What is a Holistic Practitioner?

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  • Written By: Felicia Dye
  • Edited By: C. Wilborn
  • Last Modified Date: 31 October 2018
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Holistic healing is similar to conventional medicine in that there are various branches. A holistic practitioner plays the role in holistic healing that a general practitioner plays in conventional medicine. A general practitioner usually addresses numerous conditions with a variety of approaches, and a holistic practitioner can do the same.

There are many areas of holistic healing that a person can specialize in. These include homeopathy, emotional release therapy, and spiritual counseling. The term holistic practitioner could refer to a person who specializes in one area. This is not common, however, because there are more specific titles for specialists. For example, someone who specializes in somatology is more likely to be referred to as a somatologist, while someone specializing in herbal healing is likely to be called an herbalist.

The goal of a holistic practitioner generally is to address a person's entire being. Although a person may have a very specific ailment, such as a headache, the holistic practitioner will likely aim to correct it by focusing on various components of the person's welfare, including physical, mental, and emotional health. This can require a wide range of skills and techniques.


It would be very difficult to outline all the areas of specialty and the methods that can be employed in each. It would also be difficult for any person to claim that she does it all. A holistic practitioner's ability usually has limits. Many advertise the areas that they regularly employ or which they have a high level of competence in. Even when this is the case, some patients may need to be referred to specialists in those areas.

A practitioner is not always sought to address specific problems, however. These individuals often act as counselors or advisors, and they provide well-being services. People often seek the expertise of such holistic professionals to assist with life change regimens or to maintain their overall well-being. For example, a person may seek the assistance of a holistic practitioner to help develop and maintain a beneficial nutritional program.

It is also important to note that holistic practitioner and holistic doctor are not necessarily synonymous terms. The practitioner, in many cases, does not have a medical degree. Anyone claiming to be a holistic doctor, however, should have a medical degree even if he chooses to incorporate holistic approaches into his practice. Some people argue that the lack of medical degrees among holistic practitioners renders them unable to fully address some conditions.



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