What is a Holistic Practitioner?

Stacks of rocks balancing on top of each other

Holistic Practitioners are holistic healing professionals with a gift in one or more areas of healing. From body workers to homeopaths to hypnotherapists, the term holistic practitioner has become one that is often challenging to describe or understand. Hopefully this article will provide you with some clarity on what a holistic practitioner is and how to find one that meets your individual needs.

Saying holistic practitioner is similar to saying doctor. While there are general practitioners that cross along many paths, most specialize in one or more holistic methods or areas. The main areas of specialization are body-centered therapists, energy-centered therapists, mind-centered therapists, soul and spirit-centered therapists, emotional release therapists, and coaches/counselors. All of these therapists strive to bring a greater quality of life to their clients. That may occur through inner balance, self-empowerment, physical ease, or even emotional confidence.

One thing to realize is that many holistic practitioners work in many areas. In fact, it is usually challenging to limit a practitioner to one area. For example, a hypnotherapist may also be a chakra therapist, a body worker could also be a spiritual counselor, etc. Also, since the mind-body-soul connection is just that, connected, wherever you begin, be it in energy work, bodywork, or even the mind, you will find that all of you is affected by the work.

Use this article as a guide to explore the realms of possibilities, rather than limiting your choices to an area.

Body-centered Therapists

Samples of body-centered therapists are body workers, massage therapists, pilates and yoga therapists, rolfing professionals(often termed rolfers), acupressure therapists, myofascial release and sports massage therapists, reflexologists, thai massage therapists, watsu practitioners, feldenkrais and alexander method professionals, and movement therapists (this list is provided to offer an overview as there are at least 50 types of body-centered therapists).

While each body-centered therapist has their own way of working with clients, many use a combination of movement, the breath, and physical pressure (from massage to trigger points) to allow the body to release tension. This release of tension then allows the mind to also find a relaxing state. Sometimes the relaxation state is the goal of the sessions, other times, it is the true starting point.

Energy-centered Therapists

Samples of energy-centered therapists are integrative energy workers, reiki practitioners, healing touch practitioners, breathwork therapists, jin shin do and jin shin jytsu therapists, matrix therapists, applied kinesiologists, orgone therapists, polarity workers, cranial sacral workers, qigong and tai chi masters. Acupuncturists and homeopathy practitioners could also be deemed energy workers.

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2 Comments

  1. shirleyann lanigan

    November 13, 2014 at 2:28 am

    could you please e-mail me a resource if you have any for a neuro-linguistic programming practitioner, (NLP), please! also if possible a counselor for assessment and evaluation for misdiagnosed childhood mental health diseases, to receive my deceased fathers social security survivors benefits need reassessment as to the dates and age of onset of symptoms began. also most important i am a incest victim of violent rituals. a specialist in incest would help. and i would prefer a holistic practitioner in the new jersey are or Philadelphia and preferably if they accept medicaid or sliding scale method of payment plans. thank you!

    • Sean Bennick

      November 13, 2014 at 12:56 pm

      Shirleyann,

      I sent an email response. We don’t have a list of individual therapists. I suggest searching on GoodTherapy.org

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