Brain Fitness Coach Certification
This certification is no longer offered.
The certification itself will ALWAYS be valid and honored.
Kristen Willeumier, PhD, this course author, just signed a worldwide book deal with a leading publisher for her new brain health book. Due to this agreement, we decided to stop offering this certification as some of the material will also be in her new book.
Help Your Clients’ Maximize Brain Health & Power
You can now dramatically expand your knowledge of brain optimization through proper training, sleep, nutrition, neuro-conditioning and flow state. Start your career as a Certified Brain Fitness Coach!
You know how important things like mindset, focus, clarity, determination, distraction control and flow are to overall success: mental, physical or financial. A well-functioning brain creates more opportunity for success in each aspect of life. It’s incredibly challenging to reach the pinnacle of success when your brain doesn’t function at the highest level.
If you are new to the coaching/training industry, you are discovering that people who have improved brain function and performance are better able to follow directions, implement plans and stay the course. If you are experienced in this field, you’ve seen this for years. Now, you have the opportunity to gain a high-level credential, extensive experience and a coaching model to dramatically increase your clients’ brain function and power.
Lesson 1: Neurotransmitters and their impact on brain function
Learning objectives: The lesson is designed to give you a basic framework of the neuroanatomy of the brain that is important for this course. We will also highlight four primary neurotransmitters that impact human behavior and their role in brain health.
- You will learn about the cerebral cortex and about the function of the 4 lobes that comprise the cerebral cortex which include the frontal, temporal, parietal and occipital lobes.
- You will learn about the cells that comprise the central nervous system and their function.
- You will learn about the synapse, which is the site of cellular communication.
- You will learn about neurotransmitters, or chemical messengers, and their impact on mood and emotional regulation. While there are up to 100 neurotransmitters in the body, we will explore the most commonly referenced neurotransmitters, including dopamine, norepinephrine, serotonin and GABA, and the effects that low levels of these chemicals have on brain and body function.
Lesson 2: Awakening to your highest potential, how to harness the power of your thoughts to achieve your goals
Learning objectives: In this lesson we will discuss the importance of our thoughts and how to change our beliefs and behaviors so we can be co-creators of our life and successfully achieve our goals.
- You will learn about the impact of thoughts on our brain and body and the implications of negative thoughts on the molecules within our body, which has a profound effect on our health and wellness. This will be illustrated through a classic experiment by Japanese scientist, Dr. Masuro Emoto, who studied the effect of human consciousness on the structure of water molecules.
- You will learn 6 techniques that can be used to transform negative self-talk into more positive thinking which is a powerful component of the healing process. This will entail identifying the negative thought patterns and learning how to create new thought patterns that will support growth and enlightenment.
- You will learn about the conscious, subconscious and unconscious mind and which one dominates where a majority of our thoughts originate. By understanding how our mind operates you will learn how to be consciously aware of our thoughts.
- You will learn about the transformative impact of meditation on our brain and body, and how it can place us in alignment with the Schumann Resonance, or the earth’s natural frequency, which will help support health and wellness.
Lesson 3: You cannot change what you do not measure
Learning objectives: The goal of this lesson is to learn strategic approaches in which you can easily track your client’s progress in a brain fitness program using objective measurements. If performed consistently on a daily, weekly or monthly basis it will not only maintain accountability and support the development of positive habits, but it will give your client the highest likelihood of successfully achieving their goals. This is also referred to as the SMART approach, which stands for setting goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-Bound.
- You will learn the 8 steps to modify habits.
- You will learn the 7 critical metrics that are recommended in working with clients on a brain fitness program.
- You will learn how to calculate BMI (body mass index) and calorie consumption as a starting metric essential in designing a brain health program.
- You will learn how to calculate the daily fluid intake requirement, which allows for the inclusion of exercise within the calculation. Given that most individuals are chronically dehydrated, the importance of consuming appropriate fluids in support of hydration must be addressed and modified early on in the program.
