Recognizing that individual behavior can drive health care costs, more health insurance companies, hospitals and employers are turning to “wellness” coaches. Wellness coaches are often nurses or nutritionists who stay in touch with patients dealing with long standing illness, those recovering from surgery or someone who desires to shift to and maintain a more healthy life style.
According to a December 25th article in the Virginian Pilot by Elizabeth Simpson, about the growing profession of wellness coaching:
“A Kaiser Family Foundation survey of employer health benefits in 2011 found that 27 percent of companies are offering employees access to health coaches, with some giving financial incentives for working with one.”
I was blessed to have two wellness coaches growing up – their names were Mom and Dad. Mom stressed the importance of good manners at all times, and the discipline and responsibility of household chores. Dad got us all ( 3 brothers & me) into competitive swimming that burned up any excess energy that may have gotten us into trouble.
More than anything my folks taught us that prayer was the best preventative and curative medicine. Prayer with an underlying moral science required work, but was readily at hand and required no trips to the hospital or doctor’s office.
Looking back over the decades I can see how this coaching paid off in stable and happy marriages, healthy and productive lives. It shaped our behavior.
A recent ABC news story stated that “The majority of U.S. doctors — 56 percent — believe that religion and spirituality influence patient’s health”.
Now that health insurance companies and employers are turning to professionals to help those struggling to regain or maintain health I would hope that the inclusion of the spiritual/prayer component in the tool kit of a wellness coach will not be overlooked.