Become the CEO of Your Health with Functional Medicine with Dr. Sandra Scheinbaum

What if you could become the CEO of your own health…easily and without struggle with functional medicine? Join Dr. Sandra Scheinbaum and I as we explore how to do just that with functional medicine health coaching. Sandra also shares how to become a functional medicine health coach yourself, how she made a massive career shift at age 65, and shares about the $6 billion health coaching industry and its rapid metamorphosis since the beginning of the pandemic.

Featured Guest

Dr. Sandra Scheinbaum

Founder of Functional Medicine Coaching Acadamy

Dr. Sandra Scheinbaum is passionate about transforming healthcare by training health coaches to help people become CEOs of their own health. She spent nearly five decades making healthcare and education more holistic and innovative. With a Ph.D. in clinical psychology, Sandi specialized in positive psychology, cognitive behavioral therapy, and mind-body medicine, and served as a teacher and the director of a clinic for Attention Deficit Disorders (ADD). She is a pioneer in her fields, having implemented programs such as the use of neurofeedback with patients and becoming the first-ever psychologist to earn certification through The Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM).

Dr. Scheinbaum founded the Functional Medicine Coaching Academy in collaboration with The Institute for Functional Medicine. A clinical psychologist for over 35 years, she is an expert in positive psychology and mind-body medicine, and the author of Functional Medicine Coaching, Stop Panic Attacks in 10 Easy Steps, and How to Give Clients the Skills to Stop Panic Attacks.

episode transcription

Heather Clark  00:01

Welcome to Unshakable Being, the podcast with inspiration and practical tools for purpose led leaders like you to relieve stress, build resilience, and unlock vitality in your life, body and business. I am Dr. Heather Clark, and I’ll be your host.


Heather Clark  00:19

Thank you so much for joining us on Unshakeable Being. This week on the show, we have Dr. Sandra Scheinbaum. She is passionate about transforming healthcare by training health coaches, to help people become CEOs of their own health. Dr. Scheinbaum, welcome to the show.


Dr. Sandra Scheinbaum  00:38

Thank you so much. It is a pleasure to be here.


Heather Clark  00:42

Fabulous. Glad to have you. So I want to just dive right in. Sandra, tell me about how can a functional medicine health coach help people to become unshakable?


Dr. Sandra Scheinbaum  00:55

Well, we are always better together with somebody else we is stronger than I and many people are thinking they can do it all. by themselves. They don’t need support, they don’t need a sounding board. They don’t need a personal cheerleader, by their side. But we know we know from lots of research that when you have a coach, you are better in so many ways. So whether that is a you’re an athlete, you can’t do that on your own, you have a coach, if you’re in theater, you may have an acting coach, a vocal coach, performance coach, and as a health coach, what do they do they help you go from where you are to where you want to be in terms of your health goals. And it is so important that people take care of their health. And it’s, it’s everything. And if you have your health, you have everything, if you don’t have your health, then nothing that you have really matters. And so we all now as we’re looking at how we’re going to move into a new year, we want to be healthy, and health coaches can help you reach your goals. So health coaches don’t tell you what to do. They don’t come up with a plan to say this is what you should eat or not eat or how you should work out. But take you for you have ideas of what where you want to be. And a health coach is the one that helps you get there.


Heather Clark  02:40

Talk to me about what you consider as the functional medicine approach.


