Founded in 2014 in collaboration with The Institute for Functional Medicine, FMCA has trained over 3000 Functional Medicine Certified Health Coaches (FMCHCs) in functional medicine principles and behavior change techniques. Health coaches partner with clients and support practitioners within the collaborative care model, breaking down big lifestyle changes into accessible steps.
Health coaches apply motivational strategies, behavior change theory, and communication techniques to help clients create sustainable changes that lead to better health. They help translate the doctor’s plan of care into the patient’s plan of action, bridging the gap between what patients know they need to do to be healthy and the intrinsic motivation needed to make and sustain those changes.
Health coaches are experts in making healthy lifestyle behavior change happen. Their fluency in functional medicine principles and motivational strategies qualifies them to partner with doctors and serve as the implementers within the collaborative care team. Health coaches extend the doctor’s reach by offering individualized support to implement protocols, address roadblocks, and work through the day-to-day challenges that arise for patients making significant changes.
When a patient needs to change their habits for their health, Functional Medicine Health Coaches can make those changes more accessible and sustainable. Health coaches help patients set goals and provide achievable steps and strategies for them to maintain healthy changes long-term. Just like a functional medicine clinician, a health coach makes sure patients feel heard and that they share ownership of their healing process.
Partnering with a health coach helps optimize a practice’s workflow by increasing the available time providers have to perform the tasks that only they are qualified to do. Utilizing health coaches in a practice can improve the patient-provider relationship, reduce costs, increase patient loyalty, and improve long-term patient cooperation and outcomes. This is especially helpful in functional medicine practices, where lifestyle changes are part of the foundation of many treatment plans.
FMCA’s award-winning hands-on program offers 100% online training in the skills and tools coaches need to work on a collaborative care team, coach independently, in a corporate setting, and more. Their curriculum brings functional medicine and nutrition principles together with a client-centered coach approach grounded in positive psychology behavior change techniques.