In the evolving landscape of healthcare, one term that has gained significant traction is HOLISTIC DOCTOR. Holistic doctors, often referred to as holistic healers or practitioners have (in the not-too-distant past) been shrouded in mystery. However, they are simply healthcare professionals who approach symptoms, sickness, disease and especially HEALTH from a different perspective than traditional doctors. So, what does a holistic doctor do, exactly?

How do they differ from CONVENTIONAL DOCTORS? To answer this common question, we must delve deeper into the CORE PRINCIPLES of holistic medicine.

In this article, we are going to decode the mystery and explore the role and responsibilities of a holistic doctor.

The Holistic Doctor: A New Approach to Medicine

In the holistic medicine field, the focus is not just on symptoms, sickness and disease, but on the HEALTH of the WHOLE person. Holistic doctors (Sometimes even spelled ‘WHOLISTIC’) believe in addressing more than just the physical body by merely SUPPRESSING SYMPTOMS with drugs. Mind (emotions) and spirit are united to achieve OPTIMAL HEALTH and wellness.

Holistic doctors see the body, mind, and spirit as interdependent parts that, together, contribute to overall health and wellness. They stress that each aspect can impact the others, thus emphasizing a balanced approach to health and wellbeing.

They firmly believe that in order to achieve optimal health, these aspects must be in HARMONY.

Holistic doctors operate under the premise that the body has INNATE HEALING abilities. In other words, your body is SELF-REGULATING and, given the opportunity, SELF-HEALING.

They focus on PROMOTING HEALTH and PREVENTING ILLNESS, rather than just treating diseases. A holistic doctor aims to understand the underlying causes of an ailment instead of merely addressing the symptoms. This approach involves an extensive evaluation of a patient’s PHYSICAL health, EMOTIONAL wellbeing, SOCIAL habits, DIET, and LIFESTYLE.

The holistic doctor’s role is not confined to diagnosing and prescribing. It expands to a broader spectrum, including education, counselling, and guiding patients towards healthier choices. The goal is not only to alleviate symptoms but also to improve overall wellbeing. The patient becomes an active participant in the healing process, with the holistic doctor acting as a guide and support.

Holistic doctors take a multi-disciplinary approach to healthcare. They might incorporate traditional medical practices, such as prescribing medication, with complementary therapies like acupuncture, herbal remedies, yoga, and meditation. They often emphasize the importance of diet and exercise and may recommend lifestyle modifications to promote good health.

The responsibilities of a holistic doctor are manifold. They assess a patient’s health status by scrutinizing physical health and exploring emotional, mental, and social aspects. They do not view these elements in isolation but as interconnected parts of a person’s health profile. Holistic doctors then construct a personalized treatment plan, factoring in the individual’s unique needs and circumstances.

Part of a holistic doctor’s responsibilities involves facilitating the body’s self-healing process. They believe that each individual possesses an inherent ability to heal, given the right conditions. Holistic doctors employ various techniques to stimulate this healing process, which may include naturopathy, homeopathy, massage therapy, chiropractic adjustments, and energy therapies like Reiki.

Holistic doctors also shoulder the responsibility of preventive healthcare. They educate patients about the importance of healthy habits, such as balanced nutrition, regular exercise, stress management, and sufficient sleep. Holistic doctors don’t just intervene when illness strikes; they continually guide their patients towards a healthier lifestyle to avert potential health problems.

Types of Practitioners

In addition to the many forms of holistic therapies, there are also a variety of practitioners. There are traditional medical doctors (MDs) that work in the holistic healthcare arena, as well as doctors of osteopathic medicine (DOs), integrative physicians, Ayurvedic doctors, and naturopathic doctors, among others. Patients looking for treatments that integrate “traditional” medical practices with alternative therapies might be best served by DOs or integrative physicians. Those looking for a completely natural approach to healthcare may want to investigate Ayurveda

One main difference between these practitioners is the degree of formal training. For example, an Ayurvedic doctor completes training at an Ayurvedic school recognized by the National Ayurvedic Medical Association. But they are not licensed in any state as medical doctors, and no formal nationwide certificate exists.

