Holistic nutritionists take a whole-body approach to wellness, taking into account a person's emotional, physical, and spiritual states. Prospective students can learn about what it will take to earn a master's degree in this field.
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Coursework for Holistic Nutrition Programs
Students enrolled in holistic nutrition graduate programs may study topics such as anatomy, wellness practices, and dietary planning and supplements.
Anatomy and Physiology
Courses in anatomy and physiology will cover the human body's major organ systems. Students will learn how to view these systems as a whole, rather than independently operating systems. They may also learn how to analyze certain pathogens and determine their clinical relationship to a major organ system.
Wellness Coaching and Integrative Health Practices
Classes on wellness coaching and integrative health practices are often a part of holistic nutrition graduate programs. Such courses teach students how to serve as health coaches in individual or small group settings. Topics covered can include healthy lifestyle practices, behavioral change theories, motivational interviewing, and energy anatomy in coaching.
Dietary Planning and Dietary Supplements
An important component of holistic nutrition graduate programs is dietary planning. These courses focus on providing students with the tools to create personalized diets or meal plans for their clients. They will learn about various techniques, such as vegan diets, cleansing diets, Paleo diets, and ketogenic diets. Part of creating personalized diets and meal plans can include dietary supplements. Students will learn about the benefits and proper usage of such supplements, such as fish oils, vitamin B, and calcium.
Understanding stress and the impact it has on people's lifestyles are essential parts of a holistic nutrition curriculum. Students will learn about the mental, physical, and spiritual side effects of stress and how best to manage them. Courses may also cover obstacles, such as a lack of motivation, that can prevent some people from making healthier lifestyle choices.
Courses in pathophysiology will provide students with a better understanding of disease, including the pathogenesis and manifestation of it. Students may study the major organ systems first, followed by the particular diseases that can affect those systems. They may also study how a person's environment, daily habits, and behaviors can affect the progression of some diseases. Students will learn to recognize when they should recommend a client see a medical health professional for treatment outside of holistic nutrition.
Holistic Nutrition Graduate Program Admissions Information
Prospective students for holistic nutrition graduate programs should generally possess at least a bachelor's degree. Some programs may require that students have a minimum undergraduate grade point average in order to apply. The application for most programs is online and typically involves a non-refundable application fee. Most graduate programs ask students to provide supplemental materials as part of the application process. Though students can also expect to submit other common documents such as transcript of records, personal essay/statement of purpose, a resume/CV, and recommendation letters, among others.
Students interested in a master's degree in holistic nutrition or related fields will need at least a bachelor's degree. Through the various coursework and academic requirements, graduates of these programs become equipped with the knowledge and skills they need to work with clients on their overall health.