Dr. Sandra Scheinbaum  02:44

Well, functional medicine is not necessarily a way of practicing medicine. So it has to do with a way of thinking with thinking that has to do with the fact that we are a system, our bodies are have various systems and they’re all interconnected, they all talk to one another. And we are looking in functional medicine for the root causes of so the as an example, in conventional medicine, we’re looking at arriving at a diagnosis and then how we’re going to treat that condition. And that’s based on those separate systems. So you have a cardiovascular system, you would see the cardiologist, you have your hormones, you’d see an endocrinologist. So all of these systems have their separate specialties in medicine and no one’s talking to one another. But within our bodies, all these systems talk to one another and are interconnected. And we’re looking as a functional medicine practitioner to find what’s going on under the hood to find what’s really going on. Wasn’t inflammation that’s causing all of these symptoms to pop up at this point. So those are the practitioners of functional medicine. What about the functional medicine, health coaches? Well, they are working side by side with doctors and what we do is train people to work on collaborative care teams with doctors or to work with people by establishing their own business to become functional medicine, health coaches, and they are partnering with people to teach them this philosophy and help them to get at the root causes by changing their diet and lifestyle. And that’s the territory of the functional medicine health coach. So the belief in functional medicine is again there are these interconnected systems in the body and we look at what are the drivers drivers of disease. If we look below the hood, let’s say it’s inflammation, well, what’s causing the inflammation, it’s the foods you’re eating. It’s your sleep or lack of sleep, it’s your meaning and purpose in your life, your relationships, your stress levels, and then the coach will take those pieces and help somebody formulate a personalized plan.


Heather Clark  05:26

Okay, great. Um, because you said earlier that the coach doesn’t formulate the plan. So I’m I was confused by that.


Dr. Sandra Scheinbaum  05:35

Yeah, so a coach is not a practitioner. Coaches aren’t licensed medical practitioners. If you are wondering what I should eat, for example, what’s the what’s the specific lab tests that I need to have? Well, that would be the territory of a licensed medical practitioner, the medical doctor working with a nutritionist, they would come up with the plan, because that’s what they’re trained to do. The coaches secret sauce, what the reason that they a coaching relationship is so impactful, is because they help that person enact the plan. So let’s say you’ve gone to the doctor, you’ve seen a nutritionist, you know what to do now. But how do you how do you implement it? How do you get started? How do you overcome the obstacles? How do you make it real in your life, and that’s where the coach comes in. Or maybe you’re confused, like, you’ve gone to the doctor you’ve gotten and maybe you’ve seen an integrative functional medicine doctor. And you’ve been told you need all these supplements, for example, and you don’t know where to start, or you don’t even know if this is the right thing for you, a coach can help you through that. Or perhaps a coach can also guide you to get the right treatment, many people are, are overwhelmed, they’ve gone from one specialist to another, they they don’t know they feel like they’re not being cared for, they’re not getting the answers to really figure out what’s wrong with them. And a coach can help you navigate that whole medical system. So that’s another way coaches are used.


Heather Clark  07:30

So what type of Is there a specific type of process the health coach is focused on? Or is it just implementing the plan or basically, what sets apart a functional medicine health coach from a different type of health coach?


Dr. Sandra Scheinbaum  07:49

Sure, so let me first explain the whole the actual process of working with a health coach. And that stems from a process that’s called client centered therapy. So it actually was coming from psychotherapy. So I was trained as a psychologist, clinical psychologist, and it was in a client centered approach. And that means, as opposed to the process, where it is all in the control of the direction a therapist wants to go and to dig into what’s wrong with you in terms of your childhood, it’s really going where the client wants to go. And it’s that’s what client centered means. So in a, in, in coaching from from this client centered psychotherapy, evolved this field of coaching in general, which could be life coaching. And what that means is it’s focused on hearing now, and you don’t have to have a psychiatric diagnosis to be a candidate for coaching. And so from that life coaching then evolved like a spin off health coaches. And it has to do with the same process the same principles of any coach, to now we’re focused on health and wellness goals. And it still is the who’s in the driver’s seat, it’s the client. And so it’s very different. When you go to your doctor or you see a nutritionist, for example. They’re the experts, and they’re going to tell you, you need to lose weight, or here’s a food plan I created for you. The coach doesn’t do that. The coach will say, what do you want your health for? If you can imagine yourself in five years and you didn’t have these health issues, what would you like your life to be like where what brings you joy? And then where would you like to start now? Is there a goal that you want to set for this week? And how can I hold you accountable for that? So this is all coming from that client. And notice that I’m using the word client. Because if you’re seeing that expert practitioner, you’re the patient. And this is a different relationship where you are the clot you and as opposed to the coach doesn’t have patience. And what is the difference between a functional medicine health coach, and that is, we train our coaches in the principles of functional medicine, to educate people about the root causes of illness. And we are a collaboration with the Institute for functional medicine, they are the leaders in training doctors and other practitioners in functional medicine. And our curriculum is their curriculum we teach the ways that a those systems that I mentioned earlier, well, we have modules, we have the digestion module, we have an immune module, we have cardio metabolic module, and these are all these systems that, that where there may be clinical imbalances that are showing up. And so a coach who’s trained through in functional medicine would understand this and know how to help people to understand it as well. And then there are certain tools that they might use and procedures like functional medicine is really, really rooted in telling your story. Often you go to the doctor and you get 15 minutes or even less. And you could only talk about one symptom during that visit. And a functional medicine doctor would listen to your story and map out on the timeline. What are some of the key events that may have been triggered triggers for some of the conditions you’re suffering from, and a coach would do the same? They might be working in that doctor’s office. And so they are the ones that are going to be spending an hour hour and a half with you really getting to know you and listening to that story.


