Holistic Health Education
Read a Holistic Health School and Specialty Study Overview
When you decide to become a holistic health practitioner, you get to choose exactly what kind of healer you want to be. You can focus your education on a particular healing modality or become a generalist and build a broad inventory of knowledge. You can explore new age therapies such as crystal healing and spirit channeling, or you can follow an ancient path such as Ayurveda or Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).
The work you do for your clients will vary accordingly. Are you interested in providing natural health counseling to help people choose from the broad range of alternative medicine therapies? Or would you prefer to spend most of your time delivering a direct healing service, such as massage therapy or reflexology?
Natural health and holistic health schools offer many different courses. You may be able to earn a general certificate by taking a variety of courses that give you a balanced understanding of holistic healing. Or you can focus your holistic health education on the specialty that interests you most. Keep in mind that you can always enhance your career credentials later with additional education.
The following is an overview of common undergraduate degree options in holistic health:
Acupressure and Acupuncture
The acupressure and acupuncture healing modalities are typically taught within the framework of Traditional Chinese Medicine. You will learn ancient maps of the human body’s energy pathways or “meridians.” Acupuncture uses needles to stimulate specific points on these pathways to encourage healing and balance. Acupressure stimulates the same points using physical pressure from fingers, elbows or specialized tools.
When studying energy healing, you will gain an understanding of chakras, meridians, auras and other ways of understanding the invisible energy systems of the human body. You will then learn to correct energy imbalances and encourage optimal health through techniques such as crystal therapy, sound healing, radiatory healing and meditation.
There are three basic branches of herbal medicine: traditional Chinese herbalism, Ayurvedic herbalism and Western herbalism. In any tradition, you will learn the medicinal properties of many plants and their healing applications. You will be taught to assess patients and develop tailor-made herbal formulas to treat a wide range of illnesses and imbalances.
Holistic Skin Care
Holistic skin care begins with an understanding of the science behind skin analysis. You will learn how to give spa treatments for beauty and detoxification. You may want to learn just enough to incorporate your knowledge into another healing art, such as the preparation of herbal remedies. Or you may decide to specialize in holistic skin care and become a licensed esthetician.
All massage training begins with a detailed study of anatomy, physiology and contraindications, or factors that make massage techniques or procedures inadvisable in certain situations. You can then choose from many different massage techniques, such as Swedish massage, trigger point, deep tissue, Shiatsu and Thai massage. There has been a growing demand for massage therapy since it’s integration into Western health care, making it a great area of study for holistic health practitioners.
Understanding proper nutrition requires knowledge about enzymes, fats, protein, carbohydrates and human biochemistry. Your nutrition studies will prepare you to guide your clients to healthy foods, juices and supplements that make sense for their lifestyles and needs.
Training in reflexology will enable you to encourage the entire body’s self-healing abilities by applying specific pressure to points on the feet, hands and ears. Reflexology is based on the idea that “maps” of the entire body are mirrored on these areas. Few healing modalities can provide such deep relaxation and stress relief.
Yoga is an ancient approach to health that originated in India. There are many schools and approaches to yoga. Most people are familiar with the practice of yoga as moving through or holding physical poses or “asanas.” Other yoga techniques include control of the breath or “prana,” and meditation.
Sources: AlternativeMedicineDirectory.org, ArticlesBase.com, Holistic Healers Academy