Naturopathic doctors, however, attend naturopathic medical schools and must pass professional board exams to attain a license. Though certain states also have state-specific regulatory practices, this is moderated on a federal level by the Federation of Naturopathic Medicine Regulatory Authorities. Each type of doctor can be helpful depending on what treatment you are seeking, but it is always important to verify their credentials on a state government’s website by searching the site’s licensing page. 

Responsibilities of a Holistic Doctor

Initial Consultation

A holistic doctor’s journey with a patient usually begins with an initial, comprehensive consultation. This meeting allows the doctor to understand the patient’s overall lifestyle, from dietary habits to emotional stressors, and beyond.

Patient Evaluation – Comprehensive Assessment:

One of the main responsibilities of a holistic doctor is patient evaluation. They use conventional methods like physical exams and lab tests, but also incorporate other methods like evaluating the patient’s emotional and spiritual health. They carry out a comprehensive evaluation, encompassing not only physical symptoms but also emotional, spiritual, and lifestyle factors. This helps in understanding the individual’s unique health situation.

Customized Treatment Plan Personalized Care

Once they have a comprehensive view of the patient’s health, the holistic doctor then devises a CUSTOMIZED (PERSONALIZED) treatment plan.

Holistic doctors emphasize on personalized care. They recognize that each patient is unique, and therefore, the approach to their care should also be unique.

Based on the assessment, they develop a personalized treatment plan that focuses on restoring balance and stimulating the body’s natural healing response. This could include diet and nutrition changes, exercise, psychotherapy, and alternative therapies like acupuncture or homeopathy.

Patient Health Education:

Holistic doctors often play a much needed, often ignored role in health education. They teach their patients about LIFESTYLE changes and self-care practices that can improve their health and wellness and the importance of lifestyle changes in disease prevention and OPTIMAL health maintenance. They often provide resources and tools to help patients make INFORMED DECISIONS about their health.

Integrative Approach

Finally, holistic doctors use an INTEGRATIVE approach, incorporating traditional Western medicine with alternative therapies. They work in partnership with other healthcare providers to ensure a comprehensive approach to patient care.

The Benefits of Seeing a Holistic Doctor

Seeing a holistic doctor can offer numerous benefits. They can help identify underlying issues that traditional medicine might miss, provide personalized treatment plans, and offer strategies for preventive care and overall wellness.

How to Choose a Holistic Doctor

Choosing a holistic doctor is a personal decision. Consider their education, credentials, experience, and approach to care. Most importantly, choose a doctor you feel comfortable with and who aligns with your beliefs about health and wellness.


Holistic doctors play a crucial, multifaceted role in healthcare, focusing on the whole person rather than just the disease. In essence, a holistic doctor operates under the belief that the body is designed to HEAL ITSELF. Their role and responsibilities extend beyond traditional medicine, providing a comprehensive approach to health and wellness that revolves around tapping into this inherent healing ability, using an integrative approach that values the person as a whole.

Their commitment to patient education, personalized care, and prevention sets them apart in the realm of healthcare. While the holistic approach might not suit everyone, many find its emphasis on whole-person health and preventative care appealing. If you’re looking for a healthcare approach that considers all aspects of your life, a holistic doctor may be the right choice for you.

Embracing the holistic approach means understanding that health is more than the absence of disease. It’s a daily commitment to making choices that lead to a more balanced and fulfilling life. As medical practitioners, holistic doctors are on a mission to transform the healthcare landscape, making it more personalized, comprehensive, and, above all, holistic. If you’ve ever wondered, “What does a holistic doctor do?”, now you know they’re the torchbearers of this empowering and nurturing approach to health and wellness.

Categories: Health

Nicolas Desjardins

Hello everyone, I am the main writer for SIND Canada. I've been writing articles for more than 12 years and I like sharing my knowledge. I'm currently writing for many websites and newspapers. I always keep myself very informed to give you the best information. All my years as a computer scientist made me become an incredible researcher. You can contact me on our forum or by email at [email protected].