Planned 30-Credit Program in
Integrative Health & Healing
The Planned 30-Credit Program in Integrative Health and Healing is a 30-credit degree program which examines health, wellness and illness from a holistic perspective. This approach involves comparing, connecting and integrating conventional, alternative and complementary approaches to promoting health and wellness as well as towards prevention and healing.
This program offers a unique and extraordinary opportunity to study the best of Eastern and Western medicine and psychology in a hands-on, interactive learning environment, providing not only up to date scientific knowledge but also experience and practice of many diagnostic and healing techniques focused on treating the whole person. This enables students who already are health professionals to learn and apply integrative models and methodologies that address health and wellness promotion and/or healing. In addition, the program also aims to expand the knowledge of non-medical “lay-learners” who choose to enroll in the program to develop a better understanding of integrative, alternative and complementary models and treatments and learn how to select and manage them according to their specific cases and needs.
The Planned 30-Credit Program in Integrative Health & Healing has three major components:
Students are introduced to the historical origins and the theoretical and methodological foundations of the integrative holistic approach to health and wellness.
Special regard is given to the basic holistic assumptions that:
a) The human being is a complex system, comprised of several interrelated mental and physical sub-systems (cognitive, emotional, neural, endocrine, immune etc.). At the same time, humans are encompassed in social and natural supra-systems (family, society, ecosystem etc.), which influence the functioning of the sub-systems and are subsequently influenced by them, and
b) Physical, mental and social well-being are not separate factors but, on the contrary, are interdependent ones.
Students explore a wide variety of Eastern and Western medical and psychological concepts, theories and tools. In this part of the program, some of the approaches we examine are:
Chinese Traditional Medicine
Pranayama Breathing Techniques
and many others.
Study emphasizes the need to gain knowledge in various modalities, to integrate diverse perspectives on how the body functions, and to develop a holistic medical model in order to achieve health and wellness. The program also provides explanations, experiences and practices of many diagnostic and healing techniques focused to treat the whole person, thus enabling students to design and apply personalized models of health, wellness and (eventually) healing.
In the third part of the program, students learn why and how the integrative health and healing approach is spreading across our community, due to both its effectiveness (in many cases much higher than that of conventional approach) and its way of managing the relationship with patients (taking a much more human and empathetic approach instead of the conventional impersonal approach). Regarding effectiveness, students will learn that by treating the health of the whole patient – physical, mental, interpersonal and transpersonal/spiritual and not just the immediate symptoms of a specific organ or dimension -- the efficacy of integrated holistic treatments is more long-lasting and with a lower regression rate. Regarding the relations between health professionals and patients, students will learn that the official biomedical model - considering body, mind, spirit, society and environment as separated factors - entrusts the care of the body to doctors, the care of the mind and the emotions to counselors and psychologists, and the care of the spirit to ministers and priests. This results in no one taking care of the whole person and on the contrary considers the patient as a soul-less machine. Today more and more people are tired of being considered as bodies separate from minds separate from the spirit, and are speaking up about having their most elementary rights denied to them as soon as they enter a hospital. They instead want to be considered as whole human beings and treated as such. In this vein, students will learn practical psycho-social tools for managing communication and relationships with clients/patients.
It's important to note that many holistic and naturopathic treatments which have been traditionally considered un-reimbursable out-of-pocket expenses are now being offered within traditional medical establishments as a part of their overall care strategy. The integrative approach does not necessarily imply a higher financial cost of giving or receiving care, but it does open up opportunities for practitioners and patients to explore any and all modalities which may benefit them.
The Planned 30-Credit Program in Integrative Health and Healing is for:
Women and men who are seeking for a wider conception of health, wellness and healing, both for professional and personal purposes.
Healthcare and wellness professionals (physicians, nurses, psychiatrists, psychologists, counselors, chiropractors, alternative practitioners, health and wellness coaches etc.) who wish to expand the boundaries of their professional knowledge and skills.
