Health Care Crisis
The Health Care Crisis and the Health Coaching Revolution
Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.
Is it any surprise that more and more of us turn to “Doctor Google” when feeling under the weather? An internet search of our symptoms can retrieve information fast—but that’s not the only reason we’ve turned into a nation of armchair physicians. The health care crisis is largely to blame, although it undeniably benefits us all when it comes to educating ourselves about our health.
The health care crisis in America is a hot political button that can be traced all the way back to President Nixon. For over fifty years, president after president has declared a health care crisis, often followed by a new proposal for sweeping health care reform. Admittedly, it’s not the most pleasant topic to focus on, but it needs our attention—especially for those of us in the health and wellness industry. What immediate thoughts come to mind for you personally when the health care crisis subject is brought up?
What Happened to Affordable Health Care?
For many, it’s affordability. The skyrocketing costs of health care coverage has made it unattainable for most people, even those that make a great income and have decent coverage; out of pocket costs can still be very high. For others, it’s negligence due to an overburdened, malfunctioning system, along with inefficiencies created by the bureaucracy. In fact:
- Health care costs reached 20 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2018
- Health spending by families relying on health insurance from large employers grew two times faster than wages over the last decade
- Health care spending was about 5% of the total economy in 1960 and 18% in 2018
- We spend upwards of $3.5 trillion on health care annually (2019)
Of that $3.5 trillion, $1 trillion is spent caring for chronic disease, according to a recent Milken Institute analysis. Chronic disease comprises about 75 percent of the United States’ aggregate health care spending. The Milken Institute analysis also estimates that 40 million chronic cases may be prevented or delayed annually with “modest reductions in unhealthy behaviors”.
It’s common knowledge we are in the middle of one of the worst public health crisis of our time. With the rapid pace of the modern lifestyle, we’re stressed, sleep-deprived, overworked, overweight and just plain SICK. Lifestyle diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and obesity are the status quo. Diet-related disease is the number one cause of preventable death in the U.S.
This happened fast. We’re not just an overweight nation. Sickness manifests in many ways. We’ve seen an increase in the number of people with allergies, asthma, migraines, ADD, autoimmune disorders, and vision impairments. Mental health issues are at the forefront as evidenced by the climbing number of people who are on medication for depression, anxiety, insomnia, or all three. We’ve reached a point where the opioid epidemic is a major topic and part of the national conversation. This is scary, right?
The Rise of the Holistic Health Practitioner
As Americans grew chronically sicker, a different kind of movement began to mobilize—a wave of health-conscious Americans emerged. Hooray! As more of us turned to holistic or homeopathic alternatives for our maladies through conducting research online, a community organically formed.
In this new approach that deviated from traditional western medicine, we began assessing an individual’s symptoms not simply through isolating the symptoms, but rather looking at the whole person and that person’s history, lifestyle, environment, and genetic factors. This new perspective birthed the beginnings of functional medicine.
A Renaissance in Health Care
Luckily, a healthcare renaissance is occurring along with the field of functional medicine. It started catching on across the globe and exciting, new things are happening as we speak. People are starting to really understand the importance of nutrition and not only using food for fuel, but using food to heal, as is the case with preventative medicine. Of course, holistic practitioners have been among us all along, but now they’ve been given more of a voice and platform, working their way into the mainstream and getting recognition with real science behind these fields of study.
Now that holistic practitioners have captured the spotlight with pioneers like Jeffrey Bland, PhD, FACN, CNS, and Andrea Nakayama who have paved the way forward, we need to keep empowering others through education and training. Never has there been more of a call to action; six out of ten adults in this country have a chronic disease. Four out of ten adults have TWO or more lifestyle diseases.
The “lifestyle” part of lifestyle disease means exactly what it implies: lifestyle diseases are defined as diseases that are linked with the way people live their lives. In our country we are facing epic cases of heart disease, stroke, obesity, and Type II Diabetes. What do these diseases have in common? They are often caused by poor nutrition, stress, smoking, drinking, addiction to substances, and lack of exercise. The silver lining is that the culprit in most of these behaviors is habit. We have the power to control our habits, but it’s being able to recognize that and having the right tools and accountability in place that will help us to live our healthiest, longest lives.
The Truth About Genetics
If you’re like the rest of us, you may have a hard time swallowing this new information. This is because we’ve grown up hearing that these types of habits and the probability of disease are hereditary, or genetic. When in fact, 85 percent of chronic diseases can be attributed to outside factors.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has reported that genetics are only responsible for about 15 percent of diseases. The rest is caused by:
- Environment- where you live, your geographical location, and physical surroundings
- Diet- what foods you eat, how much you eat, and knowing the right kinds of foods for your body
- Parents’ health at the time of conception
- Social interactions and relationships- aka who you hang around with, your main influences
- Lifestyle choices- if you smoke, do drugs, drink alcohol, etc.
- Daily habits- if you exercise, get fresh air, practice self-care, how much time you spend on social media, watching tv, etc.