- You will learn simple ways to track movement as a way to have a quantifiable measurement around daily exercise.
- You will learn how to measure the impact of a meditation practice on the brain, which will be impactful for clients who require techniques around calming brain function.
- You will be guided on baseline labs that are recommended to assess important health numbers and to identify any areas which may require treatment by a physician.
- You will learn how to track daily sleep numbers, as a way to assess if sleep deprivation needs to be addressed. Improper sleep habits may result in problems with cognition, concentration, energy, metabolic issues and weight gain.
Lesson 4: Foundational nutrients to supercharge brain function
Learning objectives: The aim of this lesson is how to promote optimal brain and body health through lifestyle choices, which include our daily nutrient intake and dietary choices. The nutrients include blue-green algae, fatty acids, trace minerals, mineral salts, vitamins, beneficial bacteria and spices which have healing properties which may serve to detoxify the brain, reduce inflammation in the body, increase digestive strength, or enhance circulation, and inclusion of these nutrients can be one of the most empowering ways that you can support the restorative properties within the body.
- In this lesson you will learn about 12 foundational nutrients which will impact brain function.
- You will learn the importance of taking a daily foundational multivitamin, and the statistics from the Centers for Disease Control on the trends around fruit and vegetable consumption in the US.
- You will learn about the importance of omega 3 fatty acids as an essential brain health nutrient and the use of spirulina as a vegan source of this nutrient.
- You will learn about vitamins B, C and D and their role in generating neurotransmitters, reducing inflammation and enhancing immune support.
- You will learn about minerals including magnesium, Himalayan salts, bone broth and zinc to maintain optimal cellular functioning.
- You will learn about the microbiome and how to use probiotics to support the 10,000 different species of bacteria to attain optimal health.
- You will learn how to support mitochondrial function through the use of powerful antioxidants including coenzyme Q10 and coconut oil.
- You will learn about curcumin, one of the most potent anti-inflammatory spices which have been demonstrated to prevent the development of the plaques that form in Alzheimer’s disease.
Lesson 5: Optimal fluids to support brain function
Learning objectives: Humans can survive without food for several weeks, but without water, life would end in three to five days. The body is composed of 70% water, with the brain having over 85% of its mass as water. Water is involved in nearly every process in the body, from digestion, to absorption to circulation and excretion.
Water transports nutrients and oxygen to the cells of the body and is important in the regulation of body temperature. Aside from obtaining adequate water intake to maintain optimal hydration, we also want to drink liquids that provide nutrients which support the body. In this lesson we will discuss what fluids will support your health and vitality versus those that do not.
- In this lesson you will learn about 5 vital fluids that impact brain and body function in very robust ways.
- You will learn why it is so essential to drink water to create hydration on a deep, cellular level. You will also learn the factors that create dehydration, and how as little as 1-2% dehydration can lead to brain atrophy.
- You will learn about coffee and the implications of consuming it while on a brain fitness program.
- You will learn about the benefits of coconut water, including its role in enhancing cellular energetics, digestion, hydration and cellular revitalization.
- You will learn about the benefits of aloe juice, and its role as a powerful digestive aid and potent anti-inflammatory beverage.
- You will learn about the power of green tea, and its ability to protect our cellular DNA and lower cholesterol.
- You will learn about the impact of incorporating live juicing into your brain fitness program, and how to use this as a way to powerfully and rapidly transform your health.
Lesson 6: Nutraceuticals to power brain function
Learning objectives: The goal of this lesson is to provide an educational framework on nutraceuticals that impact brain function. This will allow your clients have the foundational nutrients that will allow the body to continually produce neurotransmitters and cofactors at levels essential to supporting optimal brain health.
- In this lesson you will learn about 7 supplements which have been demonstrated through peer-reviewed studies in the research literature to positively impact brain function.
- You will learn about phosphatidylserine, a fat-soluble lipid that is an essential component of cell membranes and has a robust evidence base of enhancing cognition in individuals with mild cognitive impairment.
