CSNN - Canada's largest and leading school of holistic nutrition
August 21, 2014

What is a Holistic Nutritionist?

A R.H.N. Registered Holistic Nutritionist™, (or, R.H.N. Registered Holistic Nutritional Consultant™ in the Atlantic Provinces) (or, R.H.N. Holistic Nutritionist™ or R.H.N. Holistic Nutritional Consultant™ in Alberta) is a professional trained in Natural Nutrition and complementary therapies, whose principal function is to educate individuals and groups about the benefits and health impact of optimal nutrition.

Mainstream medicine does not emphasize the significance of poor nutrition as a major cause of a wide range of health disorders. Although most people are aware of the benefits of sound nutrition, the range of conflicting information available to the consumer is often confusing. Holistic nutritionists guide their clients through the maze of information from books, magazines, supplements and diets on the market. They work with clients to identify and help correct the nutritional causes of diseases, and they are qualified to design personalized diet and lifestyle programs that optimize health. Many holistic nutritionists also contribute to the health and well-being of Canadians by writing articles for prominent health magazines such as Alive and Vitality.


Code of Ethics

The Canadian School of Natural Nutrition's mission is the education of the individual in the principles of holistic health care and the principles of natural nutrition, in order to further the well-being of people and the healing of planet Earth. To this end, a graduate of CSNN as a Holistic Nutritionist/Holistic Nutritional Consultant agrees to:

  1. Maintain an interest in the well-being of all human beings, regardless of colour, creed or nationality, and in the care of planet Earth;
  2. Respect the right of his/her client as an individual in all respects, as to personal tastes, morals and social values;
  3. Be non-judgmental as to the life values and experiences of the client;
  4. Treat the client, under all circumstances, with due concern for the dignity of the individual;
  5. Respect the confidential nature of his/her relationship with the client and protect the confidentiality of assessments and recorded documents;
  6. Guide and counsel his/her client in the best way possible to achieve optimal health through natural nutrition, but always respecting the right and need for the client to make the final decision in all wellness plans;
  7. Teach the client to accept responsibility for his/her own health choices and actions;
  8. Accept full responsibility for the consequences of his/her own actions;
  9. Provide professional services only in those areas in which he/she has competence and training;
  10. Recognize the need to work co-operatively with other disciplines, holistic or allopathic, to best serve the client’s need, respecting the unique contribution of each discipline;
  11. Respect differences of opinion and exercise tact and diplomacy in interpersonal relationships;
  12. Resolve to improve and maintain his/her professional competence in the field of natural nutrition and holistic health care.

Scope of Practice of a R.H.N. Registered Holistic Nutritionist™

The services offered by a Registered Holistic Nutritionist are grounded in the following principles:

  1. Acknowledgement that each person is biochemically distinct and has unique nutritional needs;
  2. Awareness of the meaning of holistic nutrition; the interrelationship of mind, body and spirit; and the importance of addressing these interactive factors which are unique to each individual;
  3. Promotion of whole, locally grown and organic foods; sustainable farming practices; and the necessity of living in a non-toxic environment;
  4. Understanding that prevention and self-responsibility are fundamental to any successful health care program;
  5. Recognition that supplementation is not a substitute for wholesome, nutritious foods but that it may be helpful in recommended form, dose and frequency;
  6. Respect for clients and for their wellness goals, personal tastes, morals, social, and life values;
  7. Acceptance of the unique contribution of other health care providers, and the need to work co-operatively with them regardless whether they are of holistic or allopathic background.
  8. The main services provided by an RHN include the following:

a) Document client’s goals, needs, and plans;
b) Evaluate client’s food selection, preparation and intake;
c) Evaluate client’s lifestyle and overall feeling of well-being;
d) Evaluate client’s use of dietary supplements;
e) Identify client’s nutritional imbalance(s) and lifestyle habits;
f) Work with other health care professionals, if applicable, in order to determine all nutritional and lifestyle-changing needs of the client, including referring client to other health care professionals as deemed appropriate;
g) Support the progress of the client’s health goals by creating an individualized wellness program, which will include the use of whole, nutrient-dense foods; menu plans; natural source supplements*; and lifestyle modifications - including the use of non-toxic, environmentally friendly household/personal products;
h) Provide further guidance to the client, if necessary, by explaining food labels, and by offering food preparation techniques and shopping tips;
i) Guide the client in the implementation of a long term personal health plan, provide education when necessary, and offer ongoing assessments;
j) Monitor the client’s personal health plan in order to reinforce participation in the achievement of the health goals;
k) Act as a community educator to the public and to other health care professionals, developing curriculum, preparing manuals, writing articles, publishing books, and teaching;
l) Promote health discussions in schools, workplaces, and community agencies;
m) Bring holistic nutrition knowledge, principles, and philosophy to other professions.

*Please be advised that CSNN is referring to non-herbal supplements, as herbal supplements should only be recommended after all aspects of the herb, especially its contraindications are researched. Since CSNN does not teach herbology nor evaluate herbal recommendations, the onus is on the holistic nutritionist to follow manufacturers’ instructions or get advice from an herbalist. Additionally, for non-herbal supplements holistic nutritionists should consult the manufacturer when recommending dosages higher than those recommended on the bottle.