What Is Holistic Health?

Holistic health combines mind, body and spirit wellness to promote healing and overall health maintenance and prevention. A variety of approaches are used in this practice, including diet, exercise and meditation. Read on to learn more about holistic health and what it entails. Schools offering Complementary & Alternative Health degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Holistic Health Philosophy

Holistic health is based on the idea that well-being is a connection between mind, body and spirit, and individuals are composed of all these parts. When one of these parts is off-balance, an individual's well-being can be affected. With this in mind, holistic health focuses on the healing and maintenance of the whole person, rather than just a single symptom.

Practitioners in this field look at the source of a condition and work to get the individual healed and balanced. A fundamental principle of holistic health is that what an individual consumes and how an individual reacts to his or her environment can affect physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health; therefore, this approach to well-being might be considered a lifestyle choice. Although some practitioners combine holistic medicine with conventional medicine, many begin treatment by trying to put the body in balance.

Important Facts About Holistic Health

Degrees Certificate, associate's degree, medical degree
Common Courses Nutritional counseling, homeopathy, acupressure
Online Availability Onsite and online associate's degrees available
Possible Careers Holistic health practitioner, naturopathic physician, chiropractor

Holistic Health Approaches

Holistic health techniques can be used alone or in combination with conventional medicine. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) released a report in 2008 showing that use of holistic health, or complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), had increased among adults between 2002 and 2007.

The most basic holistic health approach involves diet. Practitioners encourage patients to be conscious of what they consume on a regular basis and make lifestyle choices to eliminate foods that are harmful and add foods that are beneficial. Those who practice holistic health might incorporate some of the following additional methods to maintain health and promote balance and healing:

  • Traditional Chinese medicine
  • Yoga and meditation
  • Massage therapy
  • Herbal medicine
  • Emotional and mental counseling
  • Homeopathy
  • Aromatherapy

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