Course Description



Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) affect the vast majority of our patient populations today. The World Health Organization reports that NCDs, such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes, are the leading cause of mortality in the world. The WHO has called on all health care providers to be on the frontlines of combatting this epidemic using “common, modifiable risk factors underlie the major NCDs, which include tobacco, harmful use of alcohol, unhealthy diet, insufficient physical activity, overweight/obesity, raised blood pressure, raised blood sugar and raised cholesterol.” 

The first PT Summit on Global Health (Dean et al 2011) makes a clear statement supporting the inclusion of nutritional counseling and integrative practices like mindfulness and yoga in physical therapy care. “In the 21st century, PT’s need to initiate and/or support one or more of the following health behavior in their patients: smoking cessation, optimizing nutrition, controlling weight, prescribing regular activity and exercise, optimizing sleep health, and reducing undue stress.” With poor diet, lack of exercise, and stress (all of which contribute to systemic inflammation and subsequent poor rehabilitation and health promotion outcomes) as the chief risk factors for NCD’s in the US, conditions like osteoarthritis and joint pain have been all too common, the product of a modern dishealth phenomenon. 

The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) support that PT’s play an essential role in today’s health care environment as vital providers of rehabilitation and habilitation services, and prevention and risk-reduction services. Many factors influence the physical therapist’s decision-making process and the complexity, frequency, and duration of an intervention. Among these factors are the following: premorbid conditions and overall health status, age; cognitive status; comorbidities, complications, or secondary impairments; concurrent medical, surgical, and therapeutic interventions; and nutritional status. There are multiple variables at play and this module will focus on the science supporting the gut-brain-body axis and how the Lifestyle Medicine of yoga, including nutrition, stress management, and even manual therapies can impact gut health and overall patient outcomes and quality of life. 

NOTE:  This 5 hour course is contained in the Integrative Lifestyle Medicine course. If you have purchased the ILM Certificate Course or the Level 2 Bundle, you do not need this version.

This third, 5 hour course in the 24 hour Integrative Lifestyle Medicine Certificate program will change your practice. It will:

  • Increase your effectiveness as a therapist and improve patient outcomes and satisfaction.
  • Give you a comprehensive skillset to use Integrative Lifestyle Medicine in practice. 
  • Lower burden of care on you as the practitioner and empower the patient to be a partner in their healthcare. 
  • Help you determine root causes of disease, pain, and disability which helps patients heal faster and with long-lasting results. 
  • Tackle persistent pain and complex comorbidities that are hindering your therapy outcomes.

Clinical Objectives


Part 1

  1. Describe the gut-brain-body axis connection to rehabilitation outcomes and practice. 

  2. Cite evidence that supports addressing gut microbiome health in rehabilitation and health promotion practice. 

  3. Cite the evidence for inclusion of nutrition within the scope of rehabilitation and health promotion practice. 

  4. Discuss the shared risk factors for orthopaedic and systemic dysfunction. 

  5. Summarize the role of nutrition in disease prevention. 

  6. Identify the limitations in implementing nutritional changes within your scope of practice. 

Part 2

  1. Summarize the limitations in current recommendations for dietary guidelines in Americans. 

  2. List the most commonly overconsumed and underconsumed food types in America. 

  3. Cite evidence which supports specific nutritional assessment and inventories. 

  4. Cite evidence base for nutritional recommendations to impact and reverse diabetes and and manage other similar metabolic syndrome issues related to neuromuscular health.

  5. Determine which foods are healthiest and which food types should be avoided. 

  6. Describe basic nutrition intervention for diminishing inflammation and its associated disease processes (diabetes, hypertension, cancer, cardiovascular disease). 

Part 3

  1. Discuss the pathogenesis of metabolic syndrome, including diabetes. 

  2. Describe the Diabetes Prevention Program.

  3. Define socially contagious behaviors.  

  4. Cite evidence base that supports plant-based diets on psycho-emotional well-being.

  5. Describe the consequences of medication-driven management of chronic disease, including neuromuscular impairment and diagnoses. 

  6. List the ways in which epigenetics play a role in gut dysbiosis. 

Part 4

  1. Discuss how to impact longevity and prevent premature aging (include premature joint degeneration) through nutrition. 

  2. Discuss the role of medical therapeutic yoga in lifestyle medicine prescription for gut microbiome health. 

  3. Summarize the role of neuroscience and the psychoneuroendocrinology of the HPA Axis Dysregulation Phenomenon in order to understand how to affect change in the “gut-brain” interaction.

