The Future of Healthcare Is Health Coaching

Talking to patientThe future of healthcare is looking grim. Sadly, this is the first generation of kids who might not outlive their parents.

In fact, we’ve got some pretty unfavorable statistics to confront.

Here’s what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has to say:

– Chronic diseases cause 7 in 10 deaths in the United States (heart disease and cancer accounting for 46% of lives lost).

– 1 in 2 Americans is battling a chronic disease.

– 1 in 4 Americans has multiple chronic diseases.

I could keep going, but I think I’ll set you free to check out more CDC stats here.

Now, what’s even more telling is that, according to a 2016 review published in PLoS One, 85% of chronic disease can be attributed to influences other than genetics. This stat may not be too surprising to Mark’s Daily Apple readers, but…what are we, as health enthusiasts, going to do about it?

The Nemesis of Chronic Disease

The only way to thwart chronic disease is to change our behaviors. Easier said than done, as anyone who has ever dieted in the traditional sense of the word can attest.

Behavior change is both our greatest ally in the battle against chronic disease—and our most difficult weapon to master. As of 2013, the CDC reported that only 6.3% of Americans engage in the top 5 behaviors for preventing chronic disease: not smoking, engaging in regular physical activity, abstaining from or consuming moderate amounts of alcohol, maintaining normal body weight, and getting enough sleep every evening.

Why are so many getting stuck in unhealthy behavior habits that they just can’t seem to break? Well, for one, because evolution has wired us for it. As humans were evolving food was scarce, so we sought out calorie-dense sources to tide us over from meal to meal, which could be feast or famine in those days. We’re still hardwired to crave this sort of fulfillment from food. These days, however, it’s easy to gorge every few hours on a fast-food, supersized meal for $5 or less, so this evolutionary mechanism presents a serious drawback in modern society.

A 6.3% behavior success rate signals a huge gap between knowledge and application. It’s not as though people don’t know what to do to stay healthy. There’s plenty of information and resources out there for sure. The stopgap is that they don’t know how to apply that information to their lives and actually change their behavior.

I strongly believe that health coaching is the key to facilitating behavior change in the 93.7% of people who are having difficulty maintaining healthy habits. It’s not a question of knowledge—as much as support.

A New Model for Healthcare

The conventional model of healthcare was designed to treat acute infectious diseases, such as pneumonia. And in these instances, it works exceptionally well. But when it comes to preventing and reversing chronic disease, the conventional model falls short.

Physicians spend, on average, just 10 to 12 minutes with each patient. That time is typically spent evaluating the patient’s symptoms, lab results, and current medications; making diagnoses; and prescribing new medications and treatment plans if deemed necessary. It is unlikely that physicians are reviewing the patient’s lifestyle, diet, or exercise habits and offering sustainable suggestions for improvement. And, even if they are, the patient is sent away with no real idea of how to implement these recommendations into their lives over the long term.

What’s more, we’re looking at a shortage of 52,000 primary care physicians by 2025 according to the most recent estimates, limiting one-on-one patient-physician interaction even further.

Unlike physicians, health coaches have the time to provide the one-on-one behavior change guidance patients need to make primary prevention habits a part of their lives. Health coaches are behavior change specialists who can help instill confidence, foster self-awareness, and inspire patients with positive psychology, actionable goal setting, accountability, and active listening.

Now, don’t get me wrong. Health coaches are in no way a replacement for doctors. Health coaches function as part of an allied team of healthcare professionals, working with physicians, dietitians, and functional medicine practitioners to support patients in making lasting dietary, lifestyle, and behavior changes.

What’s especially exciting to me is that health coaching is a field fit for inspirers of all kinds, not just the scientifically inclined. You can pursue a career in wellness without having to go back to grad school and accrue debt. It helps those suffering from chronic disease, and provides a prosperous living to those wanting more from a career.

Health Coaching in Action

phc_whiteonblue_simple_800x800Of all my professional endeavors, the Primal Health Coach program keeps me directly tapped into my global mission to transform the health of millions. I’m truly passionate about the work we’re doing. As the program continues to develop and grow, I’m getting an even clearer picture of how important health coaches are to the future of healthcare. I’d like to share this progress with you, my community of Primal enthusiasts—because it’s important information to have for personal edification and for those of you interested in sharing the Primal way of life with others. I think you’ll really appreciate how far we’ve come!

Let’s go back to the very beginning—2014. We’d made incredible strides in the ancestral health movement, but we were still on the outskirts and reaching only those who dared venture outside mainstream lines. We’ve woven a vast network of Primal devotees through Mark’s Daily Apple, changed hundreds of thousands of lives, but I didn’t want to plateau there. I wanted to help even more people take control of their health and well-being, especially in the face of a broken healthcare system and a cesspool of misinformation too readily available to the masses. Why not start a health coaching program centered on the Primal philosophy? And so I did.

