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What Is A Health Coach?

Written by: Chelsea Haines, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


The health and life coaching industry is rapidly growing. Though 2023 has seen the highest rates of these services, many still need clarification about what a health coach is, what they do (and don’t do), and who they are. Hiring a health coach radically transformed my health and understanding of the triggers of autoimmune disease. So much so that it drove me to become a health coach myself.

Shot of a physiotherapist helping a senior man with weights

Healing my gut health issues made me realize just how monumental this could be in helping others. In 2023, diagnoses rooted in poor gut health are becoming more and more prevalent thanks to the stressful lifestyles that much of America is leading. With the help of a health coach, fatigue and dis-ease do not have to be your reality.

As humans ‒ we all want the same thing.

Innately we all want to live long, happy, and fulfilled lives. We hope to see our children and grandchildren grow up ‒ and have the energy to be actively involved in their lives. For those who don't want children or desire to leave other legacies in the world, we expect the energy and vitality to pursue what brings us joy and purpose. We want to be able to set and achieve goals in our careers, and we long for meaningful relationships. These innate desires are the antithesis of modern-day societal praise. "Hustle and grind" culture, productivity, and even idolizing burnout are all pillars of “The American Dream.” No wonder work/life balance feels confusing. We all innately want one thing but are praised and rewarded for pursuing the opposite.

What a health coach is NOT

To understand what a health coach is. It could be helpful to understand what a health coach is not. Understanding that people can hold multiple degrees and certifications, in and of itself, a health coach is not:

  1. A certified psychotherapist

  2. A personal trainer (or at least JUST a personal trainer)

  3. A licensed physician (although physicians can become health coaches in their own right)

A Health Coach is trained in multiple disciplines to help you create lasting transformational health and habit change.

Many turn to health coaching when modern medicine has failed them. But instead, it might be healthier to seek the help of a health coach to prevent the number one killer in the world today, heart disease ‒ a lifestyle-related disease. Health coaches work directly on your daily lifestyle to help you develop the habits and routines that support longevity, stress management, and purpose-driven lives.

While modern medicine rightfully treats symptoms, health coaching treats underlying causes of unhealthy habits. A health coach also helps you assess your lifestyle to clear the clutter and start making 1% shifts towards a more sustainable lifestyle.

My clients are hardworking and successful go-getters who want more for their life than mediocrity.

Usually, they arrive sick, exhausted, with much dis-ease, and have sought help from the "right places." But they feel stuck. They often are unsure how to move forward with their healing or whether they are even on a path of recovery. They have been prescribed medicines that may be helping, yet they feel like there is more they could do. They are determined to get to the root cause of their symptoms. How many times have you set a new resolution, started a new diet, lost weight with a quick fix, or got a jolt of energy for some time, only to gain it all back, throw it all out the window, and fall even harder back to into old habits with an added dose of guilt and shame?

There are always two people alive inside us: the us we are being and the us we aspire to be.

As your health coach, I (and my team at the Gut Health Agency) want to guide you to embody the latter.

So, what does a health coach do?

  1. A health coach helps you uncover the root of your dis-ease, but we start by revealing the You that you aspire to be.

  2. We hold you accountable to that person through building confidence, self-awareness, and self-actualization.

  3. A health coach collaborates with you, your body, and where you are in your health and life journey. We encourage you to discover the best course of action for your transformation. We compassionately guide you towards lasting behavioral changes to achieve that transformation.

  4. Health coaches can and often do work alongside your physician or therapist to facilitate the best means of treatment possible, and it is a holistic approach.

  5. Health coaches have a relationship with you outside the doctor's office to uncover what is stopping you or holding you back from following through or achieving the goals you have set out to accomplish in your health or lifestyle.

  6. A health coach will utilize positive psychology to focus on what is going well and what is working (rather than focusing on weaknesses and downfalls) to make lasting changes.

  7. A coach will use powerful questions to guide you to discover the answers and solutions you seek.

  8. Health coaches walk your journey with you. They are there to celebrate your successes, listen when you fall, and remind you just how capable you are while helping guide you to take the next step in your health and wellness journey.

There's a place for everyone.

Health coaches are not trying to take away the importance of modern medicine and do not replace physicians. Modern medicine saves lives and has been founded on the treatment of acute symptoms. Science has shifted the reality from plagues and diseases like measles. With that shift, a new kind of health is emerging. One focused on prevention and healing versus treatment of symptoms for survival.

A paradigm shift is happening, and doctors no longer have to do it alone.

I believe so strongly in this synergy that I founded the Gut HealthAgency, where we combine habit change health coaching with clinical gut assessment by a Registered Dietitian.

As a whole, we no longer need bandages to stop the bleeding. We need to take action to target the source of the wound before it happens.

Preventing chronic disease is the answer to living long, fulfilled, and happy lives. It is the difference between life span (how long you live) and health span (how healthy you remain and can live illness and dis-ease free. Adding a health coach to your team is the most timely, affordable, and suitable action for the preventative care and maintenance of chronic disease.

Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and visit my website for more info!


Chelsea Haines, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Recently featured "The Gut Health Coach" by Yahoo!, Chelsea Haines has a unique way of helping high-performers heal. She doesn't claim to know best. Her mission: to remind you that YOU are the expert on your body, only you know precisely what you need, and you are not "crazy" for feeling how you feel. Her expertise stems from personally healing autoimmune disease paired with formal degrees in psychology, gut health, and mindfulness. She’s the Founder of The Gut Health Agency, where a team of health coaches & Registered Dietitians merge health coaching with clinical testing for increased patient compliance and lasting habit change ‒ a needle-moving combination not otherwise seen in the gut health space.



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