Heather Clark  12:23

Yeah, I know from my own work in my own training, that it isn’t until people can truly tell the story, that the healing begins, and especially with people with stress, adrenal fatigue and burnout, sometimes after that first appointment with fully being listened to much of their energy returned. So yes, that really listening and paying attention. And receiving that story is a big step forward for many people. Absolutely. It’s


Dr. Sandra Scheinbaum  12:53

so so important, because many people just don’t feel heard. They go to the doctor, and they feel like, didn’t I wasn’t hurt, they didn’t listen to me. They’re just in their computer writing notes. And we also know that people under report symptoms, they’re afraid to tell some things to their doctor. And when they’re with a coach, they’re much more honest, because they know that coach is fully present with them and is not judging them, like an expert would be. So they’re going to talk about that bag of cookies that they had the night before, where they might feel shame to tell that to their doctor or their nutritionist because they’re fearing they’ll be judged.


Heather Clark  13:39

Certainly judgment is a huge impediment to health in general, whether that’s physical health, mental, emotional, spiritual health, that judgment, receiving it from other people, fearing it from other people, or even having the judgment inside for yourself is a major roadblock to health. How do you help people overcome the judgment piece?


Dr. Sandra Scheinbaum  14:02

Well, if this is something that comes from the thinking, there’s something wrong with you, and it’s natural to do that, we tend to want to focus on the negative. And my training was in the field of cognitive behavior therapy, and positive psychology, which is what I practice many years before it had a name that was a field that evolved in the 90s. And the idea was focusing on what’s right with you and not what’s wrong with you. So that intersected really well with the field of the what’s known as cognitive behavior therapy. I was fortunate to train with Albert Ellis, who was one of the key developers of what was called rational emotive therapy. And these two philosophies intersect nicely. So what am I talking about? Well, judgment, you come to a snap decision, you say, I’m a bad person, I’m a failure, I’m stupid, you make a mistake. And instead of just keeping that incident in isolation, you have a reasoning err, that you commit, you say, I’m stupid, I’m so stupid, I did that. And so in cognitive work, you rework these illogical statements about yourself, and you come to a different conclusion. And that is, no, I made a mistake. I’m human, like everybody else, if I didn’t make a mistake, I wouldn’t be human. And even though I did this, I’m still you know, it does, it has no relationship to being stupid. And so you rework that statement. And you by doing that, you are letting go of judgment about you. So you may judge the act, I, I said something that was wrong, or I acted badly in this situation. And so what you’re judging is the incident, you are not judging you, yourself as an individual human being. And what you pair with positive psychology would be your strikes. So we all have strengths, character strengths are referred to as the pillars of well being. And these are things like, they have to do with bravery, with judgment, where you weigh all sides of an issue and you perspective, for example. So you are there, there are many different ways that throughout the day, you set intentions for noticing when you use a particular strength. So, for example, to be on time for this podcast interview, I had to use self regulation, I had to monitor that I was not going to lose track of time that I was going to put into place an alert that would come up to say it’s, oh, it’s 15 minutes before the podcast interview. And that would be under the category of self regulation. If I am thinking of something to say, and it might be a response that’s original, that might be creativity, for example. So you take these character strengths, and you use that during the day, and how does that relate to giving up the the judgment? It’s because you know, that these are, this is how you thrive. And you relate back to them, when you are making the snap decision about yourself that you’re a failure that you don’t know enough that you’re stupid, that you’re incompetent, that you’re whatever we have, you know, so many different ways to do that. Why do we do it? Because the mind does go to the negative first, we can have 100 things that happened to us or 100 things that we should we did well, I should say, and we ignore those, but we’re primed because of our stress response to be on hyper alert for the negative.


