We are passionate about it.
Not only do we want our clients to be happier and healthier, we also want them to allow Ayurveda to become part of their daily lives. We recognize that Ayurveda is a lifestyle, and much more than a few quick fixes to solve health problems.
What we are trying to do is
to help clients create lasting behavioral change.
We don’t want them to discover the wonders of triphala or abhyangha, and then stop using them the moment their health issue subsides. We want them to understand how to use Ayurveda in their lives to help improve their health and wellness in a way that serves them.
Health Coaching offers many evidence based theories and techniques to help clients make lasting behavioral changes in their lives.
Health Coaching Tips for Ayurveda Professionals
It’s happened to all of us. A client comes in, super-excited about Ayurveda, leaves with a list of suggestions, and returns for a follow up having failed to do anything we suggested. How do we help our clients be more successful?
"Motivation alone, without a clear fitness, health, or wellness plan, does not prople clients into action and often withers in the face of adversity" (Coaching Psychology Manual, 1st ed).
There are many facets to goal setting theory that can be invaluable to client success. Working incrementally towards an overall outcome goal, like losing 10 pounds, can help a client achieve a larger goal built on smaller incremental successes. Using structured goals like behavioral SMART can help to clarify expectations and add an aspect of accountability, in which SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic, and Time-lined.
The more successful clients are in achieving their health and wellness goals, the more likely they are to return for follow-up appointments. Helping clients improve self-efficacy, their belief in their ability to accomplish things, is essential to helping them make lasting behavioral changes in their lives. Albert Bandura, a psychologist who studies Social Cognitive Theory, tells us that there are four sources of self-efficacy: affective states, mastery experiences, verbal persuasion, and vicarious experiences. Using empathy reflections to directly address client affective states, or how they feel emotionally about their experiences, can enable a client to feel heard and change the conversation from ‘should’ to ‘want’ regarding behavioral change. When clients have a mastery experience, or are successful at accomplishing something, it empowers and motivates them, building their self-efficacy.
I no longer ask my clients “How are you?” when they arrive for a session. It’s not that I don’t care. Not at all! Of course I care! It’s that this can open up a potentially lengthy conversation about all the things that are going wrong in their lives or subjects that have nothing to do with their Ayurveda consultation.
I now start all of my sessions with some version of “What was your best experience with your health and wellness since we last saw each other?”
This shifts the conversation to focus on the positive. Positive Psychology, specifically Appreciative Inquiry, tells us that within every system something is always working. Encouraging your clients to focus on their strengths and imagine the possibilities can help them to overcome their challenges and find success.