Published: March 26, 2021
Health coaching is going mainstream and quickly becoming one of the most popular and lucrative fields in the health and wellness industry. People are turning to health coaching for many reasons. Some want a change in the healthcare system, a change in their careers, or a change in their own personal health.
As this projected 6 billion dollar industry continues to rise, you may be asking yourself, “How do I actually become a health coach? Do I need a background in science? A degree in the medical field? A certification in fitness?”
The answer is NO!
So, exactly what kind of education or area of expertise do you need before becoming a health coach?
At The Functional Medicine Coaching Academy (FMCA), we encourage students with a broad and inclusive range of educational backgrounds, career histories, and life experiences to become Functional Medicine Certified Health Coaches (FMCHC). While many of our students have prior experience in healthcare, coaching, or business, these are not requirements. Your personal journey is part of what will make you a great coach, and will help define your coach approach. In fact, more than 50% of our students in each class come from a non-healthcare background! Some of our most popular non-healthcare backgrounds include government employees, teachers, stay-at-home moms, marketers, office managers, real estate agents, self-employed, or retirees!
Regardless of your educational background, FMCA is designed to set you up for success as a Certified Functional Medicine Health Coach.
Health coaching is designed to meet you where you are, and that includes your education in becoming a health coach.
Our Health Coach Training Program curriculum is developed in partnership with The Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM), approved by the National Board for Health & Wellness Coaching (NBHWC), and in keeping with the standards of excellence set forth by the Harvard Institute of Coaching. Our world-renowned faculty and guest speakers present the course material in the form of webinars, interviews, live Q&As, and Ask the Expert forums. These industry leaders sharing the wisdom and experience of their diverse professional backgrounds really bring Functional Medicine health coaching and behavior change to life.
We build our courses using the four overarching modalities of student learning, based on the “VARK” learning styles, to include components that cater to ALL learning styles.
Here are some of our favorite examples of how these learning styles are incorporated in our health coaching training program:
- Visual components: Videos, data visualizations, and charts
- Auditory components: Interviews, lectures, and Coaching in Action videos
- Reading/writing components: Slide presentations, articles, books, assignments
- Kinesthetic components: Live Training Sessions and coaching role-play exercises
At FMCA, you are trained and transformed as part of a community. Your cohort group is the center of your FMCA community. You will learn how to apply the Functional Medicine health coaching principles that you learn by working in small groups, or Live Training Sessions (LTS). Each cohort finds its own rhythm as you connect with your fellow students over growth, challenges, and passion for what you are learning. You’ll watch as you and your fellow students expand your interpersonal skills, become better listeners, and even build friendships in the process of finding your voices as coaches.
When you graduate as a Functional Medicine Certified Health Coach, you can work in a variety of settings, such as in medical practices, hospitals, gyms, schools, or corporate offices. Many of our alumni choose to become their own employers, opening private practices, starting online businesses through virtual coaching, or adding coaching on to current their careers.
As the demand for health coaches and alternative medicine grows, more and more people are recognizing the benefit and value health coaches bring to reducing chronic diseases and lowering healthcare costs.