- Stress management- getting enough sleep, taking breaks, not overworking yourself
How To Change Your Life
These are things that we can control. Many of us get stuck in unhealthy behaviors and have accepted high stress levels as common and part of modern life. But, the truth of the matter is: you have the power to take your health into your own hands. Just by changing your daily habits, you can potentially thwart, reverse, or prevent chronic disease.
Does this resonate with you or sound interesting? It resonates with us and it’s a huge part of why Health Coach Institute was founded. Students who enter our Health Coach program join us from all backgrounds. The one common trait they share is a desire to liberate people from living unhealthy lives. Most use the techniques on themselves first to work through their own struggles and experience their own transformation, then begin working with clients on habit change. Many supplement their related studies with the tools they learn through our Become a Health Coach (BHC) 6-month online program, equipping them to run successful practices once they graduate. BHC students graduate having trained practice clients and with expert knowledge on behavior change, that’s unlike any other program.
Align with Your Passion
For a lot of us, it’s personal. The drive, the passion, it often comes from having undergone some form of adversity ourselves; the end result being a strong desire to share our knowledge with others who have been through similar experiences or are looking for alternative solutions to traditional medicine. It’s as real and authentic as you can get. The evidence that Become a Health Coach works is probably the strongest at our HCI Live events—the must-attend event for coaches and health practitioners.The outpouring of support, camaraderie, and community is electric at these bi-annual gatherings. These three-day events that happen twice a year, are the place to connect with your tribe, get hands on business experience from the BHC staff including Stacey Morgenstern and Carey Peters, and take in all the motivation to keep your Health Coach spark alive.
The online support of our BHC Facebook groups is another place where students can share their stories, struggles, and wins. It’s where students and alumni go to support each other, exchange marketing and workshop ideas and tips, and lift each other up. And our HCI Local groups are a way for other coaches in the same area to get together on a monthly basis, and help each other along on their journey and business.The point is, once you join the program, the bonds you make here are yours to keep for life. You can’t join the closed group unfortunately until you participate in the program, but we encourage you to check out our Become a Health Coach Reviews page for tons of student testimonies.
Health Coaching Career Opportunities
Did you know Health Coaching is one of the fastest growing fields to get into right now? In fact, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, the number of Health Coaches employed in the U.S. is expected to grow 21.9% by 2022. As the health care crisis rages on and lifestyle disease dominates, our overburdened medical professionals are turning to Health and Life Coaches for the individual attention they provide clients regarding habit change. Doctors are welcoming Health Coaches as a time-saving, valuable asset. Corporations, insurance companies, and wellness providers are also hiring Health Coaches to help reduce the time and money that chronic disease accounts for—not to mention the most important thing: to improve the health of their employees, patients, and clients and potentially extend or save lives – through habit change. z
One shining example of this on a local level is to be found at Asian Health Services in Oakland, California. After having rolled out a successful Health Coaching pilot program, AHS has now partnered every physician on staff with a Health Coach as they continue advocating for and making health care attainable to one of the largest underserved Asian populations in the United States. At the time of this article, we counted five open career opportunities for health coaches.
On a national level, the American Medical Association has launched thirty-five new modules as part of their STEPS Forward collection of practice improvement strategies to help physicians make transformative changes in their practice, including the Health Coaching module, which helps educate physicians on how to recruit, train and mentor health coaches.
With Health Coaching, there is an emphasis on habit change as an important part of the preventative health care process, which is starting to gain serious traction and legitimacy in the eyes of big business. It also makes economic sense for them to do so, as we’re already seeing a reduction in health care costs when chronic disease is prevented, reversed or in some cases, eradicated altogether. It’s truly amazing.
The Health Coaching Revolution
This is how we went from the health care crisis to the Health Coaching revolution. At Health Coach Institute, we consider ourselves fortunate to have been around since the early days, therefore able to provide context on this hot topic, along with our curriculum. BHC Health Coaches become certified masters of habit change and get to do meaningful work that aligns with their passion. For instance, we have coaches who focus on body image and negative self talk. We have others who help their clients quit smoking and end the cycle of substance abuse. In other words, there is no one niche less important than another. It really is about our method of empowering clients on a deeper level. We help people manage stress, overcome fatigue and burnout, increase energy levels, and empower them with nutrition essentials. All the while setting coaches up for business success, along with career flexibility, and financial freedom. Sound too good to be true? Well, we’re so happy to tell you it’s not. We believe Health Coaching is the best career you could ever have. Who doesn’t want to help others get healthy and make positive changes in their lives that can impact their families for generations?
If you’re curious about what the program entails, or want to know more, we’d love to hear from you! Make an appointment at the blank below to get in touch with your personal Clarity Coach, who can provide insight, answer any of your questions, and even let you know what special promos we’re offering for the next term. You can also download our course catalog for more details. We are so excited for you to learn more about this flourishing field. We need to continue advocating for our health and actively spread this awareness and message. We need to reach government authorities, so that educational institutions, hospitals, and other public buildings stop serving food with little nutritional value, among other things. We need to be the change and speak up. We are a long way off from winning the war on chronic disease, but the best we can do is reach as many people as we can, one client at a time.
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