
How did I become a Holistic Health Coach?
In 2010 (at the age of 25) I was diagnosed with seronegative rheumatoid arthritis, despite having a vegetarian diet for many years, being active in sports, not smoking and not eating processed foods or sugar. At the time I was also working as a Nutrition Consultant, Yoga Instructor and Pilates Trainer.
Seronegative rheumatoid arthritis is a rare case of autoimmune arthritis that often attacks the synovial fluid around the joints. This causes cartilage damage that causes pain and inflammation in the joints. In the long term, it can cause serious damage to cartilage.
I developed a herniated disc in the lumbar spine at the start of my PhD in biology in 2013. This made my daily life very difficult. I took a break from teaching yoga and pilates and focused on my own recovery. In 2014, while working abroad, I contracted a Chikungunya virus in the tropics, which also affected my joints. Needless to say, I could barely stand on my feet for a few months. Fortunately, yoga and the Ayurvedic diet helped a lot to manage the symptoms, but they did not allow me to fully recover.
I combined all the knowledge I had acquired up to that point (Nutritional Therapy, Spine Balance Training, Yoga and Ayurveda) and incorporated it into my daily life. I switched to a full vegan diet, started learning and applying mindfulness techniques, which helped a lot in relieving joint pain. I refused to accept the fact that there was no recovery from an autoimmune joint disease. Unfortunately, I could not change the genetic background, but I knew how much the environment and the mental-physical balance played a role in the activity of certain genes. In my case (as in many others), stress responses and ingrained behavioral patterns were the key. And these were the missing elements towards my full recovery.
Abroad, I obtained a Yoga Master Teacher Diploma, which enabled me to learn mindful meditation and breathing techniques in greater depth. This was a breakthrough for me, and after three years of active practice, I was almost symptom-free. I attended further training courses in natural remedies and holistic health promotion to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the biological causes of chronic diseases and their integrative solutions. In 2016, I obtained my Ph.D. in biology at the Faculty of Natural Sciences of the University of Pécs and started my studies at the Indian Borad of Alternative Medicine, where I received a Doctor of Naturopathy degree and later a Holistic Health Coach diploma.
During this time, my daughter was born. Today, I run, do yoga and live my life fully, happily and pain-free. And now I am happy to announce that I have recovered.
A combination of nutritional therapy, movement therapy and stress management, as well as naturopathic remedies, was the ultimate solution for me. And so, I was inspired to bring to as many people as possible both the scientific knowledge of the West and the knowledge and experience of the East, which enables a healthy lifestyle and physical and mental balance.
As a biologist, I agree to the need for orthodox medicine and treatments, and I believe in the importance of the innovations of health science, but I also see the need to work with Western medicine to bring the potential of natural medicine to as many people as possible, through holistic nutrition, exercise, stress management and self-improvement. Only in this way will we be able to create the mind-body-spirit balance that will allow the body to heal fully. Our body can heal itself, but we must create the environment in which healing is possible.
This is how I decided to work full-time as a Holistic Health Coach and Nutritionist, and pass on this kind of integrative health promotion and knowledge through teaching internationally recognized courses through the Body ‘n’ Soul Wellness Academy.
If you have reached a point in your life where holistic health maintenance for yourself and your family is of paramount importance, and that you would like to pursue this as a career, then you are welcome to join our internationally recognized course for Holistic Health Coaches.
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