What is the Difference Between a Wellness Coach and Health Coach?


If you’ve been considering becoming a health and wellness coach, you might have noticed different terms floating around the internet. Perhaps you read a blog post all about what health coaching is like. And then you looked at an online program focused on wellness coaching. It might seem a little confusing, as you work to decide what training program to choose and which coaching path to pursue.

The health and wellness industry is alive and vibrant and is also growing at an exciting rate. As more and more people realize that their overall health depends on making lifestyle choices, coaches are needed to help implement these changes.

Maybe you’d like to be part of that movement and help others to improve their lives through better health and wellness. There are so many people out there who need the support that you can provide and it’s exciting that you’re considering this career path!
What is the Difference Between a Wellness Coach and Health Coach

Understanding Health And Wellness Coaching

When it comes to training programs, each one is unique. Generally, “health” and “wellness” tend to be used interchangeably when referring to coaching. That said, each program will define this in their own ways, so pay attention when doing your research.

Some health coaching programs are designed specifically for credentialed health professionals like doctors, nurses, physical therapists, and so on. Others focus strictly on nutrition or fitness.

Depending on your goals and how you’d like to coach others, you’ll want to choose the program that’s the right fit for you. Make sure you’re clear about that before signing up for the first program that comes your way.

Tailoring Coaching for Success

When evaluating various health and wellness coaching programs, it important to understand the difference between becoming a generalist and a specialist. Whether a training program calls their graduates a “health coach” or a “wellness coach,” they often have a particular angle that they work from.

While generalist coaches can be useful, you’re guaranteed greater success when you choose a specialist track. You probably know that in the field of medicine a doctor who is a generalist is paid less than a specialist simply because of their training and industry demands. This is also true for a health and wellness coach.

There are a few things about specialists that tend to be true across the board, no matter your field or industry.

  • Specialists have more in-depth training and education.
  • A specialist sets themselves apart with specialized knowledge.
  • Specialists are sought after and often have a waiting list of clients
  • A specialist charges more for their services.

Health and Wellness Coaches who receive a comprehensive holistic wellness education with the IAWP have specialized knowledge in holistic health and natural healing, and can, therefore, charge more for their services.

Would you rather be a generalist Health Coach or a sought-after Wellness Coach with a specialty in holistic health?

Holistic Wellness Coach

By choosing to become a specialist in holistic wellness, you get to work with clients in innovative and effective ways. A Holistic Wellness Coach focuses on the whole person, not only on their nutrition and fitness.

Clients may come to you for issues with nutrition, stress, fitness, or weight. But you can help uncover the root of many of these struggles, which can include how well their relationships, career, finances, mindset, emotions, spirituality, and purpose are. Your overall goal is to help them create total well-being in their lives.

Our program at the IAWP focuses on the whole person because we know that every area of an individual’s life affects other areas. For example, relationship issues might be a trigger causing someone to choose too many comfort foods, which might in turn cause weight gain, inflammation, and accumulating stress.

By only addressing the food issue, the true cause of the problem wouldn’t be resolved. Holistic Wellness Coaches are adept at helping their clients find the true roots of their struggles. They then work together to find solutions that work.

Specialty Training

When you take on a holistic wellness coach training, you’ll study a number of subjects to give you enough tools to help clients in profound ways.
These subjects at the IAWP include physical health areas:

  • Nutrition
  • Sleep Habits
  • Water Intake
  • Air & Sunshine
  • Movement & Body Awareness

They also include emotional and mental health areas including:

  • Healthy Relationships
  • Career Health
  • Spirituality
  • Mindset
  • Emotions
  • Life Purpose
  • Career Health

You’ll also study and learn how to use various tools to help you know what to recommend to clients. A solid program will also have systems in place that help you understand exactly how to put together the building blocks of an effective coaching program. This will help you know how to implement recommendations in ways that your clients will see results from.

Many of the tools you will learn about and how to use when you study with the IAWP include:

  • Holistic Nutrition
  • Vitamins, Minerals & Supplements
  • Herbology/Herbal Therapy
  • The Science of Ayurveda
  • Aromatherapy
  • Acupuncture
  • Chinese Medicine
  • Reflexology
  • Meditation
  • The Body’s Energy System

Choose the Right Wellness Coach Path

Whichever route you choose on your path to health and wellness coaching, make sure that you pick the training that will help you build a new career that fits you perfectly. Ensure the school you choose has the support systems you’ll need and will give you the education to prepare you to work with clients.

If a specialty is something that appeals to you, consider a program that focuses on the whole person, as the IAWP’s program does. When you take a more holistic approach to wellness, you’ll see incredible results in your clients lives from their physical well-being to their mental and emotional health. You’ll be known as the coach that gets results and creates transformations, helping you along the path to building a business that you love and is successful.
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Suzanne Monroe Founder of IAWP

About the Author

Suzanne Monroe

Suzanne Monroe is the author of The Holistic Cookbook & Lifestyle Guide: 12 Weeks to a Healthier, Happier You, the co-author of 101 Ways to Improve Your Health, and is a health and business expert appearing regularly in the media. Suzanne was inspired to create the IAWP Wellness Coach Training & Certification Program in collaboration with other leading health experts in order to inspire people to create meaningful careers and spread the message of wellness.