Heather Clark  18:42

Yeah, you you can’t reason with your limbic system.


Dr. Sandra Scheinbaum  18:46

No, you just can’t. Yeah,


Heather Clark  18:49

like that’s full blown hardwired thing


Dr. Sandra Scheinbaum  18:51

yet you can do afterwards. That’s the key after the fact, you will actually there’s two ways after the fact you can process it. And you can dispute it, you can you have that inner language and you come to a different resolution. You can also set an intention beforehand, if you’re going into a situation. So let’s say I’m, here are this podcast. And let’s say I made a loss for words, or I say something inappropriate, I can set an intention beforehand to say no matter how this goes, You know, I will still this. I won’t remember this in five years, or what’s the worst thing that could happen. And you also set an intention to, to be in flow for the time that I’m having this conversation with you. And those are ways that you can offset the judgment.


Heather Clark  19:49

And another aspect for people who are listening, those are great ways. And sometimes it’s like, well, how else could this be viewed? like okay, one way would be maybe I’m a bad person. Okay. Whatever, but maybe it’s creating an opportunity, maybe it’s doing something else it’s and getting those different perspectives can help ratchet down the stress. Even if you don’t agree with it, it’s instead of it really helps people shift out of the black and white, that can be really stressful and really pull you off center.


Dr. Sandra Scheinbaum  20:23

Black and White, all or nothing thinking it’s either good or bad can throw, as you say, pull you off center. It is also this jumping to conclusions and using particular words like should must have to this type of speaking, is implying that, again, there is it’s placing a demand physiologically at a very subtle level, you’re creating a stress response. But you shift your self talk to things like I prefer, I would prefer that this goes well. And as opposed to I must make it happen. Because if it doesn’t happen, then again, you’re setting yourself up for for judgment.


Heather Clark  21:13

Yes, yes, you’re preaching to the choir, we’ve talked about that on the podcast before the should have to need to I talk about it. Not every session with clients, but almost every session, because it’s that obligation that really keeps people trapped. And it increases the amount of judgment, it increases the amount of stress and certainly limits the amount of joy you can welcome into your life. When you’re operating from a place of well, I need to do this like, well, is that true? Do you really need to? Or what do you really want here? And and I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, I spent a great deal of time focusing on the word should and eliminating it from my vocabulary. And I tell you what, that’ll change your life. Because really, it forced me to a place where I needed to be very clear with what I actually meant with whether or not I was placing obligation on myself or others. Or if I really just want you know, I guess I would prefer I wanted this to go well, instead of this has to go well like Why? So I love that as an example. And really, it’s a way to reclaim quite a bit of power. And not just from the mental health place, but it really returns physical health as well.


