Health Coach or Wellness Consultant: Do You Need One?

Healthy LifeThese days a health coach might be your personal trainer, registered dietitian, nutritionist, massage therapist, life coach, yoga instructor, or nurse wellness consultant, like me. ūüôā It is interesting that we have so many laws limiting what a certified health professional can teach their clientele…of course they cannot diagnose or prescribe because practicing without a license is illegal (registered nurses may provide nursing assessment, diagnosis [not a medical diagnosis], planning, intervention, and evaluation within their scope of practice based on NANDA guidelines). At the same time however, doctors aren’t really teaching us anything either so what are we to do?

If you’ve done any health-related reading on the web at all you’ve probably figured out that we should all be getting more sleep, exercise, drinking more water, reading the latest famous doctor’s health book, eating healthy fats, and consuming plenty of green leafy vegetables. ¬†Many of you have received recommendations from a health coach based on what their own personal methods and beliefs¬†are for what it means to be healthy. This often results in a feeling of overwhelm and leaving client’s confused. I have learned that where there is confusion or too much information, there is no compliance or action and this means the client does nothing. This is not progress.

Everyone has an opinion and every health care professional including health coaches and nurse wellness consultants offers their advice. My suggestion to you now is simply to get started…find a successful health coach or wellness consultant and get the ball rolling. Find the individual whose personal story, message, and wellness programs align with your goals. What one wellness expert says about healthy eating, stress & anxiety, exercise and more will often differ from any other and that’s okay. Everyone’s opinion is based on their own background, education, certifications they hold, and their real world experience as a practicing health coach or consultant. ¬†Take some time to consider what it is you want and need…e.g. your short and long term goals for your specific concerns and conduct interviews if you need to in order to make your decision. Many professionals in the health and wellness industry offer a complimentary consultation to greet one another in an effort to determine if you are the right client for them, and that they are right for you. Don’t be turned-off, however, if a complimentary consult isn’t offered…this is not indicative of whether or not a person is a top-notch consultant – the decision to offer “free time” to potential clients is a personal choice depending on their business structure. If you’re considering a consultant who does not offer courtesy consults, seek referrals and review their testimonials. Word-of-mouth is often the best validation. ¬†Just promise me this: please do not jump around from one consultant or coach to another as this will only leave you frustrated, confused, and more overwhelmed than you were to begin with.

Health coaches and wellness consultants generally specialize in a specific area of focus, for example, they may specialize in nutrition coaching, exercise, stress & anxiety management, workplace wellness and more. So it’s wise to investigate. I am really both a health coach and a wellness consultant and I primarily work with women diagnosed with autoimmune disease. ¬†I bring to them my experience as a registered nurse with a B.S. degree in human development, certified nurse-nutritionist and detox specialist, along with a passion to empower women to overcome the struggle of living with autoimmune disease, just as I have. I¬†also have nurse-specific certifications in environmental toxins, aromatherapy, and holistic stress & anxiety management. This is what I teach: I teach you how to learn and discover what your unique body requires via simple, at home measurable and functional self-tests, and through a comprehensive nursing assessment and nursing diagnosis. I then plan and determine (based on your goals and preferences) which of my programs would be most appropriate for you. This may be my newest¬†5-Week Renewal program, my signature 12-Week Principles of Health program, my VIP one day program, any one of my seasonal healthy-eating programs or a combination. ¬†I will formulate a customized wellness care plan based on NANDA principles that will serve as your personalized resource to keep you on track for life. ¬†Regardless of the program I recommend for you, together we will evaluate the outcome and make changes if needed to help keep you on the right path.