- You will learn about acetylcholine, a compound essential for mitochondrial function.
- You will learn about N-acetylcysteine and alpha lipoic acid, two potent brain antioxidants.
- You will learn about ginkgo biloba and vinpocetine, plant-based compounds which are effective vasodilators which can impact microcirculation in the brain and reduce vascular resistance.
- You will learn about huperzine A, a plant extract which can elevate acetylcholine and impact cognition.
Supplemental materials: You will also receive a pdf scientific manuscript discussed in this lesson which demonstrates how the specific brain nutrients discussed in the lesson were used to restore brain function in a cohort of NFL subjects which was published in the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs (2011).
Lesson 7: Obesity and its role in brain health
Learning objectives: Obesity is become a health epidemic and anyone who is interested in brain fitness needs to be ready to confront this issue head on with their clients. Untreated obesity accelerates brain aging and some very compelling research demonstrates the perils of metabolic insufficiency on brain and body health. In this lesson we will review some of this literature to glean why we need to motivate everyone to take this issue seriously.
- You will learn some of the staggering statistics around obesity in adults and children.
- You will learn about obesity as a driver of inflammation in the brain and body.
- You will learn about the effects of obesity on brain health in healthy individuals, professional athletes and the elderly as demonstrated by research in the published literature.
Supplemental materials: We have included pdf’s of the four scientific manuscripts discussed in this lesson which demonstrates the impact of obesity on brain size and function, which were published in Human Brain Mapping (2010), Obesity (2011), Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences (2011) and in Nature Translational Psychiatry (2013).
Lesson 8: Enhancing neurogenesis
Learning objectives: Understanding the power of neurogenesis to regrow neurons in the brain is a very empowering tool to reverse brain aging and support overall health and wellness. In this lesson we will explore a variety of ways in which we can enhance neurogenesis in the brain as well as discuss the habits that impede this natural process we have been gifted with to restore brain function.
- You will learn about Dr. Rusty Gage’s work at the Salk Institute of Biological Sciences and his discovery of the two primary ways human beings are capable of growing new neurons.
- You will learn about the specific area in the brain that is the primary site of neurogenesis.
- You will learn 6 lifestyle habits that support neurogenesis.
- You will learn about the 2 neurotropic factors that are released during aerobic exercise which promote neurogenesis.
- You will learn dietary strategies that enhance neurogenesis.
- You will have the published research demonstrating how the various activities discussed in this lesson can increase brain volume.
- You will learn what type of exercise is best for the brain.
- We will close this lesson by learning what habits reduce neurogenesis.
Supplemental materials: For a more in-depth exploration of neurogenesis I encourage you reading The Neurogenesis Diet and Lifestyle: Upgrade Your Brain, Upgrade Your Life by clinical psychologist Dr. Brant Cortright. Neurogenesis can help you to improve the speed of thinking, enhance memory, support vitality, prevent Alzheimer’s and can help protect the brain from the effects of chronic stress. I have included pdf’s of the two scientific manuscripts discussed in this lesson which demonstrates the importance of engaging in cognitively stimulating activities to enhance cognition and increase gray matter, which was published in Brain Imaging and Behavior (2015) and how yoga increases gray matter volume in the hippocampus, which was published in the Indian Journal of Psychiatry (2013; see https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3768219/?report=printable). I have also included the article referenced in the New York Times on which exercise is best for the brain, which was published in the Journal of Physiology (2016).
Lesson 9: Stress Management Techniques
Learning objectives: The importance of including a stress management component to your brain fitness curriculum cannot be underscored here. In this day and digital age stress can come in many forms from long daily commutes to work, to pressure from employers or customers, or from the stress that can occur in nurturing and providing for a family or even in maintaining a healthy, loving relationship with a spouse. We are also bombarded by a form of stress from the invisible realm of harmful EMF’s from our smart phones, tablets, computers and electrical equipment all of which create electromagnetic interference in the body. Here we will learn to identify and assess stress in the body and address a variety of techniques that can be implemented to attenuate stress in the mind and body with the goal of creating a more balanced, harmonious life.