Dr. Sandra Scheinbaum  22:29

Absolutely, as Albert Ellis used to say, I will not should on myself, and I want to give him credit because I frequently hear people talk about the shoulds and Mohsen houses, and they don’t refer back to Dr. Ellis, but he was the originator of this process of coming to terms with your irrational statements and demands and shifting to a more rational, which is it’s not do or die. It’s not I have to because have to applies. There’s no out. I must I have to do it. But I choose to do it. I prefer to do it. That gives you a way out. And then I’ve seen people even get hung up about they prefer not to use the word should and then they find themselves using should or muster have to and then they get upset about them with about that. And so even there, yeah, you can eliminate it. 99% but not 100%. Because 100% implies perfection. And that’s flawed reasoning, because none of us can be 100% perfect 100% of the time, absolutely no exception.


Heather Clark  23:37

Exactly. And I love this approach. It’s as if the suggestion is to give yourself grace and space and do this through facts and discernment, not operating from the reaction of judgment and the reaction of obligation. And it’s more shifting into with discernment. This allows me to respond to what’s happening in a way that not only helps me become more empowered, but helps me maintain my balance and my health on all levels.


Dr. Sandra Scheinbaum  24:08



Heather Clark  24:10

Love it. So Sandra, tell me what is your origin story? How did you come to be doing this?


Dr. Sandra Scheinbaum  24:15

Well, I’m old. I’m 70 years old. So we’re talking I mean, how much time do we have here? I have a lug her a lot of twists and turns in my career. So like most women who came of age in the 60s went to college, it was very limited choices. I thought okay, well I could either be a secretary, a teacher or a nurse and I didn’t want to be a secretary. I fortunately I got good grades in high school. And so I was between nursing and education. I was wanting to help people and decided Oh, can’t be a teacher love. Kids did a lot of babysitting. So that’s what I did. I majored in elementary education and decided to specialize in special ed and for years I was a learning disabilities teacher first in the classroom. I then had my own private business as a learning disabilities tutor I taught at local colleges and how to prepare teachers to teach kids with special needs. And that is morphed into a an interest in stress management, which, at the time I was teaching the talking about in the early 70s. Didn’t really we weren’t talking about breath work back then it was just teaching me teaching kids how to relax and breathe better as teaching parents how to deal with parenting stress, and decided that I was so interested in this, I would go back at my doctorate in clinical psychology. And I was always a renegade, as in the world of psychology, because it was heavily psychoanalytic, and I wanted to focus on the mind body connection. And so I got lots of training in that area. And that’s how I built a practice of teaching how to really come to terms with the idea that what’s real in the mind is real in the body, and vice versa. And really was no separation. So I taught 1000s of people who had migraine headaches, how to breathe differently, how to warm their hands, how to get rid of migrants that way, and I specialized in anxiety and panic as well. Because personally, when I was in my 20s, I had pretty bad panic attacks where I’d have to go to the emergency room thinking I was dying, I couldn’t breathe, and learn through these self regulation strategies like slow belly breathing, and changing my mindset with cognitive restructuring, that I was able to stop a panic attack. And that led to specializing in that area. And I was always personally interested in nutrition, and fitness. So I learned about this place called the Institute for functional medicine, where they trained practitioners in this philosophy of putting all this together and finding root causes of illness and had a heavy Mind Body medicine component and looked at food as medicine. So I trained with them. And I was actually, in 2013, I was they had the first class of people, they were certifying in functional medicine, and I was the only psychologist who was there mostly medical doctors. And I thought, Okay, I have all of these buckets of knowledge that I’ve been I knew from both on a personal level and all the people I’d work with that positive psychology and changing your thinking and breathing and relaxation, mind body medicine techniques, all of that really worked. And I was now trained in functional medicine. And I love to teach this was my roots. And along the way in my career, I had taught a lot of courses psychology of eating at universities, for example. So I went to the Institute for functional medicine, couldn’t do it alone. At the time, I had a younger associate, who is with me, Elise, and so she became the co founder, and pitched the idea to IFM Institute for functional medicine. Like, yeah, we guys get together and do a coaching program started a school. And they were very excited about it. And so we entered into a formal collaboration agreement with them. And that was a real risk for me because at the time I was 65. And I had people who were saying my husband included like do you really need to do this you have a really successful career you’re a psychologist Can’t you just maybe work a few more years in your practice and then retire and we’ll travel and you can relax and that wasn’t me. I was passionate about having a mission and purpose to I knew the value of coaching. And I knew how valuable would be if we introduced functional medicine to coaching. And so I originated that model with IFM and we started I had no business skills whatsoever. Neither digital lease we started before we were ready and learn just as we went and now five years later, we have over 3000 students and growing and it’s just I wake up every morning so inspired thinking of the people that are have been trained and They’re just out there in the world all over the world of partnering with others and just helping, again, this movement is growing and helping people to, to live live better lives.