  4. Demonstrate how to guide patients toward health maintenance through nutrition.

  5. List at least five nutritional counseling foundations for improving dietary habits. 

Part 5

  1. Cite evidence based guidelines for using manual therapy, including myofascial, visceral, and neural mobilization to address whole health. 

  2. Identify when to refer to a nutrition specialist, dietician, gastroenterologist, or more intensive medical management program. 

  3. List 9 gastrointestinal pathophysiologies that can impact orthopaedic and neuromuscular health and outcomes. 

  4. Discuss what food types and micronutrients to include in order to address systemic inflammation. 

  5. List at least 5 yoga and Lifestyle Medicine techniques to impact the shared risk factors for functional gastrointestinal health and premature joint aging. 

What's Included:

  • 5 hours of Powerpoint, lecture, video, and audio lessons
  • Workbooks that you can download to easily follow lectures and take notes.
  • Scaffolded sessions broken down into short mini subjects so you can easily complete the training in a self-paced way without losing your place.
  • Powerpoint, lecture, videos and audios of medical therapeutic yoga practices you can use with patients.
    Comprehensive training that will prepare you to immediately apply Integrative Lifestyle Medicine & Functional Medicine.
  • A private forum classroom where you can clinically troubleshoot with Ginger and build your network with other graduates.
  • Lifetime access for the life of the course, which is typically 3-5 years. You can return to this course at any time during that time frame. If any material is updated or added, you will have access to the new content.
  • Patient Education Handouts
  • Patient Exercise
  • ILM Certification is awarded upon completion of all four ILM Modules and Electives (24 hours total)
  • There is no start date or completion date. You can complete the course at your own pace.
  • Quizzes at the end of each module (6 total for ILM Certificate)  help you master and assimilate the knowledge.

Who is this Course for?

Physiotherapists, occupational therapists, athletic trainers, and related professions. This course serves as a prerequisite for the Professional Yoga Therapist Program.

Please see for more courses in the ILM and PYT Programs.

Can I Share A Course With A Friend Or Colleague? How Does The Group Discount Work?

Each course purchase is for a single viewer only, and may not be shared. If you are interested in group/staff viewing, please contact us at [email protected] to arrange a group discount code specifically for your group. The larger the group, the larger the discount.

Each individual must purchase separately with the discount code, and agree to the terms and conditions (legal). This provides each participant with their own copy to review at their pace, in addition to the opportunity to interact with colleagues as you all work collectively through the material.


Contact us at [email protected] and we will respond to your request within 2 business days.

**This course is not intended to act as medical advice. Please seek guidance and treatment from your health professional in your area for any unmanaged conditions.**

