What's a Holistic Health Coach?

The mind-body connection


Sometimes it seems as if there’s an overwhelming amount of information about what foods and herbs to add to your diet, what rituals and practices to follow, and which substances and toxins to avoid.

Add to that wanting to fulfill your personal or creative potential, and it can seem as if there’s a never-ending amount to do, fix, or consider.

But what if there was a way one person could help you create the life and lifestyle that would bring out your best physical, mental, emotional, creative, and even soulful self?

This is where the work of a holistic health coach comes in.

Creating your best self

Meet Lara D. Amaral of Authentically You Wellness. She's a Massachusetts-based, board-certified Holistic Health Counselor through the American Association of Drugless Practitioners.

Amaral teaches people what she calls “radical self-love.”

“You can’t hear the calling of your soul with a clogged system,” she explains.

People generally first come to see her because they’re not feeling well.

“I use food as medicine, herbs as medicine, spices as medicine, as well as supplements as medicine,” Amaral says. For example, she might suggest bee pollen granules for increasing energy or dandelion or milk thistle herbs for someone needing organ support.

Clients generally have specific symptoms—such as bloating—that are bothering them. Amaral will ask questions, listen, and observe them by studying their hair, tongue, fingernails, skin, and earlobes.

She will ask about digestion and elimination. While she says this can be embarrassing for people at first, details are important and provide clues to overall health.

“The first step in waking up is cleaning up an individual’s body.”

The pieces to the health puzzle

It doesn’t stop there. Amaral discusses how people sleep (quality and quantity) and helps them return to restorative levels.

She will talk about how personal care products are absorbed into the body through the skin and offer healthier alternatives. She will use what she has learned from Ayurveda medicine and studying “blue zones” where people live longer and healthier so that people benefit from that wisdom.

She’ll teach what to ingest and what to eliminate from one’s diet. There is no single prescription because everyone’s needs are different.

“I don’t have aversion to red meat,” says Amaral, who studied at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition under such teachers as Dr. Andrew Weil. “Some people might need to be raw, others vegan.” It depends on what an individual’s body needs.

“Every Body, body with a capital “B,” is different,” she says.

A shift toward maximum health

Many people believe that they can’t slow down, never mind love themselves, but that shifts over time, Amaral says.

One of the most exciting parts about working with clients is that once their symptoms disappear, people regain their mental acuity and ability to work on other issues.

The work may then shift into what others consider “life coaching,” where fear-based thinking and limiting beliefs are challenged.

Amaral says people emerge more confident, creative, and intuitive. Depending on the person, this might happen with the help of meditation, deep breathing, or journaling, but the aim is to help “release the ego” and to begin dreaming big.

“The universe just starts synchronizing,” she says. “Their lives open up.”