| HOLISTIC HEAL​T​H | Freudian Psychotherapy | Lifestyle Management | Art Therapy | Declining Muscle Mass | Science of the loss of attention span | Social Implications of Holistic Health | General resources for all topics | TED TALKS


The Holistic model of a Client

Definition and History

The practice of viewing the body as a unified whole predates the scientific model of medical treatment that in widely practiced today in hospitals and clinics throught the world. In India it was called Ayurvedic Medicine, in China, medical practices based on Taoist beliefs were used, and in Europe, the concept of Physis (meaning the body as whole) was applied in the usage of Herbalism and Hydrotherapy. In 1926, Jan Christiaan Smuts coined the term "holism" and since the 1970's alternative medicines have again become widely accepted as beneficial. Holistic helath is an re-emerging perspective of therapeutic care that views the individual as having a variety of needs in order to fully recover such as physical needs, emotional needs, spiritual needs and social needs. Holistic Health responded to the growing call of patients who sought after ways to cope with the physical and psychological stress of treatment under the traditional medical model which focussed on treatment of the illness and not the individuals experience of the illness. Integrated care facilities are emerging in the lower mainland that house a variety of health practitioners in order to address the various needs of clients who are facing health issues. (see article "Fighting cancer on all fronts" below) Critics of Holistic health claim that there is no way to measure and calculate evidence to prove or disprove the effectiveness of Holistic therapies due to the fact that each individual experience is situationally unique and ultimately subjective in nature.

FIghting cancer on all fronts

Holistic Health on the Labour Market

According to the Ministry of Healthy Living and Sport, annual losses to the Canadian economy due to mental illness in the workplace are $33 billion. Mental disorders have replaced musculoskeletal condition as the top conditions causing long-term disability. Depression is the fastest growing category of disability costs to Canadian employers. Work-life imbalance is on the rise, largely due to work-related factors. From an employer's standpoint, it is easier to find ways to keep employees healthy and productive rather than to have a high turnover and devote energy towards training new employees.

Impact on British Columbia's Labour Market

Information from Work BC indicates that two of the top three occupational groups expected to account for almost 1/3 of all new job growth in BC are:
  • Health
  • Art Culture Recreation and Sport

In terms of health, this translates into increased demand for services in health, medical, and supporting health services, nursing and midwives, personal care, and home care fields.

In terms of projected job growth in the Art, Culture, Recreation and Sport occupations in the lower mainland, we will experience increased demand for services in the motion picture/film industry, with corresponding growth in jobs as Creative and Graphic and Digital Designers, Performing Artists, Photographers, and Broadcasters, and will additionally include Programs Leaders and Instructors in Recreation, Sports, and Fitness.

TEN YEAR EMPLOYMENT OUTLOOK for British Columbia COPS BC Unique scenario 2007-2017

Based on statistics from BC Work Futures, future job prospects for holistic health practitioners (NOC: 3232) and related services are above average. Holistic Health Practitioners include services of Physiotherapists, Aromatherapists, Chiropractors, Naturopaths, Acupuncturists, Homeopaths, Chinese Medicine Practitioners, Shiatsu Therapists, Hypnotherapists, Herbalists, Reflexologists, Personal Trainers and Coaches, Massage Therapists, Rolfers, Reiki Practitioners, and TaiChi/Pilates/Yoga Instructors.

Increasingly, we see new yoga studios and spas throughout the lower mainland, and note that there are an increasing demand for all inclusive wellness clinics, retreats, and resorts available, both here and throughout the Gulf Islands. The demand for services catering to overall health and well being are on the rise.

According to BC Work Futures, employment prospects for workers in the Health care and social assistance industry group are expected to be above average in upcoming years. Future openings will become available as a result of job creation and the need to replace experienced workers who retire. This industry group employs a large number of workers, so a significant number of future jobs are expected.

Fast growth is expected for workers in occupations concentrated outside the inpatient hospital industry, such as medical assistants and home health aides. Many of these services will be provided privately, particularly for seniors care.
It is predicted that greater emphasis will be placed on health protection and disease prevention. Given the move toward patient empowerment, high-quality physical and psychological environments will be demanded by everyone everywhere. This will mean jobs for patient rights advocates, ergonomic specialists, community home workers, psychologists, psychotherapists and alternative health specialists, nurse practitioners, art therapists, home health aides, holistic health practitioners and acupuncturists.