Life coaches, business leaders, organizational developers who wish to enhance their profession with powerful holistic integrative theories and tools.
Teachers and educators who have a holistic conception of education and would like to help students developing not only their knowledge but also their whole person, with special regard to health and wellness.
By taking the Planned 30-Credit Program in Integrative Health and Healing in combination with the Transformative Coach Training program, you can specialize in Health and Wellness Coaching.
Classes meet on-site one weekend per month (Friday from 5 to 9 pm and Saturday from 9 am to 5 pm and sometimes also Sunday). The degree is completed in 24 months.
The Planned 30-Credit Program in Integrative Health and Healing utilizes an integrated curriculum, where course content is delivered holistically across each of the program’s weekend class sessions.
Areas of focus include:
Adopting Integrative Care in Clinical Environments
Classical Homeopathic Medicine
The Art and Science of Eating
The Philosophy and Practice of Ayurvedic Medicine
Naturopathic Medicine: Philosophy, Principles, and Practice
The Philosophy and Practice of Traditional Chinese Medicine
Expressive Art Therapy
The Energy Body, the Chakra System, Dowsing, and Shamanism
Health of the Human Spirit: Holistic Stress Management
Active Dreaming for Health and Healing
Cymatics and Cymatherapy: Principles and Practice of Vibrational Healing
Courses and Descriptions (30 credits):
IH 501: Foundations of Integrative Health and Healing - 3 credits
This course introduces students to the major health and healing traditions, and explores their diverse philosophical and practical foundations. Students examine the ancient healing arts, as well as the allopathic, complementary, and alternative practices that have evolved from them. Study emphasizes the need to gain knowledge in various modalities, to integrate diverse perspectives on how the body functions, and to develop a holistic medical model in order to achieve health and wellness.
IH 502: Mind-Body Medicine - 3 credits
Infused with mind, spirit, and energy, the body is so much more than the sum of its physiological parts. In this course, students explore psycho-neural immunology research that demonstrates how the mind-body relationship affects health and healing. Study provides a comprehensive understanding of wellness and preventative practices, such as meditation, relaxation, biofeedback, visualization, guided imagery, hypnosis, dream analysis, psychotherapies, and addiction rehabilitation.
IH 504: Body-Oriented Therapeutic Approaches: Osteopathy, Chiropractic, and Posturology - 3 credits
Health and energy are dynamic states, subject to changing environmental and lifestyle conditions. In this course, healing techniques such as massage, therapeutic touch, chiropractic, energy work, reflexology and holistic posturology are examined in light of their physical, psychological, and bioenergetic effects. Students gain in-depth understanding of selected energy work techniques through direct experience.
IH 506: Eastern Medicine: Ayurveda, Acupuncture, Acupressure, Qi Gong - 4 credits
Classical philosophies of Eastern medicine, such as Ayurveda, Qigong, acupuncture, and acupressure, are analyzed in this course. Students also examine the emergence of Eastern medicine in the West, and are encouraged to explore the complementarity of Eastern and Western modalities. Students gain in-depth understanding of selected techniques through direct experience.
IH 507: Integrative Nutrition - 3 credits
A central tenet of holism is that health evolves within a broader context of ecological and cultural practices, and it is impossible to separate individual health from the health of the whole system. In this course, students explore this “whole systems” metaphor, examining the impact of ecological and cultural practices on broad health related issues. Specifically, diet and nutrition, water purity, and air quality are studied relative to their impact on health and wellness.
IH 508: Aspects of Energy Medicine: Homeopathy, Bio-Energetics, Reflexology - 3 credits
The interconnection between energy, consciousness, and health is an important factor to consider in the development of optimum wellness. This course explores bio-energetic theory and the nature of energy flow. Students examine individual and collective energy systems and modalities such as chakra analysis, homeopathy, and electromagnetism. Consciousness studies are introduced, and students explore synergistic cognitive and affective energy systems that affect health and healing.