- You will learn the definition of stress and the 4 types of stress that people encounter.
- You will learn about the hormones that are released during the stress response.
- We will review the myriad of symptoms that stress can create in the body and discuss a scale that can be used to assess your client’s level of stress.
- You will learn 4 ways to reduce stress in the body in order to create harmony and a sense of balance.
- You will learn about 3 adaptogenic herbs that can be used to calm the mind and body.
Supplemental materials: Students are encouraged to watch the Tedx Chapman University video Breath: Five minutes can change your life by Stacey Schuerman. She will walk you through the use of your breath to activate the parasympathetic nervous system in order to slow down your heart rate, creating what can be referred to a cardiac coherence, which serves to calm your brain and quiet your mind. The proper use of breath has amazing physiologic benefits on the brain and body. You may also want to watch the You Tube Video Learn the Diaphragmatic Breathing Technique by Whitney Zweeres. This video will show you how to use the technique while lying down and while sitting in a chair. You may also want to read The Relaxation Response, by Harvard Associate Professor of Medicine, Herbert Benson, M.D. and co-author Mairim Klipper. Dr.Benson introduced this simple, effective mind-body approach to relieving stress over forty years ago, which has been used successfully by millions of people without having to resort to the use of prescription medications.
Lesson 10: Coaching Clients
Learning objectives: In this lesson we are going to apply the principles that have been introduced in lessons 1-9 to different types of clients that you might work with. This will serve as a template to help guide your clients towards optimal brain health.
You will learn statistics around the number of individuals with brain health issues; you will also learn the proper exercises, dietary and nutrient support for clients who may need support with the following issues:
- calming the mind
- enhancing mood
- supporting focus and concentration
- improving balance and coordination
- enhancing the mind/cognition
- you will learn about brain research that was performed in master athletes who stopped exercising.
Kristen Willeumier, PhD, is a neuroscientist with knowledge on how the brain is affected by health, nutrition and the impact of concussions. Dr. Willeumier served as the Director of Research for the Amen Clinics from 2009-2016 to help advance the research mission of exploring how brain SPECT imaging can transform clinical practice. She has authored or co-authored 44 scientific manuscripts in peer reviewed journals. Areas of published research include traumatic brain injury, posttraumatic stress disorder, autism, biomarkers of suicide, obesity, gender differences in brain function, clinical outcomes, and brain rehabilitation. Together with Dr. Amen and colleagues, she led a clinical research trial investigating the long-term effects of repetitive subconcussive impacts in NFL football players. Subsequent work focused on therapeutic approaches to rehabilitate brain function in athletes. Dr.Willeumier is on the Scientific Advisory Board of Tate Technology, LLCTM a sports safety technology think-tank licensing firm that has developed innovative technology from helmets to protective gear, which is applicable to athletes, military and police.
Dr. Willeumier conducted her graduate research in the laboratory of Neurophysiology under the direction of Felix Schweitzer at the University of California, Los Angeles and the laboratory of Neurogenetics under the direction of Stefan Pulst at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center using live cell imaging to investigate mechanisms of synaptic signaling in Parkinson’s disease. She received MS degrees in physiological science and neurobiology and a PhD degree in neurobiology from the University of California, Los Angeles. She was a post-doctoral fellow in the Department of Neurology at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center where she continued her work in the field of neurodegenerative disease. She was the recipient of the prestigious NIH fellowship from the National Institute of Mental Health to study the molecular mechanisms underlying Parkinson’s disease and has presented her work at national and international scientific meetings including the Society for Neuroscience, Gordon Conference and the World Brain Mapping Conference.
What are my career options? How will I make a living with this credential?
