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Getting Started with Holistic Life Coaching

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what is the history of holistic coachingIf you’ve ever had an interest in holism, you  have probably heard the expression “the whole  is greater than the sum of its parts”. . . which is a great way to summarize holism – but what does that mean to you as a coach, or more importantly, what does this mean to your client? The basic principles of holism are not new, having been around at least since the time of Hippocrates in the West, 2500 years ago, and even earlier in the Eastern healing traditions of Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese medicine. As you might suspect, the healers and physicians who practiced the art and science of holistic medicine all treated the whole person – body, mind and spirit. This common sense holistic focus has been  largely  ignored  by most physicians during the past few hundred years. This has led to our current conventional system of disease care, which for all of its miraculous discoveries and highly effective treatments of acute and life-threatening illnesses and injuries, has become increasingly mechanistic and overly focused on the treatment of symptoms. As a result, the factors contributing to causing disease have not been adequately addressed, while more than 100 million Americans suffer from some form of chronic illness. Treatments that focus on the whole person have shifted to become one of fixing the ‘broken parts’. This approach can work well for mitigating or eliminating symptoms, but has result- ed in our inability to prevent, cure (elimination of a physical problem), and/or heal (lessening of disease with restoration of wholeness and balance) diseases of a  chronic, multi-factorial nature.

Instead of meeting the needs of our diseased population, we have  created  an  overburdened  health care system that cost the USA more than trillion of dollars per year.

The United States, in particular, is seeing the consequences of high health  care  costs  with  an increase in health spending. There is little doubt that we will always have a possible glut of clients who need valuable coaching from a CHLC. The increasing awareness of the general public about alternative methods of care show where the state of health and holistic wellness is, relative to our times. According to the most recent surveys, public frustration with physicians’ inability to prevent or eliminate their suffering (or to save their lives) from a variety of ailments – from cancer, AIDS, and heart disease, to sinusitis, arthritis and back pain – has led more than two-thirds of our population to seek alternative medical treatment, for which they spent $33+ billion in one year alone. Most of this expense was paid for out-of-pocket, since the majority of these treatments are not covered by health insurance. This powerful demonstration of interest in alternatives has helped to create the National Institutes of Health’s Office of Complementary and Alternative Medicine, with its current research budget in excess of 100 million dollars. It has also spawned new terminology as we search for the best word to describe the new medicines we seek. Beginning with alternative, we progressed to complementary, and now integrative medicine seems to be the most popular term used. But the term that best describes this rapidly expanding field that extends beyond the scope of drugs and surgery is holistic medicine. This art and science of healing both conventional and complementary therapies to prevent and treat disease – but its primary objective is to help create the experience of optimal, or holistic health.

What is the history of holistic health care and medicine?

Far more than simply a set of new therapeutic options for treating chronic disease, the ancient baton of holistic medicine  has  been passed  to the American Holistic Medical Association (AHMA), and, more recently, its sister organization, the American Board of Holistic  Medicine (ABHM). It has become the responsibility of these two organizations to inspire and educate Americans to make the commitment and assume greater responsibility for their own health. Since December of 2000, the ABHM established board certification for M.D.’s and D.O.’s in holistic medicine. This has effectively set a new standard for quality health care in the US. The art, science and practice of  this  brand  of  medicine are based upon the belief that unconditional  love is life’s most powerful  medicine.

Most physicians have been highly successful in the academic arena, but to practice holistic medicine, one must focus on expanding their heart’s capacity to exceed that of the intellect. This is where a Certified Holistic Life Coach can be part of the complementary relationships seen in holism – by directly working with medical practitioners to develop strategies to coach people into optimal holistic health. Holistic Life Coaches, engaged in the business of caring, typically guide their clients in a process of healing to include nurturing themselves physically, environmental- ly,  mentally,  emotionally,  spiritually  and socially.

Holistic coaching means that you take into account the physical, mental, and emotional well-being and health when treating or preventing disease. What this looks like in practice is that you do not just try to fix individual symptoms; look at the individual trees but don’t lose sight of the forest. are problems today before consumers with regard to health maintenance and medical interventions. The Journal of the American Medical Association raised eyebrows when they revealed that adverse effects from conventional treatments (unnecessary surgeries, medication, and other errors in hospitals; hospital-acquired infections; and the adverse effects of medications in general) may be the third leading cause of death in the USA.

Today’s consumer (your client) wants alternatives to their health maintenance plan and also wants to be treated as a whole person, not just a subject with a disease. We are so much more than blood, chemistry, bones  and  cellular tissue. We are beings of energy and spirit as well. We are complex, multi-systemic beings,  and the symptoms of  illness  have  meaning  only within this larger context, not in isolation.