IH 509: Alternative Pharmaceuticals: Aromatherapy, Flower Essences, Herbal Remedies, and Neutraceuticals - 2 credits
Allopathic medicine has long relied upon the use of drugs to treat disease. Allopathic pharmaceuticals, however, are not the only substances that have provided extraordinary healing and curative effects throughout history. In this course, allopathic pharmaceuticals are compared to herbal remedies, Chinese medicines, and neutraceuticals. Students analyze the pharmacological effects of various substances by reviewing clinical research, case studies, and other indicators of efficacy. Substances are examined in terms of their healing, preventative, and vitalizing effects.
IH 510: Spirituality and Health - 3 credits
Research demonstrates that spirituality, on both the individual and communal levels, has a profound influence on individuals’ ability to experience health and healing. This course explores the historic traditions of healing that relied primarily on spirituality, religion, and shamanism. Diverse schools of thought are analyzed and compared with major Western and non-Western perspectives. Individual and organized communal prayer and ritualistic practices which function to promote health and healing are also examined relative to their impact on health and wellness.
IH 511: Natural Healing - 3 credits
The belief that technology is able to cure all human suffering has resulted in the near exclusion of alternative and complementary modalities in most allopathic medical centers. This course examines the vis medicatrix naturae (the healing power of nature), which is generally ignored in today’s medical model. Students evaluate the Planetree approach, and examine the role of personal fulfillment, art, music, and humor as viable approaches that facilitate self-healing.
For 30-Credit Planned Program, Student selects one of:
IH 514: A Practitioner’s Mentorship - 3 credits
Students are required to undertake two mentorship experiences. Each mentorship should fall within a self-selected area of interest and should demonstrate professional development and personal growth through disciplined inquiry. The mentorships are conducted with noted practitioners, and each requires a minimum of 45 hours of contact time. Comprehensive reporting is required, including documentation of the experiences, systematic journal keeping, assessment of learned concepts, and formal comprehensive written and oral reports.
IH 516: A Practitioner’s Internship - 3 credits
The internship placement often grows out of the mentorship experience, but differs from the mentorship in its intensity and specificity. The internship is an opportunity for students to engage in supervised independent study, and success is measured against predetermined competencies exhibited onsite in “real” practice situations.
IH 517: Culminating Project - 3 credits
The Culminating Project requires each participant to design, implement, and report on a self-directed project. Each participant is required to conduct an in-depth research study. The research project, based on emerging developments in a unique area of Integrative Health and Healing, must demonstrate rigor in the pursuit of new insights, rigorously pursues new insights, knowledge, and perceptions. This culminating project is reported in a formalized paper and presented to the cohort, demonstrating the final accomplishment of the student within the program.
Full course descriptions are available in our Catalog of Programs
Integrative Health is conceived as the harmonious functioning of all the dimensions that constitute the human being - corporeal, energetic, emotional, mental, interpersonal, consciential and spiritual. Its approach to healing incorporates not only biological, chemical, medical and surgical tools but also psychological, sociological, cultural, spiritual and environmental ones.
Such a holistic conception is being adopted by an increasing number of health professionals. It is even recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO) which states in its Constitution:
“Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”
Nevertheless, the dominant trend in healthcare today is not one of integration. On the contrary, traditional modes of care are based on separation and sectorization, due to the mechanistic reductionistic orientation of the official biomedical model. It is this outdated model that considers body, mind, spirit, society and environment as separate factors and thus entrusts the care of each of them to different and not collaborating specialists. This leaves no one taking care of the whole person.
For this and other reasons the integrative health approach is marginal or absent in most universities, while at The Graduate Institute it has been a core area of study since the Institute’s foundation. This Whole Person approach has inspired several programs of study here at the Graduate Institute, the leader of which is the Master of Arts Degree in Integrative Health and Healing.