What Does a Holistic Healer Do?
Modern medicine is good. But, in many cases, it doesn’t deal with the root causes of health problems. As any chronic disease patient knows, most drugs don’t cure conditions, they only mask symptoms.
For that reason, some patients are seeking out holistic healers. The goal is to address the fundamental cause of health problems in the hope of eliminating them entirely.
What Is It?
A holistic healer is a professional who focuses on healing patients as a whole, instead of just focusing on specific conditions.
So, for instance, if a person went to a holistic healer with heart disease, they wouldn’t just put them on statins. Instead, they would look for ways to improve their diet, mental attitudes, and spiritual approach to life to encourage a reversal of the disease.
Types of Holistic Healers & What They Do
There are many types of holistic healer, each with a particular focus or skill.
Herbalists: Herbalists are holistic healers who help people overcome medical conditions using plants. Practitioners may recommend specific herbs, fruits, vegetables, roots, and even flowers.
Holistic Health Coaches: Holistic health coaches go beyond physical health requirements, such as diet and exercise, and focus on mental and spiritual practices too.
Integrative physicians: Integrative physicians practice integrative medicine, a discipline that takes lifestyle habits into consideration, such as diet and exercise.
Acupuncturists: Acupuncturists use the ancient technique of piercing the body with needles to improve health outcomes.
Naturopathic doctors: Naturopathic doctors practice naturopathic medicine, a branch of alternative medicine that focuses on removing the barriers to health and stimulating cells’ self-healing mechanisms.
Osteopaths: Osteopaths practice a combination of conventional medicine and physical manipulation to benefit patients.
Ayurvedic doctors: Ayurvedic doctors practice a holistic health tradition derived from India to help patients live a healthy life.
Reiki Instructors: Reiki instructors use energy healing to restore the body and promote healing.
How Can You Become One
To become a holistic healer and assist patients beyond the scope of conventional Western medicine, you will need to become qualified. How long certification takes depends on your path. Some careers only require a short certification period, such as reiki, while others require much longer, such as becoming an osteopath.
Holistic health practitioners require knowledge in the following areas:
- The role of spirituality in healing
- Nutrition and the role of diet
- Physiology and anatomy
- Relaxation and stress management techniques
- The role of herbs, spices, and essential oils
Holistic health practitioners can pursue formal education through established traditions, such as Ayurveda. However, most will usually follow the specific instructions and insights of those running their courses. Three-year degree courses are standard.
The Difference Between Traditional & Holistic Doctors
Traditional doctors operate under the reductionist paradigm. That means that they try to control all other variables and then choose the specific intervention for the disease.
Holistic doctors, however, abandon this approach, arguing that it does not reflect the real world. Instead, they treat the entire body, creating conditions that allow it to heal itself.
Whether you become a holistic doctor depends heavily on your temperament. If you believe that allopathic medicine is an incomplete approach to human health, you may want to consider it.