Top 10 Holistic Health and Wellness Coaching Certifications for Personal Growth in 2023

Are you passionate about helping others achieve optimal health and well-being? Holistic health and wellness coaching might be the perfect career path for you. But with so many certification programs out there, how do you choose the right one to propel your career forward and ensure your success? This comprehensive guide will help you navigate the world of holistic health coaching certifications and provide you with the top 10 options to consider.

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Key Takeaways

  • Holistic health and wellness coaching is an approach to personal growth that emphasizes the connection between mind, body, and spirit.
  • This guide provides an overview of top 10 holistic health and wellness certifications with various curriculums, specializations & support systems for successful careers in this field.
  • Building a successful practice requires identifying your niche, marketing services strategically & networking with other professionals.

The Essence of Holistic Health and Wellness Coaching

Holistic health and wellness coaching is a comprehensive approach to personal growth and self-improvement that emphasizes the interconnection of the mind, body, and spirit to achieve overall well-being. A wellness coach, who is also a holistic health coach, addresses various aspects of wellness, such as:

  • Nutrition
  • Exercise
  • Stress management
  • Sleep
  • Lifestyle choices

The goal is to help individuals achieve their wellness goals.

The collaborative process between a health coach and a client involves:

  • Assessing the client’s current health status
  • Pinpointing potential hurdles
  • Formulating actionable plans to enhance their physical, mental, and emotional well-being

For those who require direction, inspiration, and accountability to make strides towards a healthier lifestyle, engaging a health coach can be a beneficial investment.

Key Components of Holistic Coaching

Holistic coaching encompasses a wide range of specializations, such as:

  • Nutrition
  • Smoking cessation
  • Stress management
  • Fitness
  • Women’s health
  • Menopause
  • Diabetes
  • Functional medicine
  • The psychology of behavior change

National board certified health coaches have undergone rigorous training and assessment to ensure they meet the highest standards in the field. By incorporating various components of holistic health, coaches can create a balanced and healthy lifestyle for their clients, addressing their specific needs and goals.

Health coaches may specialize in areas such as:

  • Nutrition
  • Stress management
  • Weight loss
  • Sleep hygiene
  • Addiction

The diversity of specializations allows coaches to tailor their coaching practice to their personal interests and expertise, ensuring a fulfilling and successful career in the field of holistic health coaching.

Benefits of Holistic Coaching

Holistic coaching offers a range of advantages, such as improved mental and physical health, increased self-awareness, better stress management, and improved overall well-being. Certification is crucial for health coaches to guarantee comprehensive training and reliability. Coaching has been shown to positively affect multiple risk factors, such as blood pressure, cholesterol, body weight, body mass index, and cardiorespiratory fitness.

Health coaches can find employment in various settings, including:

  • Corporate wellness
  • Hospitals
  • Doctor offices
  • Government entities
  • School systems
  • Gyms
  • Fitness clubs
  • Wellness centers
  • Spas

Additionally, approximately 50% of health coaches are entrepreneurs and own and operate their private practices, providing flexibility and autonomy in their careers.

Choosing the Right Holistic Health and Wellness Coaching Certification

Accreditation, course content, and focus are significant factors to think about when selecting a suitable holistic health and wellness coaching certification. Credibility and professional development are strengthened when the chosen program is accredited by esteemed organizations such as the International Coaching Federation (ICF) or the National Board for Health and Wellness Coaching (NBHWC).

Additionally, it’s beneficial if the course content and focus align with your personal interests and career goals, as this provides a well-rounded curriculum covering diverse aspects of holistic health and wellness. Choosing a certification program that aligns with your unique goals and aspirations paves the way to a successful coaching career.

Accreditation and Recognition

Accreditation and recognition from organizations like the International Coaching Federation (ICF) and the National Board for Health and Wellness Coaching (NBHWC) are essential for credibility and professional growth. The ICF provides accreditation and recognition to coaching programs that meet their standards, defining coaching as a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires clients to maximize their personal and professional potential. Through certification from an ICF-accredited program, holistic health and wellness coaches can demonstrate their competence and credibility in the field.

Similarly, the NBHWC establishes a code of ethics and standards for health coach training, education, and assessments. Gaining approval from the NBHWC is widely regarded as the premier certification for health coaches in the U.S., ensuring that your chosen program meets the highest standards of quality and professionalism.

Course Content and Focus

The course content and focus of a holistic health and wellness coaching certification program should encompass aspects such as mental, physical, emotional, spiritual, social, and occupational well-being. Programs may focus on whole food meal planning, plant-based diets, stress management, physical activity, integrative healing therapies, and mindfulness techniques, offering a comprehensive education in the field.

It’s vital to select a program that aligns with your personal interests, experiences, and career goals, as this will help you develop a specialized and fulfilling coaching practice. By choosing a program that covers various aspects of holistic health and wellness, you can ensure a well-rounded education and the ability to cater to the diverse needs of your future clients.

