Want To Be A Holistic Nutritionist? Be Prepared To Answer These Frequently Asked Questions
It’s no secret that holistic nutrition isn’t exactly a household name.
Ask anybody on the street what a dentist is, or what a chiropractor is, and they’ll almost certainly have an answer for you.
But ask them what a holistic nutritionist is, and you might get a few confused stares.
That’s not to say nobody has ever heard of us –keyword data from Google shows thousands of monthly searches for the term “holistic nutritionist” in Canada alone.
So we all work to increase the visibility of our field, and that often comes with answering the questions people have about us.
Below, you’ll find some of the most frequently asked questions people have about holistic nutritionists, and how you might answer them.
”Holistic Nutritionist? Do You Mean A Dietician?”
Of course, you know that holistic nutritionists and dieticians are completely different.
But the average person may not.
First of all, each has its own set of credentials required to practice.
For a dietician, you need a bachelor’s degree and a minimum one year of accredited dietetic internship, as well as to pass a licensing exam.
Each jurisdiction has its own requirements for dieticians, though, so your results may vary depending on where you live.
If you’re planning on training to become a holistic nutritionist, on the other hand, you’ll need a high school diploma, and a diploma in holistic nutrition from the Edison Institute or another accredited college.
As well, dieticians often practice in hospitals and medical clinics, while holistic nutritionists more frequently work in private practice or integrative health clinics.
But when you’re answering this question, you’ll likely want to focus on what the difference is to the average person.
In order to maintain the highest standards of professionalism, it’s good practice to never speak ill of all your fellow healthcare practitioners, whether they’re holistic nutritionists, dieticians, or anyone else.
So with that said, you may consider speaking only about the advantages of your craft.
Which leads us to our next question…
”What Does A Holistic Nutritionist Do?”
Holistic nutrition is based on the concept that diet and the environment is the key to one’s health.
By recommending dietary changes, including food combining and supplements, a holistic nutritionist’s goal is to help solve health issues from a natural perspective.
A holistic nutritionist’s training at Edison is also focused on more of an orthomolecular approach, which is the correct amount of nutrients for the individual.
Training includes use of professional supplement formulas, herbal remedies and use of homeopathics to address all root causes – chemical, metal and emotional toxicity, and the effects that the environment has on our cells.
As a holistic nutritionist, it’s your job to serve as a teacher as much as a practitioner – you’ll work with your clients to help them fully understand what their health needs are, and how your nutrition plan will help.
”Okay, But What Does That Look Like?
When they ask this, they’re probably asking you about how an appointment works.
And the answer to this question, of course, depends on what holistic nutritionist career path you’ve chosen.
But if you’ve decided, like many holistic nutritionists, to go into private practice, you might describe it something like this:
Generally, the first step with clients is to have an initial consultation.
During that session, we’ll sit down together at my clinic, where we’ll discuss your health concerns.
I’ll ask you a lot of questions about your health history, your current lifestyle and health concerns, and what your goals are.
We’ll also talk about the types of food you like and dislike, what your relationship is like with food, and what type of issues might be present in your life that stand in the way of your health.
Using that information, I’ll create a diet and nutrition plan that fits your lifestyle, and then we’ll schedule a follow-up session to review the plan.
”That Sounds A Lot Like A Naturopathic Doctor. Are You A Naturopathic Doctor?”
Of course, you’re not a naturopathic doctor, unless you’re one of the rare individuals who happens to have accreditation as both a naturopathic doctor and a registered holistic nutritionist.
If you’re not, though, it’s really like comparing apples to motor oil.
First off, a naturopathic doctor is a doctor; a holistic nutritionist is not.
That means you can do more with a naturopathic doctor, like prescribe certain hormones, use acupuncture and other forms of traditional Chinese medicine, and, in some cases, use intravenous infusion therapy.
And if that’s what you’re after, a naturopathic doctor can be a good addition to your team of health care providers.
So, why see a holistic nutritionist?
A holistic nutritionist focuses primarily on diet and the environment, and how to get to the root of underlying causes.
Below is a list of just some of the health conditions for which a holistic nutritionist is ideal to provide treatment for:
- Digestive issues
- Weight problems
- Autoimmune conditions
- Nutritional deficiencies
- Hormone imbalances
- Disease prevention
”Why Do I Need A Holistic Nutritionist? Can’t I Just Google It?”
With this question, they might be expecting a “gotcha” moment, where you, in a sudden moment of clarity, admit your entire professional life has been a waste of time, money, and effort.
But the truth is, they’re right.
Sure, you can learn about nutrition online.
You can read a few books on whatever type of diet interests you.
But the reality is that everyone’s body is different.
Canada’s Food Guide, for example, offers a one size fits all approach to nutrition, but this doesn’t take into account individual needs.
At the end of your program, you’ll have spent 2000 hours becoming an expert in all things holistic nutrition.
You’ll have a deep, nuanced understanding of nutrition, what to watch for, and how to provide a nutritional protocol for anybody.
There’s no way you can replace that with a few Google searches.
Contact the Edison Institute Of Nutrition
Of course, these are just a few of the many questions you’ll get answered during your time at the Edison Institute of Nutrition.
To find out more about an education in holistic nutrition, and what Edison has to offer, contact us today.