Heather Clark  30:15

That’s beautiful. I love it. And I love how your husband’s like, Are you sure? And you’re like, yeah, yeah, I’m real sure.


Heather Clark  30:22

Because I just have, you know, we don’t know each other that well, but I’ve got a very clear sense that had you chosen to not follow this purpose, and what really feels like a passion, it would have been fine. But your life may not have been as robust. And certainly it wouldn’t have been as aligned with who you are as a person. So I love that you’ve listened to that. And you’ve created this, this new way for people to access functional medicine, or at least the functional medicine approaches.


Dr. Sandra Scheinbaum  30:52

Thank you. Yeah, that is, I just really think it’s so important to as we age, to have a mission and purpose to have a community, a strong community. And having that locally with friends. And family certainly is crucial. And then also feeling connected to a larger community and people who are engaged who are working, we actually have a lot of people who come to us wanting to be health coaches, and they’re in retirement. And they thought, well, this is it, their careers are over. And to some extent, they are entering this field, not because they want to build a brand new career, wheel students in their 80s, for example, they’re doing this because now’s the time, they want to give back, they want to learn this information for themselves for their families, just to stay stay vibrant. And many of them are going out and giving back now volunteering, because they’re at a stage in their life where they don’t want to necessarily build a career. But they’re they have a passion to do this work a calling their mission.


Heather Clark  32:05

Most of the listeners to this show are leaders and or healers. So some people are listening. Okay, now how can I use these approaches to become unshakable? And then there are others that are listening like, this sounds amazing. How do I do this? Like, how so have you found that you have people who are doing this coaching and then incorporating it into their current coaching and helping practice? Or are most of the people who are coming on board doing this? Because no, no, this is my new thing.


Dr. Sandra Scheinbaum  32:39

It runs the gamut. It’s both of those. And we have a lot of people who are licensed providers, they are in their current career as medical professionals, and they are learning to become coaches, and they are learning the functional medicine approach. And they are bringing it into their existing practice. We also have people who may decide for many different reasons, perhaps they’re burned out, or perhaps they just want to do something different, where they are going, they may have been a medical doctor or pharmacist. And now they want to be a health coach. And they either leave the current position and transition to health coaching only, or they’re switching hats. And this is possible, you have to be really clear with your client agreement. When, like on Monday, I’m I have clients as a health coach. And on Tuesday, I have patients as a doctor, and we teach ways you can do that safely in terms of protecting your license. And then there are people who are perhaps they’re in corporate, perhaps they are stay at home parents, and they want to embark on a new career, or start this as their career and they’re in it from the get go. And shifting over. A lot of people are doing it on the side. So they might still they’re a nurse during the day. And then they have some clients on the side or they’re working at their corporate job. And then they also are starting to have a few clients again, on the side. So there’s a lot of different ways to do it. Many people who are in a completely different field, perhaps they’re in real estate or law, they are learning to their health coaches, and they’re bringing it back to their firm, for example, and now they’re expanding what they’re doing or they’re shifting what they’re doing for that company.


Heather Clark  34:51

I love it. So it does run the gamut and people can really participate at whatever level calls to them.


Dr. Sandra Scheinbaum  34:57

Exactly. Yep.


Heather Clark  35:00

Have you found that there is a theme in the internal shifts that are required for people to be truly successful with the health coaching?