The great thing about being a Certified Brain Fitness Coach is that you have endless career and business opportunities. Some primary careers include: coaching clients one-on-one in their home, your home, or your office. Many coaches coach in groups to help more people and earn more money per hour.
In addition, you can seek out alternative (and frequently very lucrative career opportunities) as a blogger, writer, podcast host, author, online content provider, online video host or publisher of digital education products. You can also offer your services online to individuals, small groups or large groups. You can use fun online communication/collaboration platforms such Skype or Zoom for your coaching services.
You can become an expert for authority websites such as WebMD, eHow and Live-strong. You can become a frequent expert guest on podcasts, radio shows, TV talk shows, news programs or in industry publications. The list of opportunities is truly endless. Nothing is holding you back.
How will I get clients?
This is actually much easier than you may be thinking right now. Here are some examples: Facebook is an excellent resource. An account is free and building a fan page takes less than 5 minutes. You can advertise to very specific groups of people who want and need your services. Of course, you can also use Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest and your other favorite social media platforms. It’s 100% FREE.
Create and post a press release about your business launch. It’s simple and free to syndicate your press releases across the web. Creating a blog for your business is very fast and essentially free. We have resources for your online marketing needs here. You can make training/coaching videos and post them to Youtube. When you offer this valuable free help, people get to know you and learn to like you. In return, they want to know more and they are directed back to your Facebook fan page or blog for details. Of course, you can post your videos to all video sites for an even greater reach.
Adding your business to Yelp is also a great idea. It gets ranked high on Google which makes your job even easier. Make sure you also add your business profile to Google Local. That’s another free and easy way to get clients. As for off-line client-getting strategies, you can do any of the following: attend local charity events, speak at community events, do a lunch-and-learn at a local business, volunteer for a local charity, distribute door hangers, post flyers, add a graphic/banner to your car, and the list goes on and on.
Once you get started, you’ll see how easy it is to do. Now that you know what you need to do, you just need to implement and the clients will come in on a regular basis.
As you can now see, becoming a Certified Brain Fitness Coach will give you the skills, confidence and professional credential to coach clients from a wide range of backgrounds to improve their brain power, mental toughness and health.
It’s time for you to become a coach/trainer who stands out in the crowd with the credential of distinction!
Program Title: Brain Fitness Coach Certification
Credential You Will Earn: Certified Brain Fitness Coach (CBFC)
Program Overview: Comprehensive course including braining fitness coaching concepts, coaching strategies, motivational strategies, mental toughness exercises, scope of practice as a brain fitness coach, list of assessment tools and techniques and business models for brain fitness coaching.
Course Objective: To provide you with all the needed tools to become an effective brain fitness coach, and increase revenue with included business training.
Approvals and Recognition: ISSA 20 CEUs, Spencer Institute 2.0 CEUs, NESTA 2.0 CEUs, MMACA 2.0 CEUs, ITCA 2.0 CEUs
Recertification Requirements: Certification is valid for (2) two years. You are required to complete 2.0 units (20 hours) of CEUs (continuing education credits) to keep your certification valid. Please review the 2-Year Recertification Guide for further details.
Learning Format: Online access of materials including training videos, notes packet and non-proctored online exam.
Internet access is required. Online training is provided in an online format which is accessed through an online training website available 27/7 LIFETIME access. Once you register, you will be given immediate access to begin your studies. You can test when you are ready.
The entire course is now compatible on iPhone, Android, iPad or any hand held tablet, laptop or desktop.
The only special technology you will need is an Adobe Reader. Download Adobe Reader for FREE: Get Adobe Reader
Certification Exam Requirements: Passing a 65 question (multiple choice and true & false), non-proctored online exam with 70% or higher. Three attempts at the exam are given. Results are known immediately.
Retest Fee: $95 retest fee applies if the passing requirement is not met at the end of the third exam attempt.
Estimated Completion Time: Course and exam should be completed within one year of purchase. The average student can complete the course if they dedicate approximately 20 hours of study time.