Modern western health care is neither concerned with health nor is it particularly caring.
As a physician and now health coach, I was reminded of this as I visited my own cardiologist the other day for my six month visit. We talked about my bloodwork “numbers”, my pills, my symptoms generally, but not my life. In 2011, in the midst of a divorce, and forced to leave my 30 year critical care practice due to significant heart disease, I underwent life saving open heart surgery. It worked. I survived. But, ultimately it is not the surgery nor the handful of medicines I take every day which led to my actual health. They saved my life, but did not guarantee my longevity nor quality of life. To achieve well being I would have to change nearly every aspect my life. Traditional western doctors, and I’m included in this group, do not practice "health" care. We practice "sick" care, and excel at treating severe acute disease, trauma and surgical emergencies. In reality, health coaches are better equipped and trained to help patients become healthy and prevent disease. And this is why I am now a health coach.
I examined every aspect of my life in order to achieve health, to keep my blood pumping and my heart and soul singing for as many years as possible. Not just my approach to food, drink and exercise, but my relationships, my professional life, my spirituality, my finances, my living situation and my creativity needed to be attended to in order to achieve well being. We call it the “circle of life” (as coined by the Institute for Integrative Nutrition) and health coaches help clients examine each aspect of it in order to work toward a healthier, happier life. Now I bring what I’ve learned to my clients, and I finally feel like a healer.