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Health-Based Coaching: The Many Dimensions

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Biology of Health Care: Dis-ease

Health-based coaches often gain immediate credibility if they first address issues related to the biology of health care. This includes addressing challenges associated with the origination of illness, and the promotion of well-being on a physiological level.  Naturally, addressing biology alone will not support the management or amelioration of ill health. Ill health, illness or disease are synonymous in the description of physiological disorders. Dis-ease is the absence of ease. It is useful to remember that the word “disease” has “ease” as a derivative. The objective from a biological level is to prevent dis-ease and support ease of physiological harmony. A health-based coach will be familiar with the common denominators regarding how we humans resort to ill health as opposed to well-being. At the root of dis-ease is stress. Stress is the familiar term we use for our physical constitution not being in harmony. Trauma is also important in conceptualizing how the physiology becomes stressed. Both of these concepts are fundamental in understanding the physiological basis of inflammation which contributes to dis-ease.

Stress and Trauma

Is trauma the same thing as stress? No. There are certain types of stress that are not only not associated with trauma, but are actually quite beneficial to the sustained health of a client. Trauma is often a sudden event that dramatically explodes into our lives and changes the way we perceive the world. More generally, trauma is associated with a specific, intrusive event or with a series of related intrusive events, whether they are emotional or the blunt force physiological invasion of our homeostatic biology.

Stress, on the other hand, tends to be related to an ongoing environment condition and to one’s own perception of and reactions to this environmental condition. While a traumatic event is often immediately life-threatening, stress doesn’t typically constitute an immediate existential threat. We are not “killed” by a pending job performance review or pile of unpaid bills. Rather, the challenging job or financial hardship is a long-term source of potential threat. Stress is usually sustained over time rather than being a sudden intrusion.

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