Mission and Founders

The health coach educator of the Functional Medicine movement

Our Mission: To make personalized wellness a reality for the world.

How we’ll get there:

  • We’re empowering passionate learners who are called to help others. We arm our students with the Functional Medicine knowledge and Health Coaching skills that enable them to pursue their calling.
  • We’re connecting Health Coaches with the people who need them. We facilitate connections between our alumni and the practitioners with whom they partner, as well as the clients who they support.

Our Founders

Dr. Sandra Scheinbaum, Founder & CEO

A self-professed lifelong learner, Dr. Scheinbaum’s life’s work has been centered around education innovation since the very beginning.

She began her career in 1972, teaching students with learning disabilities. Her drive to incorporate a more holistic perspective into her work led her to earn a PhD in clinical psychology at Fielding Graduate University, where she specialized in positive psychology, cognitive behavioral therapy, and mind-body medicine. Following her passions for cooking and yoga, she pursued additional education in holistic nutrition and became a registered yoga instructor.

Dr. Scheinbaum’s innovative spirit led her to pioneer the use of neurofeedback in her role as director of a clinic for attention deficit disorders. In 2013, she earned recognition as the first psychologist to become an Institute for Functional Medicine Certified Practitioner. She has taught courses in the psychology of eating and the psychology of wellbeing & mind-body medicine in the Masters Program in Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine at the University of Western States. As the director of Feed Your Mind Wellness, LLC, she ran individual, group, and corporate wellness programs.

Dr. Scheinbaum is the author of Functional Medicine Coaching: How to Be Part of the Movement That’s Transforming Healthcare, as well as two books on using the Functional Medicine approach to stopping panic attacks, Stop Panic Attacks in 10 Easy Steps and How to Give Clients the Skills to Stop Panic Attacks.

Founding the Functional Medicine Coaching Academy has brought Dr. Scheinbaum’s career full circle. She has returned to her roots as an educator and is bringing innovative approaches to training students in this new and rapidly-growing field. And in her rewarding role as the leader of this values-driven, heart-centered organization, her drive to learn is as strong as it ever was.

“I believe that Functional Medicine coaches are uniquely suited to help people take charge of their health. My mission is to transform healthcare, and through the power of coaches working alongside doctors, we can create a culture of wellness. With my passion for sharing my knowledge and experience, I’m honored to serve as your teacher and mentor.”

Elyse Wagner, Co-Founder & Director of Strategic Development

Why do we do things the way we do them? How can we do better? What are the possibilities we haven’t explored yet?

Elyse Wagner has always been a questioner, motivated to discover what’s possible when you’re really, truly in your soul purpose. For her, that purpose is to help others take ownership of their health. She first embraced this calling while in graduate school at Bastyr University, when she was diagnosed with celiac disease. In struggling with her diagnosis, she realized that she had always known, intuitively, that certain foods were creating “brain fog,” bloating, and mood swings. So she made the empowering decision to become the CEO of her health and tapped into the motivation to change her lifestyle.

Elyse healed her mind and body by applying the knowledge she was learning in her master’s program: that food and a positive mindset are the most powerful medicine. It became clear to her that she was called to empower others to choose health and educate them on how to achieve wellness.

After earning a dual master’s degree in holistic nutrition and clinical psychology, Elyse began practicing as a certified nutritionist and licensed mental health counselor. In 2013, she founded My Kitchen Shrink, Inc. and joined Dr. Scheinbaum at Feed Your Mind Wellness, LLC as a Health Coach, where they connected over their shared belief in the transformative power of Functional Medicine coaching.

Elyse always hoped to make a powerful impact on the world through health education. Founding FMCA and serving hundreds (soon thousands) of students as part of the Functional Medicine movement is the manifestation of a lifelong dream.

“Dr. Scheinbaum and I share a passion for teaching, inspiring, and empowering like-minded professionals to become effective coaches. FMCA provides an educational framework that embodies the perfect blend of mind, body, and spirit. It’s not just a program, it’s a movement, and I’m honored to have the opportunity to guide your personal and professional growth. This is what I’m here to do, what I need to do. This is my purpose.”

Elyse is the author of Smoothie Secrets Revealed: A Guide to Enhance Your Health and co-author of Functional Medicine Coaching: How to Be Part of the Movement That’s Transforming Healthcare.

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