My programs are different for several reasons. First of all, when an autoimmune disease is medically diagnosed, the path to wellness seems arduous. Conventional medicine initially utilizes prescription medications to control symptoms which works for a little while…and then it is no longer effective. ¬†Although this almost always results in a sense of helplessness, loneliness, and frustration, the person continues to search for a practitioner who will listen to them and seems to understand. This can take a very long time, unfortunately. ¬†It took me many doctors to find the right one. Second, when we do find the “right doctor,” whether it be an integrative or functional medicine practitioner, the amount of information that comes at you can be daunting to the point you feel helpless all over again and confused about where to start. This is where someone like me can help, and my programs will prioritize for you what you need to do first to last. In other words, I can take all of your practitioner’s recommendations, your stated goals, add some education about the 3 principles of health and break it down into simple, logical steps in the order of priority, that are easy to follow. Think of me and my services as an advocate for you and a logical and necessary component of your wellness team…to complement your practitioner, not as a competitor. Your highest good is¬†always¬†my priority. Check out my blog post here for why you might want to consider choosing a registered nurse entrepreneur as your personal health and wellness coach.

I have found that the women who experience the most success in conquering their autoimmune disease and symptoms are those who learned from me how the body works (not simply what to do to get well), how it is possible for them to even have an autoimmune disease, and what is necessary to “fix” it. This requires effort: motivation to take on new knowledge, self-accountability, responsibility for self-care, an understanding of the 3 principles of health, and the dedication to making lifestyle changes. ¬†The 3 principles of health account for 90% of all health conditions being treated today and yet our healthcare system still uses the mechanistic approach of treating the symptoms individually with medication which only leads to more side effects. We go to a rheumatologist for rheumatoid arthritis, lupus or fibromyalgia, an endocrinologist for Hashimoto’s or Graves disease, and a neurologist for multiple sclerosis. The truth is, it doesn’t matter “what label” we put on autoimmune disease…they’re all the same in terms of the underlying problem. Unfortunately, there is no medical specialty for autoimmune disorders. So what about immunologists? Immunology is the branch of science dealing with components of the immune system, immunity from disease, and immune response. In real practice, immunologists mostly treat allergies of external origin, for example, allergies to the environment: allergic rhinitis, asthma, sinusitis and otitis media, eczema, dermatitis, hives, and facial swelling, etc., not necessarily issues associated with the immune system attacking tissues of the body as though they were a foreign invader. I have found that clients with autoimmune disease, including myself, tend to prefer to seek out practitioners who are either a functional or integrative medicine practitioner, or a naturopathic physician.

Dollarphotoclub_67014969 (1)When I learned what the 3 principles of health were I spent countless hours of academic research on each before personally implementing¬†what I learned. I was exhausted, distressed, and burnt out on¬†all the medications…when I was initially diagnosed with Hashimoto’s disease, I was also taking two prescription drugs for high blood pressure, metformin for high blood sugar, soma for muscle pain and an anti-inflammatory for stenosis in my neck. I was depressed, overweight, and really struggling emotionally. ¬†My issues with celiac disease, interstitial cystitis, and pernicious anemia were on the “back-burner” as I simply didn’t know what to do anymore. In my 30s I felt I was aging too quickly and couldn’t imagine wellness in my future. It was also disturbing in that you could not tell simply by looking at me that anything was wrong. Autoimmune disease is insidious that way…it’s known as an “invisible” illness. Has anyone ever told you “but, you don’t look like you’re sick!” I heard it at least a million times back then. ¬†Anyway, that all changed when I began to work on the 3 principles of health and today,

Shannon Garrett

Shannon Garrett

I feel I am 100% well…I have a sense of vitality and zeal for life that I didn’t have for at least an entire decade. ¬†Of course, I have occasional set-backs….everyone does from time to time. The blessing for me is that I know precisely what to do about it, and I can help you too – whenever you are ready.

The time is now to become proactive in your life and health. Choose a health coach or wellness consultant who will support your goals and whose message aligns with your beliefs and wants. Whether you are dealing with the complexities of autoimmune disease or simply desire wellness to be able to age with vitality, I encourage you to join me and learn how to restore and maintain whole health: mind, body, and spirit.

Whats-Your-Story-Image-150x150[1]Contact me for a 20 minute complimentary consult HERE. I look forward to hearing from you!

Shannon wants to know: Have you worked with a health coach or wellness nurse?