The label holistic health practitioner can be applied to a number of different health care professionals. Indeed, any healthcare professional who incorporates the larger holistic approach within his or her practice may be considered a holistic health practitioner. But, what is that larger approach? What are the major characteristics of the holistic approach?
In general, it can be said that the holistic approach to health involves an explicit acceptance of the connection between mind, body, and spirit. Those who adopt the holistic approach to health understand that there are acute illnesses and accidents that demand traditional medical interventions. But, they also believe that the prevention of illness, the maintenance of everyday health, and rehabilitation following a severe health issue, are best addressed by considering the whole person. As a rule, practitioners of holistic healthcare tend to act as healthcare partners with their clients. They encourage their clients to take an active role in preserving and enhancing their own health and in determining the best course of treatment when active interventions are required. Nutrition, physical fitness, and social and emotional well-being are likely to be taken into account in any plan of action.
Perhaps because they represent alternative and complementary approaches to healthcare, we tend to think of herbalists, massage therapists, reflexologists, naturopaths, and acupuncturists as holistic health practitioners. But, it is not the healing specialty that determines whether a particular individual is, in fact, a holistic healthcare practitioner. Even a physician trained in traditional medical practices may be a holistic practitioner. It all depends on the healthcare philosophy adopted and the types of additional training the individual has sought out.
Today there are schools that supplement the training they provide in specialized forms of healing with additional broad training in holistic healthcare. This means that students are likely to be introduced to such topics as energy systems, nutrition, natural remedies, and body work. Upon completion of their training, students may earn a certificate in holistic health. The American Association of Drugless Practitioners can also evaluate an individual’s training and, where appropriate, confer the designation Board Certified Holistic Health Practitioner.
Source by Douglas Hardwick