Holistic Wellness in Austin, TX

What a Health Coach Can Do For You That Dr. Google Cannot: Are You Ready for a Vibrant 2018?


Conventional thinking holds that when a person is ready to become healthy and make big changes for the new year (or for swimsuit season, or in preparation for an event), the go-to guide would be a personal trainer and the place to make the change would be at the gym.  Now, though, options for effecting change are trending towards finding a health coach to accompany you on your wellness journey.  Maybe you want to lose weight.  Maybe it’s not just externals but also internals: the self-talk, the level of control you have (or do not have) over your functional health, and–last but not least–how it is that you feel about your situation.  Maybe you want to learn more about different elements of wellbeing, or you wish to nurture an authentic and nourishing mind-body connection.  Maybe you’ve tried before and nothing sticks, but you know that you are ready, you know that you want and deserve better, and you are determined, finally, to make meaningful alterations in your life.

Finding that perfect health coach isn’t always easy, and you might not be convinced that working with one is worth the investment.  You know your way around the Dr. Google universe and you think that this will be enough.  And who knows, maybe it will be.  You never know.  At the same time, knowledge is power and if you know what a health coach might do for you, you could potentially save yourself some time and some headaches.


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Are you ready for change or do you need to think about it for a bit?


~~~Getting out of your own way~~~

Different health coaches have different approaches and no one philosophy of practice is going to be identical between any given wellness guide.  The underlying foundation of a coach’s role, in any case, is going to be the same across the board.  A coach is there to provide support, guidance, feedback, and accountability.

Predictions for success are hinged very much on past performance.  If you’re tried and failed and tried and failed, generally that means that there is some unidentified pattern at work.  It also can mean that there’s something you’re not seeing, maybe even yourself, that is getting in your way.  In addition, the stories that we tell ourselves when we try and do not success become embedded within our self-view and worldview.  Our nearest and dearest (or nearest and most toxic) reinforce these narratives.  If you find yourself telling a story about why you are heavier than you want to be or why you don’t exercise or the reasons behind your inability to feed yourself in a healthy way…then listen.  Listen to yourself.  See if you hear the same story with the same inflection supported by actions that reinforce said tale.  That’s pretty normal human behavior.  It’s also easier to alter if you have someone to pay attention to you and to help you to identify and to avoid your emotional sand traps.


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People learn & retain in a fairly predictable manner


~~~Meaningful guidance and inspiration~~~

If you are looking for a coach, it matters that you find one who is not only compatible with you.  The coach also should have the right training for what you hope to accomplish.  If you want to learn to control your diabetes, there are coaches for that.  Major weight loss?  That too.  Holistic wellness and mindfulness?  Yes, that can happen with a properly-trained coach.

My background is such that I grew up in a gym environment, I’m a certified personal trainer with an additional specialty certificate in sports nutrition, and I’m also a certified yoga instructor.  I neither train nor teach yoga any more because I am now much more active as a traditional Chinese bodywork therapist, a health coach, and an aspiring licensed acupuncturist (I’m halfway through my board exams; whoo-hoo!).  (On edit: if you’re reading this after summer 2018 then yes…I finished my exams and am a licensed acupuncturist!).  In my previous career, I was a humanities professor.  This all adds up to a particular skill set and brand of health coaching.  My approach is holistic, I’m great at helping people decide what kind of exercise to do and how much, and my primary goal for you is to help you achieve balance.  My long-term goal for you is that I’ve taught you how to teach yourself.  (If you’d like to read more about my coaching methods, take a look at my blog post, here).  I wouldn’t be teaching you with slides, as you might think after seeing the graphic, above.  But I do use different methods to help clients achieve mastery over the subject at hand similar to the concluding line of the above-pictured slide.  In my past, that was literature, culture, and language.  Now it’s health, wellness, efficacy, and self-awareness.

I am especially good with weight loss, although I don’t think that becoming thin is the be-all, end-all of health (for more on that, check here).  I am really good at asking the sorts of questions that inspire thought so that the client begins to question and restructure outworn ideas.  I’m exceptionally good at helping people become independent with their health.



Screenshot of a couple Facebook reviews: I sincerely care about all my patients & clients & will always do extra research for them, no matter the service.


Each person has their right health coach, though, and you are wise to check around.  Most health coaches will happily give you a free consultation (I do) because it definitely better for everyone involved if there is a good match of client and coach from the very start.



It doesn’t have to be an either-or.  It might be better that way, but there are always options.  What do you think?


~~~Goal setting that makes sense and is achievable~~~

One thing that can trip a person up and put them right back to square one is when there are unrealistic expectations.  One way a health coach can help you is by meeting you where you are at in terms of your stage of change.  Stages of change, from not even entertaining a thought to thinking of getting healthier to doing some investigating to trying, failing, trying again and succeeding, and then–if all goes well–maintaining are all stages of change (you can read more about this here).  A coach will be able to help you to pinpoint where you are currently.  The attentive coach will present you with ideas, plans, support, and feedback that will help you to move forward in the stages.  Dr. Google can’t do that for you, but a health coach can!

A coach is your sounding board, too.  If you start to become frustrated and stuck, your coach will support you up to a point.  If you start to become stuck in a repetitive cycle, your coach will give you a nudge and some guidance until you’re ready to get back in the saddle again.  There may be times when your coach needs to give a bit of a push because you’re in a rut, but that push will be respectful of you and it will come from a place of integrity.  Your coach will be a good source of knowledge, so if your goals are doable, great!  If you have unrealistic goals, your coach will help you to find a more reasonable level towards which you can aspire.  Your coach does not do the work for you–your health is your choice–but he or she will certainly contribute the kind of support and guidance that nourishes healthy choices and consistent, realistic achievements.



I like creative thinking and tend to combine science and humanities with a touch of magic in all that I do.  Whimsy is ageless, don’t you agree?


~~~’Tis the season, so what are you going to do next?~~~

I’ve written elsewhere and I will say it again, but as much as I’m not too keen on people bludgeoning themselves with “New Year, New You!” messages?  I still do love the new year for starting afresh.  It is kind of fun to start now and have an end goal in sight for, say, a much better spring or summer.  Who wants to start a health program in the middle of November or at the end of December?  Eh.  Nobody, unless their MD is really leaning on them hard (and that’s a whole different story and those are folks who deserve all he applause if they are able to get on board at the start of the holiday season).  But as for you?  Are you ready to begin the new year with a bang?  Are you ready to start making some amazing changes in your life, one realistic and thoughtful step at a time?

If so, I’d love to hear from you!  And whatever you choose to do, I wish you a most excellent and wonderful, healthy and joyful, vibrant and exciting new year.  2018 is going to be a great one, don’t you think?





Have you ever though to try traditional Chinese bodywork? At present, I offer tui na (similar to massage) and other ancient Chinese therapies, including cupping, gua sha, moxa, and more.  If you are looking for a holistic wellness consultant and coach, my services can entail short or longer term programs.  You are your own best investment, and when you take charge of your wellbeing you invest in yourself now and for the benefit of your future.

Two Hearts Wellness is a local holistic health and wellness outfit with a passion for all things nourishing, including but not limited to: joyful living, great food, art, and literature, and–of course–traditional Chinese medicine.  If you want to learn more about me, click here and do feel free to follow my blog and/or my Instagram, connect with me on Facebook, or contact me here to set up an appointment for personal training or health coaching services.  If you are interested in Asian bodywork therapy, click here to book an appointment online.

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