What Do You Need To Launch A Career in Holistic Nutrition
Proper nutrition is the foundation for optimal health and overall well being and holistic nutrition utilizes different combinations of foods, nutrients, and supplements to assist individuals in achieving optimum physical, mental, and spiritual health. Holistic nutrition is regarded as an important part of holistic health and holistic health seeks to treat a person’s complete well being by taking into consideration every aspect of their life. There are some rudimentary fundamentals when it comes to nutrition but the holistic approach to nutrition is as unique to each individual just as uniqueness is a salient feature of humanness. Quite simply different people need different things.
If you are interested in becoming a holistic nutritionist you must understand that you have to be completely committed to the study of wellness, nutrition, and health. You must be able to think outside of the box and not always defer to the traditional methods of health and healing when dealing with an individual with specific dietary needs because the traditional methods are more generalized whereas the holistic approach is individualized. Typically, holistic nutritionists encourage their clients to appropriate eating habits that favor nutrient-dense, organic, foods over processed foods laden with additives and preservatives. Because you are taking the clients entire self into consideration, it is imperative that you get to know your clients better and this can be accomplished through assessments and consultations.
Nutrition and diet have a very far-reaching impact on an individual’s physical and mental health. As a holistic nutritionist you understand that the lack of balanced nutrients can bring on enervating physical and psychological symptoms as well as degenerative health conditions. This information will be explained to your client so that you can tailor a diet that is best suited to their particular body chemistry. Holistic nutrition espouses that there is not a “one size fits all model to nutrition.”
So not that you know what your basic job duties will be as a holistic nutritionist, you may be wondering what is required in order to practice holistic nutrition. First you should find a school that offers programs that will train you in this field. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, nutritionists generally need a bachelor’s degree in order to practice. It is a rather modern approach to health so you may have a little difficulty finding a school that offers this type of training. Of course you can take the traditional route, with classroom training at a four-year university; however some online courses even offer training in nutrition. Holistic and traditional nutrition programs will oftentimes cover the same material however holistic programs will take teach phytochemistry, organic cultivation, acid-alkaline balance, and complementary foods. Other topics may include Western and Eastern medicine, food management and storage, nutraceuticals, endocrinology, and nutritional research. Again the purpose is to be able to proffer to clients, if necessary, different alternative approaches to health and nutrition so as to understand the body and its very unique biochemical needs.
Holistic nutritionists generally find employment in hospitals, outpatient centers, with private physicians, nursing facilities, and even government agencies. You can also, if you decide set up your own consulting practice or even teach.
Be advised that certification is not a requirement, but it can definitely demonstrate that you are proficient in the field as a holistic nutritionist. In order to become certified you must complete training as well as have obtained 500 hours of professional experience and then you will be eligible to take the Holistic Nutrition Board’s certification exam. The score required in order to pass the exam is 70% or better and in order to maintain certification you need to become a member of NANP as well as take 30 hours of continuing education classes every two years.