Job Samples in Holistic Health
An array of local jobs are listed below, some with a holistic approach, such as Acupuncturist, Outreach Nurse, Physical Therapist, Evaluation Consultant--Mental Health & Addictions, Audiologist and Director of Care:

Freudian Psychotherapy

wiki3.jpgCounselling and Psychotherapy theories were being developed during the beginning of the 20th century, however it is thought that the roots of this subject originated a long time before this. The most renowned work is that of Sigmund Freud whose research into the human mind began in Vienna in 1881. Trained as a neurologist, Freud began focusing on problems that appeared to have no discernible organic basis, and theorized that they had psychological causes originating in childhood experiences and the unconscious mind. Techniques such as dream interpretation, free association, transference and analysis of the id, ego and superego were developed.

The Interpretation of Dreams Podcast
Freud's monumental publication in 1900, The Interpretation of Dreams, included much of the data derived from his clinical experience in this area, as well as the insights he acquired by free association for his own dreams. On the basis of these data, he concluded that a dream is the conscious expression of an unconscious fantasy or wish which is not accessible to the individual in waking life.

Video on Freud

Local job listings related to "Psychotherapy"
Psychologist VGH, Vancouver

Social worker, Vancouver Castal Health, Richmond, BC

Addictions Counsellor, Creekside Withdrawl Management Center

Lifestyle Management

My topic of “lifestyle management” has several different definitions. It can be described as a discipline where certain aspects of lifestyle-related situations are taken care of. It can also be used to describe as a mindset where long-term wellness and disease management are the goals. Overall, lifestyle management considers health, well-being, relationships, and peoples’ performance in their everyday lives. For the everyday person, lifestyle management can cover topics such as managing stressors, improving communication with co-workers and family/friends, learning to effectively prioritize activities, or practicing healthy food choices. For others, lifestyle management can be about managing property, arranging for a holiday, or marketing a business. This industry utilizes a variety of different expertise. It can employ personal assistants, concierge services, dieticians, counsellors, life coaches, fitness consultants, lifestyle managers and much more. The connection between ‘lifestyle management’ and the other
topics in this group, namely, Freudian psychology, science of attention span loss, art therapy, and exercise equipment, is that of considering the ‘whole’ person or holistic health.All of our topics are essentially invested in the well-being of people, a major proponent of the holistic health field, which considers the psychological, physical, social, and mental health of an individual. Our individual topics are connected to the concerns the average person may have. Freudian psychology looks at behaviour that is determined by the unconscious mind and repressed memories/feelings. Art therapy can be an avenue for someone to explore such memories/feelings. The growing concerns around attention span loss can be related to our difficulty to meaningfully connect with others as many are accustomed to instant gratification as highlighted in tv and movies and other social media. The use of exercise equipment can be related to lifestyle management as a means to find balance. It can also be used in a physically productive and otherwise therapeutic manner.

Our society’s shift from a goods-producing economy to a service-driven economy speaks to the sustainability of the market of holistic health. Individuals are becoming more aware of the importance of prevention over merely treatment of a condition.There is also more of an emphasis on work-life balance, which would hopefully encourage more people to seek personally 'healing' activities to help them re-charge and prepare themselves to be effective both at work and in their personal relationships.

Local Job Postings Related to "Lifestyle Management"
Professional Sales Representative
Wellness & Vitality Assisant
Health & Wellness Advisor

Interesting podcast on how using the past tense can impact your life adversely. Listen for some useful tips on how you can improve your view of your life.

Future Living 3: Lifestyle Management from IIT Institute of Design on Vimeo.

Art Therapy


Art Therapy is a type of therapy that uses various artistic mediums to facilitate the rehabilitation of individuals. Art therapy heals individuals through the interprettation and discussion of the meaning of the created artwork, which gives them a chance to reconnect to their inner feelings. Art Therapy began in the 1970's when Carl Simonton, M.D. introduced the Mind/body model of Cancer Treatment which postulated that people begin to heal when their physical stress was released. Split Brain research then added to the Mind/Body model by stating that our body takes in sensory information and stores them in the right brain as images which are then translated into words by the left brain, making visual art the most direct route to connecting with the complex and repressed feelings that have been stored in our right brain.

In recent years, Psychoneuroimmunology, the study of emotions on the central nervous system, has proven that "negative thoughts and painful fear-based emotions cause physiological stress that results in immune system dysfunction" (Ganim, 3). By releasing the negative, painful emotions and therefore relieving the body of internal stress, Art therapy helps individuals build up their immunity. Art therapy aims to help individuals strengthen biological functioning and empower their ability to create meaning from life experiences. It has been used to help all varieties of people rehabilitate regardless of language, health, age, physical or mental functioning.