Course curriculum

    1. Welcome from Ginger

    2. How to use this course

    3. Pre-Course Survey

    1. Overview of Module 3: The Gut-Brain-Body Axis: Achieving Better Neuromuscular Outcomes through Nutrition

    2. Module 3.1 Handout

    3. Describing the Gut-Brain-Body Axis

    4. What to Do About Gut "Dis"ease

    5. Nutrition Scope and Comorbidities

    6. Evidence for the Involvement of PTs

    7. Disease Prevention

    8. Scope of Practice

    1. Module 3.2 Handout

    2. American Dietary Guidelines

    3. Population Health Trends

    4. Nutritional Assessment

    5. Nutritional Counseling

    6. Nutritional Foundations

    7. GMOs

    1. Module 3.3 Handout

    2. Pathogenesis

    3. Diabetes Prevention

    4. Social Contagion

    5. Plant-Based Diet Impact

    6. Polypharmacy

    7. Epigenetics and Gut Dysbiosis

    1. Module 3.4 Handout

    2. Tackling Premature Aging

    3. Increasing Fiber Intake

    4. Hip Axis Dysregulation

    5. Yoga & The Gut Microbiome

    6. Health Through Nutrition

    7. Nutrition Screening

    1. Module 3.5 Handout

    2. Guidelines to Practice Part 1

    3. Guidelines to Practice Part 2

    4. When to Refer

    5. GI Pathophysiology

    6. Systemic Inflammation

    7. Food Types and Micronutrients

    8. MTY & Lifestyle Medicine RX

    9. Module 3 Post-Test

About this course

  • $295.00
  • 43 lessons
  • 5 hours of video content

Meet Your Instructor

Executive Director, Living Well Institute Dr. Ginger Garner

Dr. Garner, PT, DPT, ATC/L is a clinician, author, educator, and longtime advocate committed to improving access to physical therapy services. She is the CEO of Living Well Institute, which has trail blazed interdisciplinary training in Therapeutic Yoga and Lifestyle Medicine since 2000. She also owns Garner Pelvic Health, a private practice located in Greensboro, NC. Dr. Garner specializes in chronic pelvic pain including endometriosis, interstitial cystitis, prolapse, and incontinence, and also serves the performing arts and public speaking community with her unique "voice to pelvic floor" therapy, as well as post hip arthroscopy rehab. Dr. Garner is the author of multiple textbooks and book chapters and has presented at more than 2 dozen conferences worldwide about integrative physical therapy and health promotion across a range of topics impacting pelvic and orthopaedic health. She is an adjunct and guest lecturer for several DPT programs worldwide on topics related to advocacy, as well as endocrinology and pelvic health; and she also teaches for Herman & Wallace Pelvic Rehabilitation Institute. She is an active member of APTA, serving as the Legislative Chair for APTA NC Chapter, a Key Congressional Contact for APTA Private Practice, and a member of the Prenatal & 4th Trimester Task Force for APTA Academy of Pelvic Health. She most recently launched her new podcast on advocacy, the Living Well Podcast. Ginger lives with her family in Greensboro, NC. Visit her at,, and on Instagram and YouTube @drgingergarner

What People Are Saying

The ILM and MTY course have given me the best clarity I've had since PT school

Dr. Amanda Wold, PT, DSc

The ILM and MTY programs are what I’ve been searching for since I got out of school 8 years ago. I have peace about where I’m going. It’s not stressful like all those other CE courses I thought I “had” to go to. I LOVE this program. I’m becoming the holistic physical therapist that I want to be - to take me through an exciting and successful career. I have taken continuing education like yoga for rehabilitation, nutrition in physical therapy, chronic pain management, etc, but NOTHING has put it all together and gone above and beyond like ILM and MTY! I wish I found it sooner - this is how people WANT to be cared for!

A saner approach to therapy

Dr. Leigh Sato PT, DPT, NCS, MSCS

Thank you so much for creating an amazingly comprehensive and intelligent body of work! Bravo Ginger f or the work you have created and the vast amount of work you are doing to launch a saner approach to therapy.

This program makes my job so much easier.

Dr. Maria Hadley Rose PT, DPT

The ILM Certificate has absolutely already changed the way I practice & the way I eval and interact with patients. It is evident that Ginger's heart is in this work. You are so appreciated for making my job much easier. LOVE!

Great info on psychologically informed practice

Michelle Pamplin

All of the information about positive psychology, CBT, MI, etc is extremely useful - I have known about these things for a while but wasn't really sure how to use them myself with my patients - and now I do!

Evidence-based program

Shivalini Patel, PT

The ILM Certificate contains a substantial amount of information backed up with evidence based studies, thank you! The information on epigenetics and eudemonia are beneficial to know to inform patients on how environmental influences, stress, diet all impact our health along with the sense of feeling happy and full filled in our lives. Also, there is clear and concise information on how gut health effects the body. ILM gives an overall comprehensive picture to help us guide our patients to a healthier lifestyle!

More Information

  • Your Versatile Skillset

    The knowledge you gain via the ILM Certificate program can be used to deliver telehealth, group sessions, or in-person care. Once you are a student of Living Well Institute, you will have access to the Provider ToolBox, which provides "how-to" webinars on telehealth, marketing, and more.

  • Time to Complete the Program

    24 (CE) are required to receive the Integrative Lifestyle Medicine Certificate, which can be completed entirely online.

  • Prerequisites

    A valid medical license (PT, OT, etc) in your state is required. No experience in yoga or Lifestyle Medicine is necessary.

  • CE Credit

    PT - This course is approved in NC for CE. The full Integrative Lifestyle Medicine Certificate course is approved for PT in California, Texas, Arizona, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. OT - We are an AOTA approved provider and the full Integrative Lifestyle Medicine (ILM) Certificate course is approved by AOTA for 24 CE.

AOTA Approved Provider

The Integrative Lifestyle Medicine Certificate is approved by AOTA. AOTA does not endorse specific course content, products, or clinical procedures.
AOTA Approved Provider Image

Sign up for the Free Workshop First

Not sure if you want to sign up for the Certificate yet? Then take the Complementary 1 hour Introduction to Integrative Lifestyle Medicine Workshop first. Spoiler Alert: There's a FREE $140 Gift in it for you!