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The National Association of Holistic Health Practitioners

Holistic health practitioners go beyond what traditional doctors or conventional science-based medicine usually provide as treatments, taking an integrative approach that acknowledges disease as the result of physical, emotional, spiritual, or social imbalances.

Integrative healthcare practitioners use an integrative approach to wellness in helping their patients make lifestyle changes. Their treatment plans may also incorporate complementary or alternative medicine options.


Holistic health practitioners are individuals who believe there are various approaches to reaching wellness. They may come from diverse educational and training backgrounds and be certified in various modalities like herbal medicine, acupuncture, yoga, or meditation. Some holistic health practitioners work within medical communities alongside physicians and other healthcare providers in providing patients with optimal care.

A holistic health practitioner‘s level of education depends on which career path they wish to take. Some modalities require as little as several weeks of study for certification while others can require years. The type of education received will ultimately dictate their salary expectations.

Holistic health practices that were once disregarded in Western medicine have seen renewed acceptance among primary healthcare practitioners, and some even incorporate these modalities into treatment plans for some physicians. Furthermore, the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine is increasing funding for research into such healing traditions.

Holistic practitioners are hopeful that holistic practitioners will soon be able to assist their patients in crafting treatment plans which combine both conventional and complementary and alternative medicine practices, like those offered by naturopathic doctors, acupuncturists, massage therapists and nutritionists. Some naturopathic doctors, acupuncturists, massage therapists and nutritionists are already doing this for their clients, helping them create healthier lifestyles with long-lasting effects.

Start Your Own Private Practice for Holistic Health Career Success Another option available to those interested in holistic health-oriented careers is starting their own private practice. With experience and business acumen, individuals can be very successful with this endeavor; however they will require investing in marketing and advertising campaigns themselves. Other practitioners opt to work at clinics, spas and wellness centers first in order to build experience and credibility before opening up their own private practices; in these types of environments practitioners usually must adhere to certain national association of holistic health practitioners guidelines as supervised by licensed practitioner supervisors before venturing forth on their own private practices.


While licenses may be necessary for traditional Western healthcare jobs like nursing, such as registered nurse (RN), they may not always be needed for holistic health-focused careers such as aromatherapy. This can be beneficial as many practitioners choose holistic health-based careers for personal rather than altruistic reasons; so when working with practitioners it’s a good idea to ask why they chose this path and whether or not they are certified and licensed practitioners.

Holistic health practitioners offer an array of services, such as massage therapy, nutritionists and herbalists. They may work for organizations such as spas or wellness centers; alternatively they may opt to set up private practice. Some even provide online services like equestrian therapy and energy healing – yet all share one thing in common: an understanding that mind, body and spirit are interdependent.

If you want to become a holistic health practitioner, the first step will be completing a certification program. While some programs take only weeks or months to finish, others can last several years and lead to degrees. Your career in holistic health depends on which area of study you choose – common coursework includes anatomy & physiology courses, herbology studies, acupuncture treatments and massage techniques.

Before selecting a school to attend, ensure it has received accreditation from the National Association of Holistic Health Practitioners. This will give you confidence that it meets national standards and has qualified instructors. In addition, check with your state’s department of higher learning to see if they approve as an education provider in order to add another layer of security.

Once your training is complete, the National Association for Holistic Healthcare Providers (NAHHP) requires that you obtain a license in order to begin practicing as a spa practitioner, life coach, holistic health nutritionist or medical aesthetician. However, only practitioners who meet certain qualifications will be granted licenses; otherwise the NAHHP may suspend your license until such time as you reach compliance.


Achieve holistic health practitioner status may depend on which field you pursue. Career paths like naturopathic medicine typically require doctoral programs and clinical training; other professions, like ayurveda or herbalism may offer self-study options or certificate programs as possible routes. No matter which path is taken, becoming certified holistic health practitioners is a necessary first step towards building consumer trust and wider acceptance within the healthcare community.

National associations for holistic health practitioners set standards for education and certification within specific fields, while providing professionals with an opportunity to exchange ideas and discuss recent trends in holistic healing. All these benefits make joining such associations worthwhile for prospective holistic health practitioners.

State licensing requirements exist for professions such as acupuncture, massage therapy and nutritionists; however, licensure isn’t always mandatory – particularly in holistic health fields like naturopathy, herbal medicine and energy healing.

Holistic health practitioners use an unconventional approach when diagnosing and treating illnesses or diseases. Holistic practitioners take an holistic view, considering a person’s life in terms of mind, spirit and body when diagnosing or treating conditions or illnesses. Holistic practitioners may employ traditional, alternative and ancient healing modalities in creating personalized plans of treatment that address individual conditions or ailments.

Qualified holistic practitioners have numerous employment options, from spas and wellness centers to integrated healthcare facilities and private practices where they set their own policies, schedules and fees – earning an estimated average annual salary of $86,000 per year. Earnings can depend upon their specialization, location and years of experience. Holistic wellness consultants typically collaborate with conventional health care providers to help patients explore alternatives to medication or invasive medical procedures; those with business acumen can even establish their own holistic wellness center – offering flexible hours, control over scheduling and the ability to adapt decisions according to client needs.

Professional Development

Once people become more informed of alternative healing practices available to them, many want to make an impactful statement by starting their own holistic health practice. Some practitioners opt to work for spas, wellness centers or physician’s offices; others prefer their own private practices requiring business savvy as well as the necessary credentials and clients in order to be successful.

Practitioners need to possess an in-depth knowledge of both body and mind as well as natural healing techniques. They should understand all aspects of health; physical, emotional and spiritual as they all interact together. Furthermore, practitioners must be excellent listeners that can form meaningful connections with their patients.

Holistic healthcare practitioners utilize several techniques such as acupuncture, aromatherapy, massage therapy and Tai chi to assist in stress management, pain relief and general wellness promotion. These treatments often combine well with conventional medical therapies for an encompassing approach to patient care.

The American Holistic Health Association, a nonprofit organization providing wellness resources, emphasizes the significance of taking care to address a patient’s mental, emotional and spiritual wellbeing. If any one area suffers, all three will also suffer.

While most Americans still consult a primary care physician when sick, an increase in people seeking alternative medicine specialists has seen more individuals opting for holistic healthcare practices who specialize in herbal remedies, homeopathy and other alternative treatments such as chiropractic.

Some of the more sought-after holistic healthcare practitioners include acupuncturists, aromatherapists and tai chi instructors. These professionals typically command higher than average salaries depending on their level of experience and specialty; those opting to work independently must cover business costs themselves while providing health insurance and retirement plans themselves.