Top 10 Holistic Health and Wellness Coaching Certifications

Given the variety of certification programs available, it’s important to pick one that offers comprehensive training, accreditation, and a curriculum that complements your unique interests and goals. In this guide, we’ve compiled a list of the top 10 holistic health and wellness coaching certifications, including reputable and comprehensive programs from institutions like:

These programs offer a range of curriculums, specializations, and support systems, ensuring that you can find the perfect fit for your coaching career. Here’s an in-depth look at each of these certification programs and their unique selling points.

Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN)

The Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN) is a renowned global leader in integrative health and education, providing a range of coaching courses in holistic health practices. Their program offers a comprehensive curriculum that covers topics such as:

  • Physiology
  • Holistic anatomy
  • Nutrition essentials
  • Exercising
  • Wellness and stress management
  • Health coaching
  • Overcoming obstacles
  • Healthy relationships
  • Best coaching practices
  • Client assessments
  • Meal planning

IIN also offers both a regular 12-month and a fast-tracked 6-month online program, allowing individuals to select the speed that best suits their lifestyle and needs. With over 160,000 individuals from 175 countries having completed their health coach training platform, IIN is a popular choice for aspiring holistic health coaches.

Health Coach Institute (HCI)

The Health Coach Institute (HCI) is a virtual coaching institute established in 2015, providing online health coach certification and life coach certification programs. HCI focuses on providing aspiring health coaches with the necessary tools, training, and support to successfully make a living transforming lives. Their certification programs provide:

  • Foundational nutrition information
  • Habit-change coaching
  • Personal growth
  • Marketing and business development

This ensures a well-rounded education for future coaches.

HCI also offers mentorship and coaching support during their training, as well as business training as part of their program, instructing students on how to build and expand their coaching business. With a focus on practical resources and business guidance, HCI is an excellent choice for those looking to start their own coaching practice.

American Council on Exercise (ACE)

The American Council on Exercise (ACE) Health Coach certification is an affordable option for aspiring health coaches, offering a challenging curriculum that covers various aspects of health coaching. The cost of the ACE Health Coach certification ranges from $850 to $1,495, depending on the study program selected. The program can be completed in a timeframe of 3-6 months, providing a flexible and accessible option for those looking to enter the field of health coaching.

To enroll in the ACE Health Coach certification program, individuals must be at least 18 years of age and possess a valid CPR/AED certificate. With a focus on affordability and a rigorous curriculum, ACE is an excellent option for those looking to enter the field of health coaching without breaking the bank.

Precision Nutrition Level 1

Precision Nutrition Level 1 is a nutrition coaching certification program that focuses on the science of nutrition, the art of coaching, and a practical, evidence-based approach to nutrition. The course typically takes approximately 4 months to complete when scheduled for a few hours per week and follows a self-guided format, offering flexibility for those with busy schedules.

The supportive online community of Precision Nutrition Level 1 is organized as a private PN Coaches community, providing participants with the opportunity to ask questions, receive advice, and discuss coaching scenarios with over 50,000 members. With a focus on nutrition coaching and a supportive online community, Precision Nutrition Level 1 is an excellent choice for those looking to specialize in nutrition and health coaching.

Emory University

Emory University offers a rigorous health coaching program for bachelor’s degree holders that is accredited and recognized by the National Board for Health and Wellness Coaching (NBHWC). The program comprises:

  • Theory and practice of behavior change and coaching psychology
  • Client-centered communication techniques
  • Evidence-based process and structure
  • Ethics of coaching
  • Comprehension of health and lifestyle conditions like diabetes and cardiovascular disease

The Health Coaching program at Emory University offers:

  • A 20-week online program
  • Flexibility for those seeking a comprehensive and reputable health coaching certification
  • A focus on clinical knowledge and practical experience
  • An excellent option for those with a bachelor’s degree seeking a reputable certification program.

Duke Health and Well-Being Coach Training

Duke Health offers a comprehensive program for medical and allied health providers, combining live online and self-paced curriculum, weekly coaching practice sessions, and a five-session mentored experience. The program emphasizes the principles of behavior change, personal health planning, and successful coaching disciplines, providing a well-rounded education for those in the medical field.

The Duke Health and Well-Being Coach Training certification program is acknowledged and accredited by the National Board for Health & Wellness Coaching (NBHWC), ensuring that it meets the highest standards of quality and professionalism. For medical and allied health providers seeking a comprehensive coaching program, Duke Health is an excellent choice.

National Society of Health Coaches (NSHC)

The National Society of Health Coaches (NSHC) provides an exclusive certification program, which is one of the leading health coach certification programs. It is designed specifically for licensed health or medical professionals who are looking for an evidence-based health coaching program. The program is a self-paced, clinically and evidence-based health coaching program that typically takes 12 months to complete.

The NSHC program is designed for healthcare professionals such as:

  • medical doctors
  • dentists
  • nurses
  • chiropractors

It provides a focused and specialized certification option for those already in the medical field. With a focus on clinical knowledge and evidence-based coaching, the NSHC program is an excellent option for licensed healthcare professionals.

