Holistic has become something of a buzzword over time, but its definition is rather simple. In philosophy, holistic refers to the idea that observable parts of something are only comprehensible in reference to the whole because they’re intimately interconnected. In medicine, this has come to mean any treatment that focuses on the whole person, taking into account all aspects of their health – physical, mental, social, etc.
As people are becoming more aware of their health and diet and fitness is being prioritised, whether it be for trend or to simply be well, this awareness is simultaneously developing a wider scope for ‘alternative’ medicine. Sadly, over the years pharmaceuticals have taken the reigns when it comes to medicines and natural ones have been put in the back seat. The common belief having been warped into thinking that natural medicines don’t really work. Of course this is absolutely untrue and more and more people are starting to realise this first by eating fresh, natural produce, cutting out processed foods, exercising and breathing fresh air, sleeping well, meditating and getting closer to their roots; nature! It is also evident when you note the rise of natural health practices such as meditation, Reiki, massage, yoga, pilates, acupuncture, aromatherapy, etc. all becoming rituals within daily lives. Healing-wise trends are shifting far more towards finding a natural remedy rather than immediately heading for the pharmacy. We can also see a huge growth in emotional health being more mainstream.
For me, growing up and visiting my local GP consisted of sitting in a waiting room (for longer than the time I spent with the doctor) holding my breath in case I caught anything that anyone else was in there for, hanging on impatiently for that buzzer to go off and for it to be my turn. I would then sit nervously with the rather intimidating doctor for less than five minutes while he perhaps used a stethoscope, put a torch in my ears and mouth and then prescribed me antibiotics…every single time. That was the norm.
Why we all put so much trust in the man or woman in the white coat was because that was all we knew and not to say the medicines didn’t work, they did, and do today. However, nowadays far more people are looking for alternatives to the traditional way of diagnosing and treating with chemicals for minor ailments.
I for one always look up a natural remedy for anything my family may encounter as opposed to immediately rushing to the doctor or pharmacy. Our relationship with nature is far stronger than we were ever led to believe. Plants, and extracts from plants, can be turned into a remedy for just about anything. Of course mother nature can not be held responsible for finding antidotes for everything man has made and introduced to the planet, but if we really look deep into the world of healing we can generally see that nature is the best doctor we could hope for.
Holistic looks at the whole
Holistic medicine looks at the individual as unique, not simply the ailment they are suffering with, but as a whole being, with history and reasoning behind why this may be happening. It accounts for the body being capable of self-healing and utilising natural remedies which promote this. Natural medicine practitioners will make a conscious effort to avoid using methods which suppress symptoms, as the aim is for the body to restore its inner balance and heal itself. It also looks at preventatives far more intently than its pharmaceutical-led counterparts. Why is this happening to this individual? How can this be treated and how can we rebalance them in order to prevent this happening again? Practitioners also have a role to teach; by educating and empowering their patients who may then take more responsibility for their well-being and adopt a healthier lifestyle and attitude.
Practitioners of holistic medicine have always had to struggle against the power of traditional medicine and the massive corporate world of pharmaceuticals, this is not a battle that can be won, it shouldn’t be a battle in the first place as if the knowledge from both could be joined and practiced together in harmony then this would be all the more powerful and beneficial to our people. Many therapists opt to begin with qualifications in the medicinal realm and then continue their learning from a more holistic approach attaining professional qualifications in both fields and must continue to update their knowledge as advancements occur. Many people still trust a practitioner more if they have the certificates to prove they went to medical school as well as learning the naturopathic way.
The challenge of marketing your holistic business
To date it has been incredibly difficult for holistic practitioners to promote their business as they first had to try to change popular belief and the common perception of alternative medicine being the underdog, no simple task. Thankfully the acceptance of alternative medicine and holistic healing practices has been growing. This has partly happened due to many cases where people have turned to natural methods after having tried everything else; a fallback which in time has now assisted in pushing alternative medicine into more of a mainstream practice. However, like any business, marketing and growing a practice can still be challenging and take time.
Good business and marketing skills are essential in expanding any network in order to connect with more people. One of the keys to marketing your practice is to focus on your customer’s needs and how you can help them, rather than on simply the specifics of your product or service. For a person in a healing profession, this may already be what comes naturally as it is the core of the ethos behind it.
For the development of any practice there are key questions that must be addressed when considering market potential such as;
- What are the strengths?
- What makes this practice different from others within your modality?
- What skills and training are available that can help solve or heal your client’s problems? For example; can the treatments offer zero side effects? A majority of therapies will be centred on stress relief, relaxation, and using natural supplements in healthy doses, therefore patients are unlikely to suffer adverse or undesired reactions.
- Are the treatments suitable for everyone at all ages and every level of health?
- Are patients offered a tailor-made treatment plan?
- How is this practice set apart from the rest?
There are plenty of marketing tools to use within the framework of any business: networking, a good website, an informative and regular blog, press releases, referrals and testimonials, set up workshops or demonstrations, becoming listed in several directories within your field, and of course social media.
As the times continue to change and mainstream medicine is incorporating the natural approach it seems that this will become gradually easier and on the flip side more competitive, taking a course in marketing and business may well be the route to take. See the box below for information on the distance-learning diploma course we offer here at the School of Natural Health Sciences, or visit the course page directly.
Business and Marketing for Holistic Therapists
At the School of Natural Health Sciences we offer a Business and Marketing Course for Holistic Therapists. This business and marketing course will help you learn strategies for developing not only your business acumen but also your client base. Leading the student through the potential danger zones of running a business and giving advice for avoiding the common pitfalls.
The course takes you on a fascinating journey; whether you are planning to set up business for the first time, working for someone else, or taking over an existing business. You will learn the important techniques needed to develop and keep your business running successfully. All qualified therapists will benefit from the knowledge found in this course.
- We offer over 60 holistic therapy courses, visit our A-Z page
- Before enrolling in a course, visit our Special Offers page for great savings!