Ritu Awasthi – Health Coach Graduate
Seeing firsthand the gap between doctor and patient, I knew there had to be better way to support people with chronic lifestyle diseases – a Health Coach helps to bridge this gap!
What did you do before studying at CNM?
I worked as a university lecturer in India.
What made you want to become a Health Coach?
The idea of health coaching was seeded into my mind more than a decade ago while I was doing data collection for my PhD thesis in health communication. My study focused on lifestyle diseases, so I had to visit hospitals, meet physicians, patients, and their care givers. While interviewing them, I realised the gap that existed between the physician and patients. After being diagnosed with a chronic lifestyle disease, patients wanted to spend more time with doctors, but the doctors were too busy to give them more than 5 minutes. The information given to these patients regarding lifestyle changes was a ‘one size fits all’ approach with no thought given to the patient’s daily routine or lifestyle. The caregivers were equally perplexed. I knew the importance of interpersonal communication, but I didn’t have a solution to this problem from a non-medical point of view so I couldn’t assist any further. I continued with my life but it lingered in my mind for some time after.
After a few years of working as university lecturer in India, I got the chance to move to South Korea with my family. Being on a dependent visa, I couldn’t work there so I had more time to focus on personal health and well-being which sparked my interest further.
After moving to the UK in 2019 when my children were older, I was looking for options to return to the workforce without having to sacrifice family time. Looking after my family and their health was paramount so long and grueling work hours in academics was not an option. During the pandemic, I decided to upskill myself by studying further. While looking for study options, I came across the idea of a Health Coach. As I read more about Health Coaching, all the memories of my PhD days started flooding back. I realised that health coaching is the answer to the questions I had in my mind almost a decade ago.
What attracted you to the Health Coach course?
While researching training institutes, CNM came up on top with its well-rounded course structure and self-paced study. Due to the ongoing pandemic and home-schooling, I was looking for an institute that provided self-paced and flexible learning options. CNM was able to offer this and more.
What did you enjoy most about the CNM Health Coach Training?
I like all the modules of the course, but I especially loved the business module. For someone with no prior business knowledge, the course provided me enough confidence and courage to start my own business. The coaching module and the case studies gave me hands-on experience of dealing with clients before going out on my own. Also, it was quite interesting to study the scientific reasoning behind the benefits of herbs. For instance, I always knew that the juice of red onion is a very potent remedy for a cough; however, I didn’t realise that the quercetin compound found in the onion is a natural antihistamine. So, the course helped me to deepen my understanding of natural health and widen my knowledge base.
Why are natural therapies important to you?
Being Indian, natural therapies are part of my heritage and growing up. If anybody in the family had cough, ginger and turmeric were always the first things they were given. Fennel seeds and asafoetida were the panacea for gastric disturbances and colic in babies. My mother always made fresh, seasonal, plant-based meals, cooked from scratch. I didn’t realise the importance of it all until I became a mother myself and moved overseas. I had my second baby in South Korea and there was no one from the family there with us. My husband and I had to step up to the challenge of taking care of our toddler and newborn while I regained my strength after the delivery. I made traditional Indian recipes to be eaten post-delivery, and a simple and nourishing meal plan that my husband could cook for us all to eat. Within a month, I felt lighter and better than I ever felt after the birth of my first child. The meal plan was not only nourishing and wholesome but it also helped me to lose weight. This fuelled my passion to read, research and apply more natural therapies in our life so my family can thrive.
What are you doing now that you are qualified?
I run my own business Samagra Health. Samagra is a Sanskrit word meaning holistic. A healthy body cannot exist without a healthy mind and vice versa. Health is not merely the absence of disease or infirmity – it is the whole mind, body, social and environmental factors that come into play when we talk about good health. As a holistic health coach, I endeavour to empower and support individuals on their journey to better health and to maximise their health potential. Having grown up on traditional and sustainable wisdom which surpassed the test of time, I apply this wisdom into modern life to stay aligned with nature and my true self.
I would like to share a Sanskrit prayer which is for the health and wellbeing of humanity.
Om Sarve Bhavantu Sukhinah
Sarve Santu Niraamayaah |
Sarve Bhadraanni Pashyantu
Maa Kashcid-Duhkha-Bhaag-Bhavet |
Om Shaantih Shaantih Shaantih ||
May all be happy,
May all be free from illness,
May all experience the auspicious,
May no one be overtaken by any suffering,
Om Peace, peace, peace!
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