15 Questions a Holistic Practitioner Should Be Asking You

A massage therapists hands on the small of the client's back

Updated August 17, 2018

Many alternative healthcare practitioners today label themselves holistic. Sometimes, to the patient’s detriment, the descriptive term ‘holistic’ is in name only. The dictionary definition of holistic is hardly paid attention to these days: “Characterized by comprehension of the parts of something as intimately interconnected and explicable only by reference to the whole; medicine characterized by the treatment of the whole person, taking into account mental and social factors, rather than just the physical symptoms of a disease.” There are at least 15 questions a good holistic healthcare practitioner should be asking you. If your chosen physician does not ask you at least a good number of these questions, then take the initiative to provide the answers.

When ancestral energy medicine was broadly popular in China, the Chinese followed an astute practice to ensure that doctors would be focused on the health of their patients rather than react to sickness and disease as is the case today in most countries. It is believed that the family physician was fully paid so long as all family members remained in good health. When someone became ill, the physician’s pay was reduced or suspended until everyone in the household was well again.

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In the holistic spirit, and in addition to the basic physical/hereditary history a holistic practitioner will collect before treating you, the practitioner might take the following issues into account before even examining you. All of these factors have important impacts on your state of health.

  • Your overall stress levels and how you respond to stress or react to stress.

  • Your line of work including number of hours worked in a week.

  • Your family structure. If you’re a single parent, for example, many more considerations should come into play.

  • Your diet. Is it meat-centered? Prepared food centered? Do you eat well balanced meals?

  • Your pursuit of reasonable exercise including assessing your spinal flexibility which points to your body’s age much like mileage on a car indicates the true age of the car and not the actual years. The practitioner might also ask about your ability to walk long distances which is another key indicator of vitality and projected longevity.

  • Your history with and outlook on holistic therapies and remedies. Do you believe holistic healthcare can work for you?

  • Your income level in order to determine a sliding scale for fees, if warranted.

  • Your mental state. Are you clear thinking and able to sleep well? How is your memory?

  • Your emotional state. What is your predominant mood?

  • Your health goals. What would you like to achieve?

  • How much fun and enjoyment you pursue. What do you do for fun and how often?

  • What habits or addictions, both good and bad, have you developed and which you would like to get rid of?

  • Does spirituality or belief in a higher power play any or a central role in your life?

In order to get a quick read of your present level of vitality, the authentic holistic practitioner can immediately assess:

  • The state and presentation of your skin, eyes, and countenance.

  • Your physical posture.

Though this list may seem long, it really is a partial list and interestingly, it may be challenging to find a holistic practitioner who will so extensively interview their clients to acquire an intimate knowledge of who they are as whole persons and how she or he can best serve them. Imagine being treated to such complete interest in you when visiting a healthcare physician! If you didn’t feel very well, you’d start feeling better just by someone taking such a full bodied interest in you. Our hope is that you may you find your ideal holistic healthcare practitioner and enjoy the experience.

Editor's note: This blog post was originally published on March 1, 2017 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy and comprehensiveness.