Art Therapy Resources:
Art Therapy
Links to a wide variety of specialised Art Therapy groups
Guidelines of how to get a job in Art Therapy
College program for Expressive Arts Training in the Lower Mainland
Working in Canada Report for job cluster in the Lower Mainland

Declining Muscle Mass

One of the first things that occurs as people age is a decline in muscle mass, muscle strength, and endurance, in addition to a decline in aerobic capacity. Muscle mass declines slowly at first, beginning at approximately age 30, and accelerates rapidly when one reaches 60. Generally, people lose muscle mass at a rate of 10% per decade.
Muscle protein production slows naturally as people age, depending partly on genetic make-up, and individual level of physical activity. Muscle fibres decline with age as well, meaning that you have reduced ability to make muscle. The result is less muscle mass, diminished capacity, and fatigue, thus, a sedentary lifestyle sets in.
With a sedentary lifestyle, one runs the risk of developing sarcopenia (muscle wasting) which sets the framework for cancer, diabetes, obesity, and degenerative diseases and joint problems.
The most effective long term intervention for attenuating or preventing sarcopenia and related disease, is weight and resistance training and cardiovascular conditioning best accomplished through active and healthy lifestyle choices.

The Role of Exercise

Exercise is physical activity that is planned, structured, and repetitive for the purpose of conditioning any part of the body. Exercise is utilized to improve health, maintain fitness and is important as a means of physical rehabilitation. It is useful in preventing or treating osteoporosis, coronary heart disease, weakness, diabetes, obesity and depression. A well-balanced exercise program can improve general health, build endurance, and delay many of the effects of aging. The benefits of exercise not only improve physical health, but also enhance emotional well-being.
A study released in 2003 reported that exercise combined with behavioral therapy may even help manage the symptoms of stress, cognitive and learning problems, as well as one’s mental health.

Psychological benefits of exercise

  • Diffusing negative emotions such as anger, anxiety, and depression
  • Encouraging other positive lifestyle changes
  • Enhancing your ability to deal with stress
  • Improving your overall sense of well-being
  • Increasing your self-esteem and self-confidence
  • Stabilizing your moods

Strength Training
Strength training exercises provide appropriate resistance to the muscles to increase endurance and strength. Strengthening exercise increases muscle strength and mass, bone strength, and the body's metabolism. It can help attain and maintain proper weight and improve body image and self-esteem. A certain level of muscle strength is needed to do daily activities, such as walking, running and climbing stairs. Strengthening exercises increase this muscle strength by putting more strain on a muscle than it is normally accustomed to receiving.

Resistance Training
Resistance training increases balance and agility, range of motion, and increases muscle mass.
Resistance training is a form of strength training in which each effort is performed against a specific opposing force generated by resistance (pushing, squeezing, stretching or bending). Resistance exercise is used to develop the strength and size of skeletal muscles. Research shows that regular resistance training will strengthen and tone muscles and increase bone mass. Resistance training should not be confused with weightlifting, power lifting or bodybuilding, which are competitive sports involving different types of strength training.

Exercise Equipment and Active Living
In keeping with our topic of Holisitc Health and it's underlying premise of simplicity, the rule here is: keep it simple. Simple workouts, simple equipment, simple goals. Keeping it simple will remind you that moving does not have to be complicated. That also means using minimal equipment. Sophistocated equipment does not make exercise any easier. There is an array of exercise machines and fitness gadgets available on the market and at the gym, however, you can do amazing things using just your body weight as your equipment.

In fact, if you are a relative beginner, you should start with body weight exercises for at least 6 months before progressing to weights. You don’t need cardio machines — just go outside and walk, run, bike, climbs hills or stairs. If you do choose to use weights, a bar bell or hand weights are all you need.

Preferably, get outside and do sprints, push ups, jump over things, pick up large rocks and throw them, do pull ups from a tree, scramble up rocks, swim, do a crab walk or monkey walk, flip tractor tires, and generally get a great workout with very little equipment.