Dr. Sandra Scheinbaum  35:12

It has to do with three things. Mindfulness, hope, compassion. And mindfulness is related to just being fully focused and fully present with somebody. So when you’re in a session, and this could be remote, or live face to face, increasingly remote, that is your whole world, that person is your world for the time that you’re with them. And that is very, very necessary when you are a coach, because the other person, your client, you sense that you could sense when you’re with someone and their eyes are darting all over the room, they’re not with you, they’re not interested, they’re not present. So that’s number one. Coaches convey hope. Many people feel like stuck in their illness, they feel like they’ve been may have been told by some doctors, there’s no hope, or your need to be on this medication for the rest of your life, you have arthritis, here’s your medication, you’ll never be able to get off it. And they’re demoralized, and have lost hope. And coaches can convey that. It’s not that they’re the experts telling them what to do. It’s an attitude. It’s a sense that, you know, you change as possible. And this is that hope is more healing than anything, it’s been identified. It’s a character strength, to have hope for a better future, or better health is something that is creating a physiological response while you’re experiencing it. And it’s a positive one. And compassion. It’s a sense that there’s no judgment here. And when you your coach is with you, and is expressing that compassion,


Heather Clark  37:14

love all of that. And I think a lot who are listening who already are coaches were like, right, but I think it’s super important for people who maybe haven’t been on the coaching, they’ve been on the receiving end, or haven’t maybe participated at all. Those are typically the hallmarks, like the fully present, the hope and the compassion, the without judgment. And I’d like to talk a little bit more about hope, because as you’re sharing it, I am very clear, this is not false hope, because we’ve all worked with people who are told, you know, they have to do X the rest of their life. And that is not always the case. So it’s not just a pie in the sky. Oh, it’ll get better soon. It’s more like, Okay, what would you like to do? Let’s create those shifts? And then what would it take to get you to where you want to go? It’s, it isn’t the Pollyanna? Oh, it’ll be fine. It’s more No, for real, this can change. And this can change a lot faster than you think.


Dr. Sandra Scheinbaum  38:17

Yeah. So it is really dialing down to the specifics of what you’re hoping for, and it has to do with your imagination. So it’s not just as you said, this empty statement, it’ll be fine. Things will get better. It’s a deep belief. And it’s seeing it. It’s feeling it, it’s touching it, it’s hearing it. It’s multi sensory, and it’s imagining so you didn’t you you create it, Mary Morrissey and her designing the dream Dream builders talks about this a lot. You it’s not just having a dream for a better future. It’s designing the dream. It’s seeing it specifically. So if let’s say you are suffering from a particular medical condition, and you have you picture a time in the future, and you really create it’s like you’re making a movie and you put yourself in that movie. Where are you? What are you doing? Are you walking? Are you running? Are you on the beach? You imagine taking in a breath and as you do that you imagine taking in that wellness what is that wellness Well, maybe it is feeling the strength in your legs feeling clear headed. I worked with people with migraines and it’s imagining, like that feeling of space on your forehead and cross your cross your scope. This, if people would imagine it, and use terms or draw it and make it real. And so you’re taking, it’s not just this empty, like a better day, you create a better day. You draw it, you, you picture it, again, like it’s a movie come to life. And that has actually been shown with longevity research, people who are seeing a future when they are the certain age, and they’re picturing there, it isn’t even it doesn’t even come into their head. They’re frail, they picture strength, they picture where they want to go, they see it before they start down the road.


Heather Clark  40:52

How can people who are in a place where perhaps they are not enjoying vibrant, good health at the moment? And they’re working with the coach who was like, Oh, no, like, I’m not just giving you hope. But we can definitely get there. How can a person move forward to that, while still acknowledging and being with what is like without denying that? Oh, no, I’m not really sick. It’s more like no, no, this is where I’m at right now. How can they, in a more healthy way, relate to hope?


