Holistic healers attempt to heal those who are sick by treating the mind, body and spirit. These alternative medicine practitioners generally offer natural options to treat disease. To become a holistic healer, one may attend training in alternative medicine, take courses in herbal medicine and study activities that combine physical and spiritual aspects, such as yoga or reiki. Some holistic healers may even begin their careers with a traditional medical degree.
Some holistic healers may begin their careers as medical doctor’s or nurses, becoming more interested in holistic methods of healing and alternative medicine later in their careers. Holistic healers who hold a medical license in addition to holistic certifications often attract a wider base of clientele. Healers and naturopathic physicians are often sought out by patients who are receiving unsuccessful treatments from traditional medicine doctors or who are having adverse reactions to medications.
There are many schools throughout the world that offer certifications and degrees in body work and healing arts. To become a holistic healer, it is generally best to be trained in as many areas of alternative therapy as possible. Some degree programs offer a wide range of studies while other programs concentrate in one area, such as massage or acupuncture.
Courses that are typically included in holistic training include reiki, or energy healing; yoga; aromatherapy; and massage. Other training may focus on herbal medicine, healing stones and stress management techniques. During training, students are taught how to evaluate a patient’s medical history, symptoms, lifestyle and potential environmental contributors to illness.
To become a holistic healer, one needs to learn the spiritual and psychological aspects of recovery. Holistic healers will often provide patients with nutritional advice, some form of healing bodywork and spiritual and psychological counseling. A background in psychology or counseling is often helpful to those seeking to become a holistic healer.
Those who become holistic healers may open a private practice or work in an alternative treatment center. Those who are already medical doctors with a patient base may begin to incorporate holistic healing into their existing practice. Other holistic healers may choose to teach certification programs or develop their own methods for naturopathic healing.
Holistic healers who specialize in one particular area of healing may start a practice that offers only these specialized services. For example, if one is extensively trained in acupuncture and Chinese medicine, they may open an acupuncture clinic and prescribe herbal remedies for patients. Others who trained extensively in bodywork and massage may start a therapeutic massage business.