Home Gym
Fitness gadgets to include in your home gym are:
  • Exercise Ball
  • 55 cm - 4'11" to 5'4" 65 cm - 5'5" to 5'11" 75 cm - 6'0" to 6'7"
  • Don't forget, you can also use an exercise ball as an office chair; perfect for strengthening the core while helping with your posture
  • Basic Dumb Bells
  • If you're a beginner, you might start with 3-10 lbs for women and 5-15 lbs for men, adding on as you get stronger and learn more about lifting weights.
  • Barbell Set
  • A simple barbell set (a 10-15 lb bar with various weighted plates) can go a long way in adding variety to your workouts while allowing you to lift heavier weights.
  • Resistance Bands
  • Resistance bands are perfect for a home gym and for travel workouts. You can use them for a variety of upper and lower body exercises.
  • Stair Master
  • Use a stair master for aerobic conditioning
  • Medicine Ball

If you prefer to use an exercise machine during the colder months of the year, invest in a treadmill or a stationary bike.



Even astronauts experience loss of muscle mass due to weightlessness while in outer space.

Science of the loss of attention span

It is surprising that people from the earlier generations who lacked any information storage electronic devices had a greater memory and brain processing power than the current society at large.
People could calculate mathematical formulas in their head and could effectively lead other people just by sheer brain power. Nowadays we are depending more and more on tools like computers, printers, memory sticks, cameras, internet and media. The underlying cause, as well as consequence, seems to be a lack of attention span. We tend to spend a lot less time on a particular job or problem before moving onto the next one. This race against time has negatively impaired the human brain’s ability to focus or concentrate.

The change in the socio-cultural settings, workplace dynamics and the role of the media has a lot to do with the changes our brain is undergoing. Creativity, satisfaction, peace of mind, family and social life, understanding of others’ problems etc. are all at stake now. A lot of effort needs to be put in, towards addressing this problem and finding some solutions. A lot of job categories have already come up . In addition to the psychiatrists and psycho-analysts , almost every aspect of the society has started employing counselors. This relatively new ‘breed’ of professionals are employed by schools, corporate, employment resource centers, social welfare departments, mental health institutions, sports organizations and others. Doctors and healthcare professionals now have a sub-category which deals with problems like ADD, ADHD, OCD and related issues.

Article on TV and Attention span
Center for ADD/ADHD Advocacy Canada videoplayer

Social Implications of Holistic Health

Disconnection caused by rapid development in communications technology

As a group, we have discovered a number of links between our topics. All inter-related with disconnection in some ways. Emotion, addiction, stress, trauma and communication were connections and with the introduction to holistic health would come balance, healing, recovery and sustainability.

The rapid increase in the quality and accessibility of digital social media (PC, TV, mobile devices, video games etc…) has proliferated advertising and information sharing among our population. We human beings in this era are bombarded by the constant transmission of information in the form of images and sounds on a daily basis whether we like it or not. Our minds are constantly and so easily filled with an array of images and messages with no coherent connection to each other. In this increasingly random and virtual environment, our minds are required to inhibit physical and emotional responses to stimuli and we begin to experience gradual estrangement from our body, our emotions, our resourcefulness and our creativity. Disconnection from our emotions, our body and our creativity requires managed lifestyle rehabilitation. The combination of Art therapy, Freudian Psychotherapy and the usage of exercise equipment to increase physical activity with the help of some lifestyle management skills is a balanced, holistic method that helps heal individuals experiencing confusion and disconnection from others or self.

Article on technology and disconnection

Increase in Entrepreneurship

Our different topics all incorporate a sense of entrepreneurship as individuals who work in holistic health fields are often progressive and proactive in promoting the benefits of their services. They realize they are offering a service that can help people but they often have to take the initial steps to promote their services as longstanding structures offering holistic health services just do not exist. Traditional forms of medicine have been more readily funded by our government, which are the services most people are aware of and have utilized. An interesting aspect of holistic health is the power of word-of-mouth, which is an important aspect of entrepreneurship. In running a business, people must be concerned with advertising, setting up a location in which to run their practice, and hiring good staff. Our individual topics can be linked to entrepreneurship as they are all connected to understanding people and helping people improve their well-being through seeking holistic health methods.

ARTICLE: Marketting for Wellness Professionals and Holistic Entrepreneurs

General resources for all topics

Art Therapy for children with ADD and ADHD
Canadian Art Therapy Association website
International Expressive Arts Association website
ADD/ADHD slideshow
PODCAST: Entrepreneurship and Art Therapy


This Wikispace has been created by a collaborative group who worked on this project for the Labour Market Information class for the Career Development Practitioner Program at Douglas College in July, 2010.


Cara Low
Donna Kokot
Ken Inaba
Satnam Arora
Susanne Talkington

Master Editor:

Ken Inaba