Dr. Sandra Scheinbaum  41:25

Sure. So I would start with that. And it relates back to kind of an all or nothing thinking, if they’re thinking I’m not in good health, we could break that down into all of the different components. And I would bet that they could identify at least one thing that’s working well. So perhaps they could focus in that there’s a pulse that they can feel in their right thumb. And if they close their eyes and picture it, then they could start to feel that pulse even increasing. So if instead of saying I’m not in good health, or I don’t have vibrant health, well, are you standing, are you taking? Are you able to take a breath? Are you do you have vision? Or can you hear? Is your brain formulating thoughts? What about your memory, or whatever it might be that is working well. And so you could, you know, start there. And then you focus on it very much is a process of accepting what is there’s an old theory, from the Gestalt theory of psychotherapy, when you accept what is you change? And so we did this a lot with panic attack, when it’s run, I worked with people who have severe panic attacks, you assess Yes, at the moment. My heart’s beating rapidly, I have tingling in my fingertips, my breath is out of whack because of the oxygen ratio, and I’ve got too much oxygen. And then you folk, you imagine that it’s temporary, where you imagine fully where you want to be. And so you accept what is fully in the moment, or this happened. And then what can I do, and it’s often an action, well, I can take some deep belly breaths. And I can imagine with each breath that I’m going to let out a little more of the tension that I’m was feeling. And I every time I inhale, I can dry and and I can imagine some wellness. Sometimes it’s turning outward. Many times, you may be focused inward on what’s wrong with me, but focus on paying attention to something outside. So getting into nature, and being surrounded by beauty, thinking of something larger than you and being in awe of what you see. And then for the moment, you might be lost in that and it will take you away from your current suffering.


Heather Clark  44:14

Beautiful. So tell me, what’s it mean to you to be unshakable?


Dr. Sandra Scheinbaum  44:22

I love that word. I love this thing unshakable and what I thought of was a couple things they’ve called a tree. And on though, you can even shake those branches, but it’s so strongly rooted, that you cannot fold out and so feeling like a tree and that led to thought about being firmly planted. I do a lot of yoga and I take ballet, and a lot of focus on feeling firmly planted. And in order a dancer in order to do a turn stay balanced, you have to stay grounded. And it’s that duality between feeling light and feeling strong and sturdy. So you feel the roots beneath you. So you’re, you’re anchored with your feet, but you’re also pulling up through the top of your head. And you are feeling elongated, and you’re feeling that, that sense of lightness in your body. And so, putting that together that’s unshakable that you can have that, that strength that that comes from being physically anchored. That and your balance, like nothing’s gonna, gonna knock you over in that balance pose.


Heather Clark  45:41

I love it. And I especially love the, the metaphor with ballet with dance, because then it’s a constant adjustment to what is, which in itself creates beauty. So I just love that. Thank you so much for that.


Dr. Sandra Scheinbaum  45:56

Oh, you’re welcome. Yeah, I love dance. It’s one of the ways that I just get into a flow state. It’s my it’s how I meditate. I take my ballet classes.


Heather Clark  46:07

Lovely. Sandra, where can people find you? How can they become a coach? just launch in and let us let us know everywhere.


Dr. Sandra Scheinbaum  46:16

Thank you. Well, the first place to start is That’s our website. You can download an info packet. And we have classes that start March 1 and September 1. It’s 100%. Online, fortunately, and we have a Facebook which is functional, functional medicine coaching and on Instagram it’s functional med coach. And if you wanted to follow me on Instagram, it’s @DrSandi, Sandi with an i. Dr. Dr. Sandi.


Heather Clark  46:55

Beautiful. Thank you so much. This has been absolutely delightful. Thanks for coming on.


Dr. Sandra Scheinbaum  47:02

Oh, it’s been a delight and an honor to be here.


Heather Clark  47:07

Thanks so much for listening. I’d love to hear from you. Go to and submit your question, comment, or topic request. May you be unshakable, unstoppable, and vibrant again. Until next time.