Step into the world of onsite health coaching in Scottsdale, Arizona, where laughter is as much a part of wellness as any exercise or nutrition plan. As a seasoned health coach for a major insurance company, my journey has been anything but ordinary. From navigating the intricacies of employee wellness to finding unexpected humor in discussing taboo topics like sexual health, my story is a testament to the power of humor in breaking down barriers and fostering genuine connections. Join me as I unveil the unconventional strategies and heartfelt anecdotes that have shaped my approach to holistic health coaching.

 

My Humor and Health Coach Story

I have been an onsite health coach for about eight years for a major health insurance company in the US.  I am assigned to a company in Scottsdale, Arizona, that employs about 3000 employees.  My primary duties and responsibilities as an onsite health coach include but are not limited to, one-on-one coaching, running monthly and quarterly wellness challenges, health education, chronic condition management, nutrition counseling, tobacco cessation, stress management, and weight management.

I also help employees navigate their benefits webpage, direct them to their employee assistance program (EAP), and help them find mental health services or resources when needed.

As a health coach, clients share intimate details of their lives, so confidentiality is critical.  Being approachable and connecting with clients helps them feel comfortable asking for help.  Showing empathy and compassion goes a long way, and meeting clients where they are ensures they come back for a follow-up appointment.

In my one-on-one coaching sessions, I use humor.  But before I go all in, I test the waters to determine the client’s level of humor.  For example, when discussing the benefits of preventive health screenings for colon and rectal cancer, I often share my colonoscopy experience.  I tell employees that the preparation stage for a colonoscopy is shitty.  I usually get an eye roll and a head shake.  I then remind them that they will be sedated during the procedure, that it will be the best sleep ever, and most importantly, that the 20-minute procedure can save their life.

What I’ve noticed over the years is that female employees are more comfortable talking about ALL parts of their health, including their lady parts.  I have lady parts, so it is easy to discuss preventive health screenings like PAPs and mammograms with female employees.  However, coaching the male population, especially males in the 50-70 age group, is challenging.  They are a bunch of knuckleheads.

I have resorted to using a car analogy to explain to these knuckleheads that routine and annual maintenance is just as important for the human body as it is for their Tesla, truck, or motorcycle.  Sadly, at the company’s annual car show event several years ago, the wellness director asked me not to reference dip sticks, rear-end problems, looking under the hood, blowing a tranny, lubing/oiling a shaft, or any car-sex innuendo, which is some of my best material.  You’re killing me, Smalls!

Anyway, using humor (when appropriate) was the only way I got comfortable discussing topics of a sexual nature, especially with male employees.

It helped to break the ice and provided a segue into why completing annual exams and preventive health screenings is so important.  It also provided an opportunity to explain how poor health can affect sexual health.

I think it is safe to say we all understand how difficult it is to perform sexually when we are overweight, in pain, tired, stressed, or suffering from anxiety or depression.  However, what most people do not understand is how conditions like hypertension and type 2 diabetes can affect sexual performance for both men and women.

Poor hypertension and diabetes management, over time, can damage blood vessels and nerves, affecting the ability to get an erection, maintain an erection, and achieve an orgasm.  Since I take a holistic approach to health coaching, I feel that not talking about sexual health would be a disservice to my clients/employees.  My ultimate goal as a health coach is to make the employees feel comfortable talking about all aspects of their health, including sex.

I, recently, finished my last course requirement for my master’s program in Health Education and Health Promotion at Walden University: Sexual Health and Well-being.  This course has given me even more confidence to discuss sexual health and provide employees with evidence-based information about sex.  I wish I had taken this course eight years ago.  I could have saved myself from a lot of embarrassing moments.

humor and health

I share my humorous stories with you, because, I too thought talking about sex was not an acceptable behavior I have learned through my health coaching and Walden University that I was making a mountain out of a molehill where the topic of sex is concerned…I had to end this personal story with a joke.

At Kiss & Tell, we embrace and encourage every individual’s unique journey when it comes to the often-taboo topic of sex. Join our community by sharing your stories in the comments below and subscribe because you deserve to know what we know!