What is a Holistic Nutritionist?
characterized by comprehension of the parts of something as intimately interconnected and explicable only by reference to the whole.
characterized by the treatment of the whole person, taking into account mental and social factors, rather than just the physical symptoms of a disease.
Source: Google Dictionary
The term “nutritionist” can be tricky, because one can be referred to as a nutritionist with little education. This is why it is important to ensure you're working with a professional who is registered as either a Certified Nutritional Practitioner (CNP) or a Registered Holistic Nutrition Practitioner (RHNP).
The professional organizations that provide holistic nutritionists with their registered status are there for YOU, the client. They ensure that the individual you choose to work with has received a very stringent quality of education. RHNPs receive rigorous training in holistic nutrition and health to the tune of over 2,000 hours. Since new information is constantly being discovered in the world of nutrition and health, RHNPs must also commit to continuing education as part of their certified status.
Will my insurance cover Holistic Nutrition services?
It depends on the Insurance company, and this is constantly changing. More and more companies are starting to cover Holistic Nutrition services because demand for them is increasing. I would recommend checking with your Insurance company to see if it is an accepted service for use with your Healthcare Spending Account.
What is the difference between a Dietitian and a Holistic Nutritionist?
I have been lucky enough to study a bit of both of these specialties, because back in 2010-2012 I was enrolled at Mount Saint Vincent University with the intent of becoming a Dietitian. This was when my husband Ryan was given a military posting that involved moving across the country, and I was unable to finish my studies via distance education (That's a whole other story in itself!). 5 years later with a new home, a baby and the dream of working in the Nutrition industry still on my heart, I discovered Holistic Nutrition. I went on to earn my diploma and never looked back.
Registered Dietitians hold University degrees and they go through rigorous training including the completion of an internship, but they differ somewhat in philosophy and technique with clients. Many dietitians focus on caloric intake and Canada's Food Guide (although more and more are open to an individualized approach!) while a Registered Holistic Nutrition Practitioner will concentrate on how the body biochemically reacts to the absorption, digestion and assimilation of food. The RHNP’s approach to diet and lifestyle is developed according to what is best for each unique individual as opposed to the standard recommendation for the general public or for all people experiencing a particular health concern. Rather than strictly advocating a pyramid or food group-style diet, the RHNP determines the healthiest and most effective program for an individual according to the latest nutrition research and the unique biochemical make-up of the client.
While many dietitians do still support clients on a 1:1 basis, they may also work in hospital and therapeutic settings to manage food services, treat patient symptoms, and to work with those who require tube feeding. A holistic nutritionist generally works 1:1 with clients and focuses on the individual as a whole, including all aspects of health; diet, lifestyle, emotional, and spiritual, while also trying to get the bottom of the root cause of the client's issues.
I personally believe that BOTH Dietitians and Holistic Nutritionists hold a very important space in the wellness world, they simply tend to hold a slightly different philosophy. Ultimately, both want what is best for you!
I believe that only YOU, the client, can truly know whether a Dietitian or a Holistic Nutritionist is right for you.