Dr. Sears Wellness Institute

Dr. Sears Wellness Institute offers specialized certification programs with no prerequisites, focusing on three particular areas: pregnancy, families, and adults/seniors. Their program includes video training materials, remote practice with peers, and live online classes, providing a flexible and accessible option for those seeking a certification program without any entry requirements.

The Dr. Sears Wellness Institute also offers a Master Health Coach Certification for advanced training, ensuring that participants can continue to develop their skills and knowledge throughout their coaching career. With a focus on specialized areas of health and wellness and no prerequisites, Dr. Sears Wellness Institute is an excellent choice for those looking to enter the field of health coaching without any prior qualifications.

Holistic Coach Training Institute

The Holistic Coach Training Institute is a globally-recognized organization dedicated to empowering coaches to reach their fullest potential in mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual realms. Their Certified Holistic Life Coach program includes video training materials, remote practice with peers, and live online classes, providing a comprehensive training experience for aspiring coaches.

The program focuses on creating positive mindset and behavior change from within, catering to both personal and professional development for coaches. With a capacity of 24 participants per program, the Holistic Coach Training Institute ensures an intimate and supportive learning environment, setting the stage for a successful coaching career through its training programs.

Mind Body Food Institute

The Mind Body Food Institute offers a dual certification program, consisting of a Holistic Life Coach Certification and a Mind-Body Practitioner Certification. The program provides a comprehensive training course that focuses on creating positive mindset and behavior change from within, covering theory, live group training, 1:1 mentoring, and a certification exam.

This flexible program is designed to be completed within 5-6 months, offering a practical and accessible option for those looking to obtain a dual certification in holistic health coaching. With a focus on personal development and practical experience, the Mind Body Food Institute’s dual certification program sets the stage for a successful and fulfilling coaching career.

Building a Successful Holistic Health and Wellness Coaching Practice

There’s more to building a successful holistic health and wellness coaching practice than just getting a certification. To thrive in this field, you need to identify your niche, market your services effectively, and network with other professionals to create a strong client base and support system.

Concentrating on these key areas can pave the way for a successful, fulfilling, and rewarding coaching career.

Identifying Your Niche

Finding your niche is a crucial part of establishing a successful coaching practice. Reflecting on your personal interests and experiences will help you determine the specific areas of holistic health and wellness you want to focus on. By honing in on a niche that aligns with your personal interests and expertise, you can create a specialized and fulfilling coaching practice that caters to the unique needs of your clients.

Focusing on a niche also allows you to:

  • Stand out in the competitive field of health coaching
  • Set yourself apart from other coaches
  • Attract clients who are seeking specialized guidance and support in that particular area

Whether your passion lies in nutrition, stress management, or any other aspect of holistic health, finding your niche will be instrumental in building a successful coaching practice.

Marketing and Networking

Effective marketing and networking strategies are crucial in establishing a successful coaching practice, as they help you connect with potential clients and position yourself as a field expert. Effective marketing strategies for a holistic health and wellness coaching practice include:

  • Content marketing via blogging
  • Leveraging social media
  • Cultivating relationships with clients
  • Performing market research
  • Providing speaking engagements
  • Engaging in organic networking
  • Securing referral partners
  • Utilizing email marketing

Networking is also crucial for your coaching practice’s success, as it allows you to:

  • Form strategic partnerships
  • Collaborate with other professionals in the field
  • Participate in events
  • Join organizations like the International Association of Wellness Professionals (IAWP) or the National Board for Health & Wellness Coaching (NBHWC)
  • Engage in peer networking and mentorship

By doing these things, you can build a strong support system that will help you grow your coaching practice and achieve long-term success.


In conclusion, pursuing a career in holistic health and wellness coaching can be incredibly rewarding and fulfilling. By selecting the right certification program, identifying your niche, and focusing on marketing and networking, you can build a successful coaching practice that transforms the lives of your clients and allows you to make a meaningful impact in the world of health and wellness. Embark on your journey today and discover the incredible potential that lies within you as a holistic health and wellness coach.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does a holistic health and wellness coach do?

A Holistic Health and Wellness Coach takes a holistic approach to well-being, considering all aspects of a person’s health and utilizing natural remedies and therapies.

Can you make money as a holistic health coach?

Yes, you can make money as a holistic health coach by leveraging multiple income streams such as 1:1 coaching, corporate wellness programs, e-Books and video training programs, and supplements.

Are holistic health coaches in demand?

Holistic health coaching is in high demand due to increasing consumer interest in integrated health solutions. Trends indicate this segment of health coaching is set to experience significant growth in the coming years.

What does holistic mean in coaching?

Holistic coaching is an approach that recognizes the interconnectedness of the mind, body and spirit and focuses on creating sustainable solutions to help clients transform and live intentionally. It serves to complement traditional medicine by creating a wellness plan for the whole person.

How long does it take to become a holistic coach?

Becoming a Holistic Health Coach can take as little as three months or as long as a year depending on the program you choose. Certification is affordable and can be achieved in less than 12 months, allowing you to start helping clients more quickly.