There’s a growing interest in the field of holistic health degrees as more and more people become aware of the importance of addressing the whole person and looking for underlying causes rather than medicating individual symptoms. For someone just entering the college world, this is an exciting career choice to pursue with a bright future ahead.
However, the education institutions are not quite keeping up with the interest and demand as most mainstream colleges offer nothing in the field of holistic theory and care, and finding a college that offers holistic health degrees is a pretty difficult task and your choices are slim. Here are six of the best that I am aware of:
Institute for Integrative Nutrition
The Institute for Integrative Nutrition offers a holistic nutrition certificate that can be acquired by anyone, anywhere in the world. They are based in New York, but their classes are offered online. This certificate prepares you to be a holistic health coach. Graduates are also eligible for certification with the American Association of Drugless Practitioners.
Bastyr College is an accredited private institution that offers a variety of bachelor’s degrees in natural health including, nutrition, herbs, naturopathic medicine, acupuncture, health psychology, herbal sciences, midwifery, exercise and wellness, and integrated human biology and a couple of certificate programs as well. They are in Seattle Washington.
John F. Kennedy University
John F. Kennedy University is a fully accredited private university in the San Francisco Bay area that offers a master’s of art in Holistic Health Education. They have four different campuses.
California Institute of the Healing Arts & Sciences
The California Institute of the Healing Arts & Sciences is based in Sacramento, CA, and offers accredited and certified training in holistic health and alternative healing. They offer classes both online and on campus.
Southwest Institute of Healing Arts
The Southwest Institute of Healing Arts has a wide variety of different degrees and certificates including a holistic nutrition degree, psychology, and life coaching. They are an accredited institution located in Tempe, AZ. Their holistic nutrition degree is available online as well as on campus.
Southwestern College is a holistic college located in Santa Fe, NM and they offer a master’s degree in holistic counseling.
Beyond Holistic Health Degrees
People with a degree in holistic health help the individual achieve optimal physical, emotional, and spiritual health through a variety of means like diet, nutrition, supplements, breathing, meditation, acupuncture, acupressure, reducing stress, lifestyle changes, and much more.
There’s a wide array of career possibilities in the field of holistic health. They are often self-employed as a holistic nutritional consultant, counselor, or health coach or in agencies, organizations, clinics, physicians and chiropractors offices, and other health care agencies that employ the use of holistic and natural health care.
However, an important point to keep in mind is that formal training in holistic education is not essential to practice holistic theory in whatever field of work you are in. You can put a holistic spin on any career path you desire.
For example, my formal education is in mental health counseling. I have a master’s degree in counseling, but my approach is holistic. Everything I know about health, diet, nutrition, etc., has been learned through personal experience, research, seminars, etc. and I combined it with my training in counseling.
So, if you already have a degree and don’t want to go back to school or attending one of the limited holistic health colleges is not a possibility, that doesn’t mean a holistic career is out of the question. For example, if you are already a nurse, counselor, life coach, nutritionist, psychologist, etc., you can become a holistic practitioner by simply incorporating holistic principles into your approach. A few courses for continuing education credit, that can be achieved at a variety of holistic or natural health seminars, could have you properly prepared.
Yes, attending a holistic health college can be an exciting opportunity, and if you really want credentials that are specific to a holistic practitioner and you have the ability and the funds, then it is a wise choice, but not the only road to get into the field.
Although the mainstream colleges are a little behind the times in this area, holistic health, natural health, integrative health, complementary medicine, etc., is a booming field and it is feasible to believe that interest will continue to grow. I expect that in the future we will see holistic health degrees as part of the curriculum in every university, but for now, that just isn’t the case.