I'm finishing my final requirement for the NIWH program and have already passed the final exam. Hopefully I can answer some questions. I enrolled in the program with the hopes of becoming a Health & Wellness Coach as a 2nd job to my inpatient nursing career. However, I'm not sure this program has provided me with the information I need to be an effective coach. The program is meant to be completed in a year, but it is time-intensive, especially if you are working full-time. I had to pay for additional extensions to complete the program, which has taken me about 2 years thus far.
The classes are self-study. You access a one to two hour video-taped lecture (some very old) from various instructors and a packet of notes for each section plus assigned books to read. Then you need to write a paper for each section.
- There was a lot of good information and basic review on the different systems of the body and a discussion of the different illnesses that occur. The program provided a holistic way to look at some of the major diseases (i.e.- heart disease).
- There were some good, thought-provoking lectures about coaching, active listening, inflammation, etc.
- I felt as though some of the guest instructors were participating in the program primarily to promote their own book, supplements or website. Many were promoted as being an expert in their field, but much of the information certain instructors provided was not based on sound research. For example, Dr. Barry Sears was one of the guest lecturers and talked extensively about fish oil. However, fish oil does not prevent heart disease. It was not mentioned that omega-3 fatty acids are found naturally in plants and without the side effects and contamination risks of fish oil. I felt like he, and other guest instructors, were using this platform to promote their books.
- I felt the program ignored the latest evidenced-based nutrition information, such as important information from Dr. Campbell's The China Study, Dr. Calldwell Esselstyn's research on Reversing Heart Disease and Dr. Neal Barnard's research on Reversing Type 2 Diabetes. The program ignored the consistent science that promotes a whole-foods, plant-based diet in preventing and reversing disease and avoiding fad diets, supplements and reductionist approaches of nutrition that are not supported by sound evidence. I wouldn't feel comfortable giving nutritional advice from this program and am seeking out the Wellness Forum's program in addition to this one, since it provides the latest in non-biased, evidenced based nutrition information.
- The program was expensive
Anyhow, I don't think I will be using all of the information from this program with potential clients, but at least it provided some information on a holistic view of diseases, active listening and coaching skills that may be useful.