What’s The Big Deal About A National Certification for Health Coaching?


Health Coaching has been around as a profession for many years, so why is this new certification such a big deal?  Let me explain…

Coaching as a Profession

Coaching has been around a long time, there are sports coaches, career coaches, life coaches, nutrition coaches, and in the past 10 years health coaches have come on the scene.  There were never any guidelines as to who could call themselves a coach.  You can choose to coach your child’s baseball team and suddenly you are a coach.  You could have developed a way to help people organize their lives to reach their goals faster and you can call yourself a life coach.  There are many great coaches out there without specific degrees or certifications helping many people on a daily basis.  Some have certifications from their specific school and that helps people looking for a particular kind of coaching feel more confident in choosing them.  There are many programs out there offering Health Coaching certifications, a quick google search turns up a dizzying amount.  The problem is that there wasn’t a recognized standard until now.  There wasn’t a way to know that the coach was being held to the highest standards deemed necessary by the American Medical Association until now.  There was not a path for insurance coverage until now.

What does a National Certification for Health and Wellness Coaches actually mean?

The American Medical Association (AMA) defines a Health and Wellness Coach as a “non-physician health care professional certified by the National Board of Health and Wellness Coaches” (NBHWC).  The NBHWC was created in early 2010 due to Health and Wellness Coaching being a growing profession that was in dire need of training and education standards.  Over several years of research, they developed these standards and competencies by recording what was most effective in helping people make lasting lifestyle and behavior changes in their lives.  In 2016 the NBHWC teamed up with the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) to create a standard supported by a certification exam and research.  The NBME is the organization that determines what medical doctors need to do to obtain and maintain their medical license.  So, creating a Health Coaching Certification backed by the NBME gave much needed credit and legitamacy to the Health and Wellness Coaching profession.  Certifications up to this point had been left up to the individual school and each school decided what were the most important aspects of coaching.  Now, in order for students from a Health and Wellness training program to be eligible to sit for the National Board Certification Exam, the school must base it’s curriculum on these research based – proven methods that were quatified by the NBHWC and NBME.  

Wait, did you say insurance coverage for Health and Wellness Coaching?

Why, yes I did!  Starting in January 2020, Nationally Board Certified Health and Wellness Coaches will have the ability to use category 3 insurance codes.  These codes will not yet allow for insurance reimbursement for Health Coaching, but it is the first step in reaching that goal.  The good news for the short term is that since we have started down this path towards insurance reimbursement, most insurances will allow you to use your Healthcare Savings Account (HSA) to pay for coaching services if they have been provided by a nationally accredited coach.  Of course, please check with your individual insurance carrier to be certain. These codes are a critical first step in showing that the AMA and medical establishment view Health and Wellness Coaching as a legitimate and important profession.

So is Health Coaching right for you?  You can schedule a free 30 minute phone call with me to ask any questions you may have by clicking the “Request Appointment” button at the bottom of my Health Coaching page.   Click here if you would like to learn more about the NBHWC.

Dawn Giammalvo

After hearing about Pilates for a few years and even working out on an in-home reformer, Dawn decided to attend her first Pilates class in 2005. Little did she know that her life would be changed that day and the path to Fitlosophy would begin. Her instructor; who not only trained with Joseph Pilates but is also a physical therapist, pointed out that she had scoliosis. No doctor had ever diagnosed her with that before even though she had been dealing with back pain for over a decade. With the help of her instructor, she learned the principles behind Pilates and what she needed to do to relieve her pain and build her strength.

What is a Health Coach?

Health and wellness coaches partner with clients seeking self-directed, lasting changes, aligned with their values, which promote health and wellness and, thereby, enhance well-being. In the course of their work health and wellness coaches display unconditional positive regard for their clients and a belief in their capacity for change, and honoring that each client is an expert on his or her life while ensuring that all interactions are respectful and non-judgmental.

What’s The Big Deal About A National Certification for Health Coaching?

