Our curriculum integrates the art of coaching with principles of Functional Medicine, nutrition, the psychology of eating, mind-body medicine and positive psychology.
With an emphasis on case studies, personal exploration, and practical application of concepts, we designed our program so that students graduate with the knowledge, skills and confidence they need to coach effectively.
Throughout the 12-month program, each monthly module consists of webinars and coaching demonstrations with Institute for Functional Medicine faculty and experts in coaching, positive psychology, and mind-body medicine.
The Functional Medicine model is an individualized, patient-centered, science-based approach that empowers patients and practitioners to work together to address the underlying causes of disease and promote optimal wellness. In asking how and why illness occurs, Functional Medicine addresses the root causes of disease to restore health. Each patient’s genetic, biochemical, and lifestyle data factor into the creation of a personalized treatment plan. This approach has led to such compelling clinical outcomes that major academic health centers and health systems are now implementing Functional Medicine. And The Institute for Functional Medicine is “accredited with commendation” by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), the highest level of recognition for evidence-based continuing medical education providers.
Functional Medicine Health Coaches engage in a collaborative partnership with their clients, listen to their concerns and helping them address key lifestyle factors to create sustainable long term health and wellbeing.
A departure from the “one size fits all” take on nutrition, Functional Medicine practitioners advocate a personalized approach rooted in the principle that food is medicine. Because whole, real foods embody the life force that brings health, energy and vitality, we focus on understanding foods’ healing properties and emphasize the power of cooking. Food is also an environmental factor that we look at when considering genetic expression. Recognizing which foods create toxic or inflammatory effects and helping clients develop a plan to remove them from their diets also constitute an important area of study.
As important as what we eat is how, when, and why we eat. Our intensive study of the psychology of eating addresses these underlying factors, including the various emotional states that drive food choices and eating behaviors.
Mind – Body Medicine
Mind-body medicine refers to the exciting field of study that examines how emotions, thoughts, imagery and beliefs directly impact physical health, including DNA expression. You’ll learn how to teach clients techniques such as abdominal breathing, guided imagery, progressive muscle relaxation and meditation to lower the stress reaction and generate a systemic healing response.
The Functional Medicine approach means we don’t just aim for the absence of disease, but for thriving. What do we need to thrive? For this answer, we turn to positive psychology: the scientific study of the strengths and virtues that foster well-being and make life worth living. Based on the research that demonstrates living a more meaningful and fulfilling life can create positive health outcomes, this orientation looks at how to nurture what’s best within us.
The Art of Coaching
In order to help our clients integrate and sustain long-term health changes, we use the art of coaching. This facilitative approach is centered around the collaborative partnership between client and coach, in which the coach empowers the client to identify and work toward their needs and goals and deal with any barriers they face. A Health Coach picks up where a Functional Medicine practitioner has left off, helping clients create and execute a plan that moves beyond the diagnosis-prescription model and inspires them on the path to better health.
BECOME CERTIFIED IN AS LITTLE AS 12 MONTHS
A PREVIEW OF THE CURRICULUM
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• Gain inspiration from leaders in functional medicine, positive psychology and coaching • Learn positive psychology fundamentals and basic coaching skills
• Recognizing character strengths • Listening to the story and developing a timeline • Introduction to functional nutrition • Effects of personality, age and gender on eating habits
• Mindfulness-based strengths training • The Functional Medicine matrix Digestion basics • Balancing the micro biome • Diet and nutrition journal • Phytonutrients • Family, peer, cultural influences • Breathing techniques • Mindful eating
• Reducing inflammation through character strengths • Stress as a source of inflammation; inflammation as a source of stress • The Functional Medicine elimination diet • Sugar and inflammation • Emotional eating • Explaining the relaxation response • Inflammation-reducing imagery
• Using character strengths to improve communication • Nonverbal communication in coaching • Stress, adrenal dysfunction and hormone balance • The thyroid connection • Insulin and hormone balance • Dietary impact on blood sugar regulation • Dietary plans for hormonal issues • Emotional eating as a response to hormone fluctuations • Learning to use HeartMath
• Overuse and underuse of character strengths • Techniques for implementing specific food and exercise plans • Common causes of fatigue and decline in resiliency • Function of the mitochondria in cellular energy production • Eating to increase energy and slow aging • Considerations for meal timing • Mindfulness and meditation for generating energy and resiliency
• Shedding toxic thoughts • Toxins and illness • Ensuring a safe detox • Therapeutic foods to support detoxification • Influences of the food and advertising industries • Whole body detox: Mental-Emotional-Spiritual
• Using humor, popular culture and the arts • Intestinal permeability and small intestinal bacterial overgrowth • Celiac disease and gluten sensitivity • The gut-brain-obesity link • Gut healing foods • Visualization to strengthen the immune response • Progressive muscle relaxation and autogenic training
• Using character strengths to heal from depression and anxiety • Acceptance of your dark side • Mood disorders, inflammation, toxicity and hormone imbalance • Mood foods: Managing challenging cravings • Reading food and supplement labels • Cooking for a healthy mind • How to stop panic and anxiety
• Using character strengths to help clients who are overweight or underweight • Metabolic and hormonal aspects of resistant weight loss • Integrating detox into a healthy weight loss plan • Food plans for healthy weight loss • How to run virtual and clinic-based group detox programs • Psychological aspects of obesity through an in-depth character study • Guided imagery to enhance healthy weight loss and body acceptance
• Challenging and complicated cases using a positive psychology model • Working with a functional medicine collaborative care team • Where to start when physician expectations are high and client motivation is low • How to keep coaching simple to prevent clients from becoming overwhelmed • Being present to restore hope
• Ethical guidelines and core competencies for certification • The Business of Coaching
BECOME CERTIFIED IN AS LITTLE AS 12 MONTHS