What is IIN?
IIN stands for the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. They pretty much created the field of Health Coaching over 30 years ago and now have the largest global presence in health coaching.
I graduated from IIN in July 2020 after taking on their 12 month health coaching course, as well as their 6 month advanced specialty in hormone health. I chose hormones because of my own health journey, and I wanted to understand the complexities of hormones and how they impact the life of women.
My decision to enrol didn't happen straight away. I was caring for my elderly father who had multiple health challenges, but I had been involved in wellness for many years. I just didn't feel that I would be able to dedicate myself to learning as much as I could, or do it as well as I could, whilst I was my father's carer. If you haven't been in that situation, it takes a lot out of you, but it was something I look back on with a great deal of gratitude and love.
After he passed away in 2019, I decided that I was going to do something for me, that involved something I was passionate about, wellness. I've had my own challenges with health over the years, and certainly after being my father's carer and navigating the various hospital and medical systems with him, I was even more passionate about supporting people in their own health and wellness journeys.
In the end it was a simple decision, but one that came after doing loads of research before I committed myself.
Wellness looks different to everyone
IIN takes a different approach to health and wellness, a very holistic one. It looks at the person as a whole, rather than one area on it's own, like what you eat or what exercise you do.
They are more than just a school. They empower you to be the best you can be, to have the best health you can and to take that knowledge and build a business if that's something you want to do. Of course, you may just want to take the course for your own personal development.
I learned from some of the world's leading experts on all aspects of health and wellness, from Dr Mark Hyman to Deepak Chopra, and learned that it's not as simple as just what's on your plate. Health is made up of things like what's going on in your head, what's happening in your job, what's happening with your family, spirituality, movement etc. It's a holistic approach to health.
Health is a whole person journey. Putting a band aid on a tack will only get you so far. Finding the tack and figuring out why it's there is where the real healing begins.
I know you probably have questions, I did. I've listed a few of the more common ones, but if you'd like to chat with an IIN Alumni, please reach out here. Sometimes it's easier hearing it from someone who's been through the program and can explain first hand what it's like.
How long is the course?
You have a choice of an accelerated 6mth course, or 12 months. I chose the 12 mth course which delivers 1 module per week. There are also a number of specialty courses, such as the hormone one that I enrolled in, and there is also a program in Spanish.
What does a health coach do?
A well-trained health coach acts as a guide and ally, helping you create new, healthy habits, let go of unhealthy behaviours, transform your health goals into realities, and ultimately become their own most powerful advocate. Health coaches also help you identify potential stumbling blocks and hold you accountable for your health behaviours so that you have the best chance of reaching your goals.
Can I do this alongside my job?
Yes you can! Depending on how involved your job or business is, this is very doable, esp if you're doing the 12 mth course. It's self paced so you can set your own timetable around when you study, your home life etc, and it's possible to catch up if life gets crazy.
What's it's like studying online?
I was wondering this myself, but I found it to be very engaging, with great interaction from IIN staff and moderators, as well as fellow students. I have made some amazing friends through the course that I am still in close and regular contact with all over the world! Check out an overview of the IIN program here.
Can I try it out before I commit?
Absolutely! IIN offers a free sample class so you can see if studying health coaching with them is something you'd like to do. Click here to sample your free IIN class!
I'm ready to jump right in! Click here for an application form.