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Board-certified Health Coaches? What Integrative Physicians Need to Know

Health and wellness coaching will formally enter the health care system in 2017 through the International Consortium for Health and Wellness Coaching (ICHWC), which successfully established the National Board-certified Health and Wellness Coach (NBC-HWC) credential in partnership with the National Board of Medical Examiners. Surveys suggest close to 20 000 health coaches are qualified for certification. Health coaches "partner with clients seeking self-directed, lasting changes, aligned with their values, which promote health and wellness and, thereby, enhance well-being." Health coaching involves 3 steps: (1) exploring and building self-awareness, (2) taking action steps, and (3) monitoring and evaluating results. The ICHWC developed a standard of practice published as the job task analysis. As a salutogenic intervention, health coaching offers clients and integrative clinicians a cost-effective approach to supporting ongoing sustaining positive health outcomes.

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