The Primal Health Coach program kills several birds with one stone. By training a network of health coaches, I’m reaching far more people than I could alone, and I’m also helping others build the careers of their dreams. The growth of the network since 2014 has been amazing. Thousands of folks who are passionate about health and wellness have joined the program, and are embarking on careers that make a real difference in the world.

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Our health coaches are going deep into the belly of the Primal Blueprint, learning the guts of evolutionary biology. It has been so incredibly rewarding to watch them take all they have learned and help others regain control of their health, circumventing the broken healthcare system and getting tremendous results.

Like Carolyn Coffin, physical therapist turned health coach:

The Primal Health Coach program is exactly what I needed to take my health coaching business to the next level. For the past 5 years, I’ve been health coaching without even realizing it’s a “thing,” but simply because I’ve felt a calling to do so. I’ve gone from feeling like an imposter to feeling like I belong in this amazing community of like-minded people who are on a similar mission. But most of all, I’m far more confident in my ability to create lasting change for my clients and finally enjoy a fulfilling and profitable career doing exactly what I love.

And Dana Leigh Lyons, Doctor of Oriental Medicine:

The Primal Health Coach program expanded my access to and credibility with people who embrace primal principles but who may not have considered holistic medicine, enhancing my practice and extending my professional reach. The modules offer a wealth of knowledge…plus expert guidance for turning that knowledge into a livelihood.

Then there are aspiring health professionals like Jeff Dougherty, who are launching into an entirely new field!

I started this adventure to simply further my education on this way of life. As a result I have become extremely passionate about helping people in their wellness journey. There is a massive amount of information online, and being able to help clients filter through the noise and focus on relevant steps toward achieving optimal wellness has been rewarding. This is not a fad! I am not a trainer, degreed nutritionist or gym manager. I am just a guy who loves helping people and this course has allowed me to pursue that dream.

We’re keeping close tabs on all our graduates. You can check out some of their success stories here.

While the course is self-paced and online, we’ve been very focused on community building and outreach, encouraging connections between students and graduates through our lively private Facebook groups and special events.

This year we took Primal Health Coach to Paleo f(x) and the CrossFit Games, co-hosted a Los Angeles Meetup, and held our Inaugural Masterclass, where a small select group of students and graduates joined me and Christine Hassler for a weekend retreat. We met at my house in Malibu and brainstormed the most effective ways to break down barriers and confidently move forward to the career of their dreams. I love being able to meet our students and grads in person. We had a blast, and I can’t wait to do it again in 2018.

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The Inaugural Primal Health Coach Masterclass. Held at my home in Malibu, CA in July, 2017.

Speaking of 2018, we have big plans for next year, so if you’ve been thinking of exploring a career in health coaching, I recommend getting in now before the year’s end to lock in the existing rate.

I can’t unveil what’s coming in 2018 (yet) but I can tell you we’ve made significant investments to the program throughout 2017. We implemented a brand new learning center platform to improve the overall learning experience. We updated and expanded coaching coursework, so our grads not only have all the Primal knowledge they need, but also have the coaching expertise to communicate effectively with clients and inspire lasting transformation.

We also developed a brand new Business Resource Center to give our coaches all the tools required to build a successful business upon graduation.

Health Professional Michael Kaye summed his experience with the program up nicely:

The Primal Health Coaching program has been extremely helpful to me, my family and to my patients. The PHC program is an excellent gateway to those who want to begin their path in the health coaching field and the program is also a wonderful adjunct for the professional who would like to enhance their education as Mark provides excellent resource material and references to support his recommendations and concepts. I am currently enjoying their new business coaching module(s) as they provide you with forms, recommendations and guidance to building your coaching business. Since people have different learning styles (auditory, visual, etc.) Mark provides you with the ability to learn through recordings, video, and/or reading text material. Most importantly, I enjoy their Facebook community as everyone is willing to share their knowledge and experience. I look forward to growing my relationship with the Primal Health Coaching community and I am sure they will continue to provide additional guidance and new products to help not only ourselves but our clients as well.

Yes, Michael…we most certainly will! There’s a lot more on the horizon.

In the meantime, check out my webinar with Christine Hassler that’s all about how to make a lucrative living as a health coach. Just click here to sign up. If you think it’s a good fit, give us a ring at 844-307-7662 (or 310-579-6596) and join our community.

And if you need a coach of your own, don’t hesitate to contact one of ours. You can find the best of the best here to support you with your personal health and wellness goals—whatever they are. As always, thanks so much for your support and for a terrific year, everybody!

Best,

Mark

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