As we approach the summer months and start to peel off the layers we’ve been wearing all winter and spring, many people get inspired to make major health changes and start new fitness goals. Which is why our featured staffer, Angie Phares, couldn’t be more perfect. Angie has been a yoga instructor with the Village, but as we expand our services, she is now offering integrative health coaching. Health coaching is a relatively new approach to reaching health and fitness goals. It’s similar to a personal trainer, but with a focus on the whole self, not just the physical aspect. We caught up with Angie to find out more and here’s what she had to say:
1. How did you get started in health coaching? What's your inspiration? I have been interested in health and wellness since I was in high school. I majored in biology in college and then went on to be a physician assistant. After about 6 years of life within the medical system, I realized that medicine was more about sickness than health and I was doing very little to improve people's quality of life. When I discovered Health Coaching, I felt like I finally found where I was meant to be and I really enjoy helping people feel better.
2. What is your approach to Holistic therapy? Integrative Health Coaching sees the whole person, including where they work and live, their relationships, and their health behaviors and evaluates it within the individual's vision of the ideal health. Longer term goals are broken down in to smaller steps so that long lasting behavior change can occur, not just a quick fix.
3. What can clients expect when they sign up for a health coaching session with you? Anyone who is interested in Health Coaching can get in touch with me to have a complementary consultation where we'll review the client's ideas about what they'd like to change. Coaching works best with people who would really like to change a health behavior, but have had trouble succeeding in the past or just need a little extra support. If we both agree that it's a good match, we'll meet 8 times over the course of 3-4 months for about 30-45 minutes each time. This can be done in person or over the phone.
4. What's your favorite health tip that you practice yourself and that you recommend to clients? Health coaching is a little different in that I really don't make recommendations. Each client is seen as the expert on their own lives and I'm there to help them live achieve their goals. What works for me may not work for them. If someone needs new ideas we brainstorm or I offer them resources and guidelines to explore new possibilities. That being said, I have two health practices that have helped me the most: practicing mindfulness and 'eating close to the earth', meaning simple whole foods that have been minimally processed.
If you are interested in a health coaching session or would just like more information, you can contact Angie Phares at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (412)860-2630.