Kashif Khan lives in Toronto, but he recently flew to England to meet with “someone who feels like their energy isn’t the best, and their mood is off. They’re wondering, What is this missing piece?” he says. “We will go deep into their DNA and try to figure it out.”
Back on this side of the pond, another client of his is an NBA player. “When you think about the high-performance world, they have a personal chef that takes care of their food and a personal trainer that’s good for fitness,” says Khan. “But he’s wondering, How do I add 15 years to my life? How do I age slower?”
Wellness is constantly changing and, with that, there always seem to be new tools and professionals that surface. The latest area that’s getting a following among celebrities and regular people alike? Longevity coaching.
Think of it as the 2023 version of life coaching.
What does a longevity coach do?
As of this second, there’s not an overarching board or organization that oversees the field of longevity coaching so there are a wide range of credentials for longevity coaches. Some people have PhDs; others are simply good at what they do.
At a basic level, a longevity coach helps someone age in a healthier way—and maybe even live longer. Khan, founder of The DNA Company and author of The DNA Way: Unlock the Secrets of Your Genes to Reverse Disease, Slow Aging, and Achieve Optimal Wellness, works with celebrities and professional athletes, and says he helps them work to “age” more slowly. “While other people are working on the outside, we’re working on the inside to make sure the innate biology is at the optimal level and to give people extra years,” he says.
Longevity coach Nicole Marcione, PhD, says her role is to “support and guide [clients] in navigating the aging process.”
“We also explore together what it means to get older with each passing year and how to shift our mindset towards aging in a society that is very ageist, especially towards women,” she adds. Dr. Marcione says that longevity coaches like herself “encourage others to look at aging as a privilege and discover how to live life to the fullest, with vibrancy, with desire.”
While longevity coaching is a fairly new field, some doctors say it’s a worthwhile thing to pursue if you have the budget for it. “I think it’s really interesting,” says Scott Kaiser, MD, a geriatrician and director of geriatric cognitive health for the Pacific Neuroscience Institute in Santa Monica, California. “There are many things that we know are bad or good, but we struggle to implement behavior changes. Coaches can be effective in terms of creating a plan, setting goals, and having some accountability toward those goals. That’s not something that a lot of healthcare professionals get training in.”
Who typically hires a longevity coach?
Clientele can vary widely. “We work with a lot of professional athletes and celebrities, all the way down to stay-at-home moms,” Khan says.
Dr. Marcione says she’s often asked if she works with elderly patients but her clients tend to be younger. “I have clients from 35 to 77 all over the globe,” she says. “Anyone who wants to age well, desires more from their current situation, and wishes to create an extraordinary life but needs to know where to start can hire a longevity coach.”
What are sessions with a longevity coach like?
This often depends on the coach and your goals, as well as your budget. In general, Khan says he’ll have his clients undergo genetic testing to do a “deep dive” to help understand how they metabolize foods, how their hormones work, how well their body responds to exercise, how they burn fat, and how they recover from things like environmental toxins and chemicals. “Our DNA gives us answers on how we do all of that individually,” he says.
From there, he’ll work with clients on how to put that knowledge to use, helping them to be the healthiest versions of themselves. “Then people can say, I understand how my body works and I’m making informed choices,” he says.
But everyone approaches this slightly differently. “We have celebrities that keep on going [with coaching sessions] and individuals who say, I want to get a test done and then I’ll do this myself,” Khan says.
Dr. Marcione’s approach is slightly different. “At the beginning of working with someone, we look at where the person is holistically and where they want to be as they age,” she says. “Longevity is more than your cholesterol levels, nutrition plan, and exercise routine. How is their physical health, their emotional health, their relational health, and their spiritual health? Living a long, fulfilling life takes all of these being in alignment.”
How much does a longevity coach cost?
There is a range with cost, even with the same longevity coach.
“I have different options, depending on the person’s resources,” Dr. Marcione says. A one-off session is $500, but she also has monthly and yearly packages that start at $1,000 a month.
Khan offers “tiers” of his services. “We have a lot of people who are health enthusiasts that spend between $5,000 and $8,000 over a period of months,” he says. “The genetic testing is $500, and there’s a lot of information there.”
Khan says that some clients will just want to get the test and do their own work from there. Others will spend $25,000 to $50,000 over a longer period of time.
Why might someone use a longevity coach?
Some people just want coaching to help them reach their potential so that they can be healthier for a longer period of time, Khan says. Others have more specific goals in mind as they age.
For Dr. Marcione, this can include helping someone in their 40s learn to feel sensual and good in their body during perimenopause, or helping connect someone in their 70s with the right resources and doctors to continue to live a healthy life.
Khan says people often contact him when they feel “stuck” at some point in their life. “They may think, I’m doing everything right but this piece doesn’t feel good. I still get migraines. I still have bad relationships,” he says.
Both Khan and Dr. Marcione stress that longevity is more than working out and eating well. “If you look at people who live to 100 and more, they’re not necessarily pro athletes,” Khan says. “Health and fitness are two different things.”
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