In many ways, “holistic care” is an umbrella term. It encompasses a wide array of roles and specific job titles, but they all have one mission in common: to provide an integrated approach to healthcare that treats both mind and body.
Holistic care covers the four main components of health: physical, spiritual, psychological, and social. If you’re a holistic health coach, for example, and you meet with a client, you’ll be developing a plan that addresses every aspect of their wellbeing, including pain management, chronic disease issues, mindfulness and relaxation, and feelings of self-worth and belonging.
In this way, holistic care differs from the more prominent medical model that addresses primarily symptoms of disease and treatment for physical disorders. Since holistic care treats the “whole person,” not just a certain condition’s effects, more and more people are gravitating toward this approach for long-term wellness. And that leads to plenty of opportunities for those in the profession.
The holistic care field is being driven by a growing interest in all aspects of a healthy lifestyle. Rather than seeing health as the absence of disease, people want more than that neutral state—and they’re gravitating toward strategies that help them thrive and enjoy their best, most vibrant lives.
That’s led to a huge interest in areas like local food, plant-based diets, meditation, yoga, alternative medicine, and fitness.
For example, organic food is the fastest growing sector of the US food industry, with sales increasing by double digits annually, according to a market analysis by the Organic Trade Association.
In a report on general wellness trends, Women’s Marketing suggested that health and wellness will be the next trillion-dollar industry. The report noted that wellness is now a status symbol among consumers, who prioritize maintaining a balance of physical and mental health. The marketing company noted that health concerns like anxiety, fatigue, disrupted sleep, overwork, and emotional overwhelm are driving self-care techniques like meditation, exercise, and dietary changes.
New Career Opportunities
Because “holistic care” can encompass a wide range of specialties, job descriptions may center on this type of care but use other titles such as “wellness consultant” or “health coach.” When you bring these type of roles together under the larger definition of holistic care, you’ll find significant opportunities.
Although wellness is driving consumer trends, many people are looking for guidance on how to put holistic care into action on a personal level. That’s where experts like coaches and consultants come into play.
With evidence-based approaches and comprehensive knowledge that comes from accredited education providers, holistic care coaches and consultants are in high demand. After all, every person’s health needs are unique. Some might be focused on decreasing stress and improving sleep quality, while others might be more interested in reducing the emotional and physical effects of chronic pain. Those who are already at a high level of health and wellness may be more focused on improving their nutrition, fitness, and emotional health to even higher degree.
Because of the individualized nature of holistic care, coaches and consultants can offer valuable insights—and cultivate a broad, robust client base at the same time.
Although working as an independent coach or consultant is an option, some people prefer the structure and stability that a full-time position can bring. Fortunately, opportunities also abound when it comes to professional career tracks with businesses or organizations.
Health coaches can be found as part of some corporate wellness initiatives, as well as in large nonprofit organizations—both usually as parts of larger Human Resources efforts for employee health. You can also find holistic health coaches in some fitness centers, particularly those franchises that boast numerous gyms and studios within the same urban center.
Whether you’re ready to run your own business as a holistic health coach or you’re looking for a salaried position, one thing is clear: This is a fast-growing, thriving industry that is likely to keep expanding. As it does, look for more opportunities along the way.
AFPA provides a variety of options for getting certified in yoga, including online courses and in-person training, designed to meet your specific needs and goals.