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What is a Holistic Therapist?

Article Details
  • Written By: N. Madison
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 19 September 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2018
    Conjecture Corporation
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A holistic therapist is a person who is trained to treat conditions, injuries, and ailments using alternative medicine and natural healing techniques. An individual in this field usually focuses on helping the whole patient, including not only his body, but also his mind and spirit. This differs dramatically from traditional medicine that often focuses on drug and surgical treatments for one part of the body at a time. A holistic therapist may use a range of techniques to treat patients, including massage therapy, acupuncture, and meditation. He may use herbal remedies and aromatherapy as well.

Like a professional in a traditional health care setting, a holistic therapist works to treat patients for conditions and illnesses and may also work to prevent health problems. He differs from other health care professionals, however, in the fact that he specializes in non-traditional methods of healing and preventing illness. For example, he may use herbs and natural supplements to treat his patients. He may also use relaxation techniques, massage therapies, chiropractic procedures, reflexology, and acupuncture in his practice. A person in this field may even use meditation techniques and psychotherapy to help his patients heal and enjoy better overall health.

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Besides the use of alternative healing techniques and remedies, a holistic therapist usually differs from other health care professionals in how he views and treats his patients. A person in this field usually sees his patients as whole people and works to treat the mind, body, and spirit at the same time. He usually considers a variety of factors in assessing his patients' needs, including diet and nutritional status; heredity; and mental state. After discovering what a patient needs, he uses alternative techniques and remedies to not only improve his patient's health status, but also give him a sense of overall well-being.

The requirements a person has to meet to become a holistic therapist depend on the jurisdiction in which he plans to practice. In some places, there are no educational or training requirements. In others, an aspiring holistic therapist may need to earn a diploma, certificate, associate's degree, or bachelor's degree. There are even some places in which an aspiring holistic therapist can obtain certification. Even if a person lives in a jurisdiction that does not have any regulations for holistic therapists, he may still do well to seek education or certification; earning a credential in the field may give a holistic therapist more credibility.

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