The primary differences of Holistic Life Coaching are significant, in that it is multidimensional, and is characterized by the coach who is required to focus on all of the aspects of the client’s life. Coaches normally have an area of specialty, such as health, performance, business, nutrition, and so on.  In fact, we also offer you the opportunity to get certified in holistic nutrition coaching.

In general, coaching is about getting the very best out of someone and enabling them to make decisions that will improve their life. Coaches are hired and used for very many different reasons. Your ability to influence your clients is powerful.  It needs to be handled carefully and with the utmost care and consideration for your client’s short-term and long-term benefit.

This could include concerns at work, or to improve relationships with  family and partners; to learn parenting skills  that  benefit both the child and parent or to gain a spiritual meaning to life, or a desire to ‘get sorted’.

As a profession, coaching is growing and is becoming widely acknowledged and more people understand the effectiveness of good, effective coaching. But again, coaching is a relatively new and different profession – different from psychology, counseling or therapy. The big difference between coaching and these professions is that  coaching doesn’t claim to have the answers. A coach’s job is not to go over old ground, be past-orientated or to force-feed information, but to work with clients to help them find the answers themselves.

Also, when a person experiences being coached, their motivation comes from working with a coach who is him/herself an upbeat, positive role model. In this way coaching is a unique way of developing people. Coaches agree that helping clients to reach their full potential through this approach produces great satisfaction. Whatever the reasons for people deciding to work with coaches, whatever the type of coaching given, and whatever results clients seek from coaching, a common feature in all coaching relationships is that coaching is a two-way process.

This two-way partnership is a main attraction for people toward the coaching process. Both coach and client benefit. Personal development for the coach is a huge aspect of learning coaching and all coaches find that they themselves must grow, before starting to help others to do the same.

A distinguished and competent coach finds out new things about themselves and is on a continuous learning journey. Becoming a coach means a lifelong quest for personal excellence. For many this quest is the motivation to become a coach in the first place. Helping clients discover where they want to go and helping them to get there is now a proven methodology, which is fueling the increasing popularity of professional  coaching.

Good coaches are never motivated entirely  by  money. Yes, money matters.  It gives you options, choices and comfort. Yet, caring and empathy are also very important.  The very nature of coaching means that it’s a profession that is centered on ‘making a difference’ and helping people. Focusing mainly on making money generally leads to a lack of concern for the client. Not surprisingly, this results in the client exiting the relationship. Coaches who enter the profession mainly for financial gain leave coaching quickly, which helps to maintain the integrity of the coaching professional reputation. With this  in mind, more coaches find that offering holistic life coaching is a means of enhancing current coaching services already offered by a working coach.

Understanding Holistic Life Coaching

It is difficult to map the history of holistic education because many feel that the core ideas of holism are not new but “timeless and found in the sense of wholeness in humanity’s religious impetus” (Forbes,1996). On the other hand, the roots of holistic education can be traced back to sever- al major contributors. Originating theorists include Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry Thoreau, Bronson Alcott, Johann Estalozzi, Friedrich Fröbel, and Francisco Ferrer. More recent theorists are Rudolf Steiner, Maria Montessori, Francis Parker, John Dewey, John Caldwell  Holt, George  Dennison  Kieran  Egan,  Howard  Gardner, Jiddu Krishnamurti, Carl Jung, Abraham Maslow, Carl Rogers, Paul Goodman, Ivan Illich, and Paulo Freire. With the ideas of these pioneers in mind, many feel that the core ideas of holistic education did not truly take form until the cultural paradigm shift that began in the 1960s. After this, the holism movement in psychology emerged in the 1970’s where, during this time, “an  emerging body of literature in science, philosophy and cultural history provided an overarching concept to describe this way of understanding education” –  a perspective known as holism.

Significant forward motion in holistic awareness was one positive result of the first National Holistic Education Conference that was conducted with The University of California, San Diego, in July 1979, which included 31 workshops. The Conference was presented by The Mandala Society and The National Center for the Exploration of Human Potential. The title was Mind: Evolution or Revolution? The Emergence of Holistic Education.

In the six years that followed, the Holistic Education Conference was combined with the Mandala Holistic Health Conferences at  the  University of California, San Diego, with about three thousand professionals participating each year. Out of this came The Journal of Holistic Education. There was also an emerging consensus  that educators tend to focus only  on  teaching the basic three R’s: Reading Writing and Arithmetic. With Holistic Education, the basic  three R’s in the education process stand for: Relationships, Responsibility and Reverence for all life.

The world needs your help as a Certified Holistic Life Coach.  We can guide you each step of the way. Click here to enroll right now.