Tuesday, March 6, 2012

What IS Holistic Health And Fitness?

The word “holistic” comes from the concept of Holism, which could be described as viewing any system in it's entirety as a whole, rather than as the sum of it's components. In modern usage the word is mostly used in the context of Holistic Health, as well as in relation to so-called New Age philosophies which view the Mind, Body & Spirit as a singular concept rather than three separate ideas. Similarly a Holistic Health practitioner would be concerned with a patients overall lifestyle, for example investigating factors such as stress levels or nutrition as possible sources or contributors to a problem, rather than just treating the symptoms of a particular complaint.

There has also been a shift towards Holistic imagery within the Fitness Industry, which I believe is appropriate and shows a greater understanding of the motivation of many clients. This in turn has lead to the industry attempting to rebrand itself somewhat with “fitness” taking a back seat to “wellness” in many cases. Similarly there has been a slight shift away from the term “Personal Trainer” (which might imply sports performance related training programs) towards “Wellness Consultant” which has a softer vibe perhaps more suited to the average personal training client.

If you've seen my business card, you'll know that I've got one foot in each world as my business name is “Dave Hargreaves Personal Training”, and I'm offering “Health And Wellness Consulting”.

Rather than sports specific training designed to improve performance on the field, the majority of Personal Training... sorry, Wellness Consulting clients just want to feel healthier (and perhaps look more attractive as well) and many of them will also understand the holistic idea that by being healthier, they'll also feel a little happier as well.

As with most things associated with New Age types, the term Holistic often implies a softer, gentler approach with the primary goal simply being to feel good about yourself. And if you ask me, there's not much wrong with that! After all, this book is all about “an uncompromising commitment to health and happiness”. I think “Wellness Consultant” fits in more with this imagery... it certainly does not conjure up the image of an athletics coach clutching a stop watch and barking out orders.