Coaching has been around for a long time, there are sports coaches, career coaches, life coaches, and nutrition coaches, and in the past 10 years health coaches have come on the scene. There were never any guidelines as to who could call themselves a coach. You can choose to coach your child’s baseball team and suddenly you are a coach.

Black Friday through Cyber Monday Gifties and Discounts!

I am frequently asked what are my favorite products because my clients and friends know that I have been trying to clean up all the things I use in my home as well as what I put in and on my body for years now. I am always trying new products, but all of the products listed below are tried and true favorites. I hope you enjoy checking these out and hopefully get some Christmas shopping done as well!

Perfect Butternut Squash Soup

well y’all, i am not a food blogger, nor do i play one on tv, but this is a tasty soup! it has gotten pretty chilly here, and we even had a few snowflakes the other day, so that means it is time to make soup. last winter, i came up with this recipe after all the butternut squash soup recipes i found included apples or something sweet, and i just wasn’t feeling it. feel free to skip to the end if you just want the recipe – because sometimes life moves too fast to read all the things.

Thermography – A Tool for Early Breast Cancer Detection

Improving Our Chances to Catch Breast Cancer Early and SurviveWe all know that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month; we’ve been hearing that for years. We are more than aware of breast cancer. We all know someone or know of someone who has had it or is currently fighting it. 1 in 8 women in the US will develop breast cancer in their lifetime.

Vitamin D and Your Immune System

Vitamin D boosts your immune system and lowers inflammation. Inflammation is what leads to more significant difficulties in fighting Covid. Studies have shown an increased chance of getting COVID with lower than optimal vitamin D levels. Update – As summarized by NewsWise: “New data from a recent study indicates that active forms of Vitamin D can inhibit the replication and expansion of Covid-19.

5 Ways to Fire Up Your Metabolism and Keep It That Way!

Metabolism can be defined as the process by which our bodies convert what we eat and drink into the energy we need to fuel all the basic automatic processes like breathing and cell division as well as the energy needed to walk, run and all the other activities we choose to do. Metabolism tends to slow with age making it easier to add on a few pounds and difficult to get them back off again.

Why am I starting a new career as a Health Coach?

The answer is long and not fully known by most people, but I thought it fitting that I put it into words in this first blog post so that you understand my motivation and maybe will decide to work with me one day. I warn you this is on the long side, but I promise future posts will be much shorter

Why Disposable Masks May Be Doing You and the Environment More Harm Than Good

This post is NOT a pro or anti-mask rant, everyone made their decisions long ago about the efficacy of masks. This is hopefully an eye-opening look at the dark side of disposable masks. After reading this post, I hope you will strive to make healthier choices about the masks you decide to wear. Better for you and better for the environment. Because disposable masks truly are doing more harm than good.

Minestrone Soup

Soup, my goodness how I love a good bowl of soup and this is one of my favorites! my mother-in-law gave this recipe to me years ago and until I went digital, it was the most stained and ragged little index card you ever did see. That, by the way, is how you know that there is magic written on that recipe card! you know what I am talking about.

New Year’s Resolutions

Today is the day, this is the year you are going to make all those changes you want to make in your life! Have you said that to yourself before? How did it work out? Want to learn some easy steps to make this year different? To actually make and KEEP those changes? Read on….

Thanksgiving Dinner: Healthier Subs that Taste Amazing!

There you have it! The first recipe roundup I’ve ever at Fitlosophy! I hope you have found it helpful and it has made your Thanksgiving prep a little easier! Make sure all the things on your table will make your body happy and not make you feel ill so that you can enjoy the day, and then most importantly, enjoy this day with your loved ones. Eat all the things – without guilt. Laugh, love, and cherish what is most important. Until next time friends, take care and stay well!

Easy Ways to Get Better Sleep Tonight!

if you are having trouble sleeping or you are not waking up rested and refreshed, consider trying some of these suggestions and see if it helps. I look forward to hearing about your experiences!


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