Learn About Functional Health Coaching
Tracy is a Functional Nutrition and Lifestyle Counselor board-certified. She is a Health and Wellness Coach and a Brain Health Specialist. Tracy works predominantly with individuals, adolescents, teens, and families. Learn more about Tracy here.
What is Functional Health Coaching
The term “functional'' refers to a methodology that includes the examination and consideration of the entire person and not just the isolated symptom that brought them to you. The Institute for Functional Medicine definition is a systems biology-based approach that focuses on identifying and addressing the root cause of disease.
Functional health coaching is an experience in which physical symptoms are alleviated by root cause resolution and consists of a thorough exploration of thought life, diet, sleep, exercise and movement, relationships, childhood experience, and stress management to name a few.
Health is a Family Affair
The impetus of all the work I do is my passion for the well-being and vibrancy of the family unit. - Tracy Spiaggia
Family is only as happy and functional as its least healthy member. Tracy’s personal experience has really brought her to embrace that truth and craft her coaching around that.
Ideally, Tracy works with the entire family and this is most especially true when she’s working with people suffering from any type of mental health challenge.
How We Progress
- It starts with a very in-depth exploration of the client's entire life story. This process alone can take several sessions. It's the single most important part of the work because the answers to their challenges lie within their story.
- Every client takes several assessments in order to better understand themselves and why they do what they do.
- Some clients participate in vision board workshops to determine what it is they actually want for their lives as well as what they value so that a program can be crafted to move them steadily towards their vision. It's an opportunity to get into the creative part of the brain to explore what that person truly values.
“If we keep our values front and center in our lives and allow them to inform our choices day by day we begin to build a legacy that we really do desire instead of slowly drifting far from that.” - Tracy Spiaggia
Working with Adolescents and Teenagers
- The best outcomes are experienced when parents are open to learning how to best relate to their struggling child, and how to implement changes in the home that will significantly increase and expedite the holistic healing of their child and their family.
- Child assessments are explored in an effort to help the parents come to know the nuances of their child better. This is because when a child feels seen, safe, soothed, held, and understood, healing can happen.
“I encourage the parents also to take the same assessments so that all of the family members can begin to understand one another better because when we understand each other better we can be more compassionate towards one another and love can thrive in an environment like that.” - Tracy Spiaggia
- Some of the clients have functional lab testing performed when we really do believe that there is a physiological driver behind it.
- Based on the client's history, symptoms, and test results if applicable, a personalized non-pharmaceutical regimen is crafted. Consisting of elimination supports, high-quality nutraceuticals and supplements, essential oils, and other healing modalities such as symptom-targeted diet, sleep hygiene plan, food/mood/poop journal, castor oil packs, HeartMath, SPACE, etc.
Grocery Store Tours - you will learn what to buy/not to buy and why, the nutrients that they provide, the toxins that they may have in them, and all of the impacts on your health.
In-home cooking instruction - Tracy will teach you how to prepare gut and brain-healthy foods.
Pantry/refrigerator/freezer/toiletry/medicine cabinet organization - to take out the toxic products and replace them with light products that are supportive of your health.
Toxic Thoughts/Truthful Thoughts - (Downloadable) A very powerful daily thought journal. An introspective journey to healthier decision-making by uncovering sabotaging thought patterns and replacing them with God’s truth.
- Throughout her coaching experience, Tracy placed a very strong emphasis on the client's thought life.
- The body follows the mind. The chances of the body fully healing are significantly reduced if the client obsessively anticipates failure, and experiences deep hopelessness.
- This is where spirituality, community, and familial support is very important
“The most impactful aspect of coaching is creating a safe space for each person to share what is going on on the inside. My ultimate goal is to help facilitate change in the way each client thinks because our thoughts create our reality.” - Tracy Spiaggia
Inside the video, Tracy also explains the flowchart she created about Values, Beliefs, Choices, Behaviors/Patterns, Daily Life, Reputation, and Legacy.
Question and Answer with Tracy
Q: Is any of that covered by insurance? Is it all out of network?
A: No, we are not. In insurance, we're third-tier coverage as a net only. As a national board-certified health and wellness coach, we have third-tier coverage. But we have an amazing team of experts who have been lobbying for as long as I've been in the field which is a decade. We are lobbying for tier-one coverage but I'll be totally honest with you, once insurance and government get involved with the work that you do, it does change a lot.
What I try to do in the work that I do is get people out of the allopathic mindset of care where it's a kind exchange. I give you x amount of money, you give me a pill, I feel better, and off I go.
This is very much a therapeutic release that is more of an investment. That's why one of the aspects of my website is I work with highly motivated people who are ready to invest in themselves, and in their lives, and in their health and well-being.
Q: How many months do you typically work with a family?
A: I really prefer a minimum of six months of commitment only because of the science that informs human behavior change, brain structure change, and neuronal change. It takes a minimum of six months of regular work to see structural changes in the brain. If you were to actually be proactive and do imaging, you can see the structural changes. However, I certainly work with people session by session but my hope is that we could enter into a fully committed season of care.
This is an experience that actually takes getting out of that western mindset, out of that alopecia mindset. It takes time. It took x number of years for you to live yourself into this health deteriorated state, it's going to also take time to live your way back out of that hills.
Q: What's the best type of person to refer to you?
A: I am really passionate about supporting either single parents or a married couple whose child is struggling with mental health challenges. I certainly work with the child but just as important I really believe it's more important that I work with the parents and empower them to best understand the lifestyle and nutritional impacts on the brain and our mental well-being. I can certainly work two to four hours a month with a child client which I do very often.
But more importantly, I work with the parents to help them understand what they're eating, how you're relating to them, understanding things like attachment theory among others, spaces an acronym for a therapeutic model to help parents better understand how to really helpfully interact with the symptoms of anxiety so you don't feed it and create a little bubble. This little bubble will get tighter and tighter making it harder for that child to launch into society with healthy life skills, teaching them how to shop for food, how to cook, how to minimize toxins, how to take functional lab testing.
It’s really empowering the parents to come around their child, bringing siblings along as well because it's so important that the family unit do this together. But if I'm going to get my most ideal avatar, it's a family who is struggling with mental health challenges among one or more of their children and supporting the family unit on how to combat that and how to heal the brain and heal relationships at the same time, those are my perfect clients.
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