In Fall 2015, the Department of Health Promotion and Exercise Sciences offered a new option in Holistic and Integrative Health in our Health Promotion Studies Degree program. As a result of the increased national interest in complementary and alternative health practices there are expanding opportunities in the areas of medical care, health promotion, and lifestyle. Our Health Promotion Studies degree program prepares students to assess, design, plan, implement, and evaluate health promotion programs for worksites, fitness facilities, public health departments, voluntary health agencies, community-based organizations, community clinics, and hospitals. The Holistic and Integrative Health Option supports the growing national interest in complementary and alternative health practices. Healthcare providers, such as nurses, physical and occupational therapists, dieticians, dentists, physicians, pharmacists and psychologists need to understand the use of alternative health practices by their patients. Healthcare providers are creating environments that include allopathic practitioners and holistic practitioners within the same setting, providing patients/clients with an integrative and complementary approach to care.
These innovative approaches to health promotion and disease prevention are becoming increasingly important, leading to career opportunities in business, teaching, research and counseling. There is an increasing need for practitioners in emerging healthcare fields including naturopathic medicine, acupuncture, integrative nutrition, and massage therapy. The option in Holistic and Integrative Health provides an understanding of important holistic health concepts and practices relevant to many health and social service related careers. Students will explore the diverse systems that are considered complementary or integrative health and will gain an awareness of the philosophies of health and healing that unite all of these systems. This includes a critical examination of concepts and practices from around world to provide the student with an understanding of the cultural and historical underpinnings of various systems of healing. The benefits of emphasizing wellness, building a strong relationship between provider and client, promoting self-healing, and using nutritional approaches, traditional methods and other natural healing techniques are the areas of focus.