go back


Released: 04/07/2017


According to the Cambridge Dictionary 2017, the meaning of holistic is “dealing with or treating the whole of something or someone and not just a part”.

It seems that more and more people around us are finding time in their lifestyles for themselves. We are becoming more aware of the benefits of taking time out of our hectic routines and participating in relaxing and mindful activities. This may be through yoga, unwinding in your local coffee shop or even downloading a meditating on-the-go app! As a result, holistic therapies are becoming increasingly popular with clients. Through the recent Holistic Therapy Treatments survey conducted by The Guild, this article will explore the benefits of offering holistic treatments in your beauty business and what you, as a salon owner, can also expect to receive from offering these treatments.

As the meaning for holistic is based on treating the whole of a person, it could be suggested that this rules out treatments that are primarily aesthetic, such as brow treatments or lash extensions. However, even though these treatments only focus on one particular area of the body, I’m sure you will agree that often they lift the client’s mood and makes them feel happy. The effect of focusing on one area of the body has a wider effect that treats the whole. This proves that defining whether a treatment is solely holistic or not, is not as simple as defining black or white. Treatments that fall quite firmly within the description of holistic treatments are Ear Candling, Reflexology and Reiki. From the survey sample of therapists 31.7% offer only holistic treatments, while the remaining 68.3% also offer additional beauty treatments. This shows a significant crossover between holistic and beauty treatments.

Findings from the survey show that the most common holistic treatments are massages, the most popular of these being the Swedish Full Body Massage. Massages normally help clients receive optimal relaxation in a calm and tranquil setting, however massages could also be described as beauty treatments. This goes some way to explaining the strong crossover between the two industries. The majority of clients will chose treatments not only for the physical result, but also to unwind and relax. Therefore, it could be argued that most treatments are holistic, and it is important, as a beauty therapist that you not only offer your client a productive service, but also a tranquil service to treat the whole of the person and not just one part.

The Zen Trend

It is interesting to understand why ‘mindfulness’ has almost become a trend in the Western culture. Could it be to do with the increase in psychological disorders? Or could it be due to the acceptance of these disorders?

There has been a dramatic increase in mental illness in recent years, with major depression thought to be the second leading cause of disability (Lozano R. et al, 2012) and anxiety considered the psychological common cold. This is why more than ever it is important for an individual to take the time to relax and try and prevent or ease these mind crippling diseases.

The stigma surrounding mental illness still exists today, however it is a far cry from that of the early 1900s. In the past the majority of the mentally ill were placed in prison like crowded asylums, segregated from society and became guinea pigs for testing controversial and dangerous treatments such as electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) (Renato M.E Sabbatini). Medical labels to describe mental illness included “madness”, “lunacy” and “insanity” (sciencemuseum.org.uk), therefore it is easy to say that the acceptance of mental illness in society was minimal.

Luckily, nowadays the view on psychological disorders has changed. Prince Harry recently spoke out about his struggle with mental health problems, demonstrating to the world that it is ok to speak about not being ok. This is a positive movement and we are learning to take care of our minds as well as our bodies. Holistic treatments are the perfect way for the client to relax and focus on repairing and revitalizing the mind.

What Goes Around Comes Around

Interesting findings arose from the Holistic Therapy Treatments Survey, which investigated the reasons as to why the individual decided to train as a holistic therapist.

The results showed a general trend away from financial gain and swayed more to personal reasons. Many therapists stated that they previously received holistic therapy and wanted to train in it themselves to give back the benefit they received. This represents a cycle of wellbeing for both the therapist and the client. Other therapists reported life-changing experiences which led them to training in holistic treatments. For example, one participant explained that “... being diagnosed with cancer and feeling the difference Reiki made during treatment” made her want to train as a holistic therapist. These findings emphasise the effectiveness of the treatments.

When therapists were asked what they like most about being a holistic therapist the majority of answers were based around spiritual reasons and the positive psychological effects it has on the client. One therapist explained what they enjoy the most about providing the service to their clients, “…I help them recharge their batteries and seeing them smile and sparkle after having treatments with me is amazing and makes me happy too”.

Some therapists stated that they like that holistic therapy can be considered as an alternative to drug treatments. Taking the time to “…listen to the client’s needs and pain…” is where the healing process begins. They discuss that listening skills and physical touch have been lost in recent years, but is still very important to us all.

When therapists were asked what they disliked about being a holistic therapist, the most common answer was “nothing”. The majority of the answers and reasons given from the questions asked showed a consistent theme in that the performance of holistic therapy not only has a positive effect on the client, but also on the therapist.

Incorporating Holistic Treatments Into Your Salon

The findings from the survey suggest that providing holistic therapy gives both the client and therapist a sense of wellbeing. With the increase in psychological disorders and a deeper understanding of caring for the body as a whole, the industry has seen a rise in demand for holistic therapy. Providing this therapy could be a huge move forward for your business and can bring a wider range of clients to your salon.

Guild Training International (GTi) is the training arm of the industry’s leading trade body, The Guild of Beauty Therapists. GTi offers a range of holistic courses. The following courses are engaging and informative and will provide you with the confidence to perform holistic treatments effectively:

  • Body Massage £245 + VAT (39 CPD points)
  • Indian Head Massage £195 + VAT (29 CPD points)
  • Foot Reflexology £245 + VAT (35 CPD points)
  • Aromatherapy £95 + VAT (13 CPD points)
  • Ear Candling £95 + VAT (12 CPD points)

For more information on the GTi courses visit beautytraining.com or call a member of the GTi team on: 01332 224833 The Guild also has a specific membership category for holistic therapists, which will enable you to identify the holistic approach as your main specialisation.

Want to know more?

The information in this article is taken from the full Guild Holistic Therapy Treatments Survey Report which is available to purchase from The Guild for £79 + VAT. Our surveys are a great way for you to learn specifics about sectors of the beauty industry, which can help advance your business whether you are established or just starting out. See Beautyguild.com for more details. Alternatively, you can call The Guild on 01332 224830 or email Qudsiya@beautyguild.com for more information.


go back