What is a Health Coach? (And Why You Should Work with One to Treat Your Migraines)

Image: Cherie Holsapple

Image: Cherie Holsapple

If you suffer from chronic migraines, chances are you’re currently seeing a doctor or you’ve seen a doctor regularly in the past. This is what a doctor-patient relationship usually looks like in my experience: you see the doctor for a short visit (maybe 15-20 minutes); you’ll receive a prescription, and then go home and try the new medication. After a few months of trying the medication, you’ll see the doctor again for a follow-up visit and report on your symptoms. If you’re one of the lucky ones, maybe you were responsive to the medication and you’ve found something to help treat your migraines. But if your luck is anything like mine, medication alone doesn’t move the needle, so you’re back at square one. When you see the doctor again (for another quick 15-20min visit) he or she prescribes a new medication and the cycle starts all over again.

Does this sound familiar? I personally went through this cycle for years, and it can be maddening to feel like you’re not making any progress, especially since there is such a big gap between doctor’s visits and you've spent many of those days curled up on the couch paralyzed from pain. But that’s where a health coach can come in handy! Ideally, a health coach will work in partnership with your doctor to focus on other areas in your life that are contributing to your migraine misery.

To be clear, a health coach is not a doctor or nutritionist and cannot replace the role of either of these in your life. But let’s clarify what a health coach does and how they can help get you out of your migraine misery. A health coach:

  • Empowers you to take control of your personal health and well-being in areas such as food and non-food forms of nourishment like sleep, exercise and stress management.
  • Spends more time one-on-one with clients and sees them more regularly, so you have constant access to someone for support and accountability as you work through big shifts in your life.
  • Focuses on changing behavior so these new lifestyle habits really stick versus prescribing and diagnosing your condition.
  • Picks up where the physician left off, helping you implement strategies suggested after check-up or diagnosis.
  • Does not come in with an agenda. It is the client that drives the conversation based on their individual goals.

If you can relate to the feeling of helplessness in between doctor’s appointments, a health coach may be a life-changing option to help guide you out of your migraine misery. Do you have any questions about how a health coach can help you develop a program to tackle your migraines? Please reach out to me here!