What is holistic therapy?

What is holistic therapy? | AMOR FATI

by: Dr. Z

by: Dr. Z


For a kid with a hammer everything looks like a nail. A specialized therapist is biased similar. The psychologist treats the mind, the medical doctor the body and the spiritual guru goes for the soul. Is that a good way – a rational and realistic treatment? Or is it kind of one-eyed, yeah even blind?  



They have body, mind and soul. They are intertwined with relationships. They search for purpose, have cancer, kids or a career, struggle with finances, sex and self-confidence. They live on a crazy planet with tortured nature, restless economy, populistic politics, religious conflicts and unstable societies. Global problems, hypnotizing commercials and superficial role models jump into their face every second they go online. It’s not a miracle that they suffer from imbalance, blockage and a lack of orientation.  



Periodical or chronical pain, stiffness, depression, fatigue, insomnia, panic, anxiety, inflammation, diabetes, obesity, impotency … and much more. People can suffer from almost anything – especially when they want to suffer.

They can suffer from drama and trauma or from boredom; from too much of everything or too much of nothing; from poorness or richness. They can miss fun, love, passion – and hurt themselves or others. They can sit deep in the victims perspective, love fanatically or hate to the death. Many people are drowning in cortisol and adrenaline: fight or flight – but mostly: freeze.  



Were does anything come from? Where are this problems coming from? Are there mental reasons for that? Or physical causes? What is the mind? What the body? How are they connected?

Is there a thorn in the mind or in the flesh? What kind of thorn? Or isn’t there any thorn at all? Are mind and body fine but the big picture is wrong – and makes them sick?  



You can have every thing (a great house, job and body; a lot of money and success) but if you don’t feel fulfilled, if all of this isn’t YOURS, if it doesn’t feel like YOU – then it won’t make you happy and it won’t make you wake up smiling every morning. It won’t make you LOVE YOUR SELF and LOVE YOUR LIFE on this AMAZING PLANET.

Think about Amy Winehouse. One of the most successful singers of our time: six Grammy Awards, over 33 Million sold records, tons of money. But on stage she was scared to death and besides it harassed by reporters nonstop. At her last concerts she stood alone, frightened and completely drunk on stage. Not capable of singing one song. Just skin and bones. Bulimia, panic, drug addiction, suicide. So what means all of this great, great stuff in the end?  



… and if you feel like this, you suffer – with physical, mental and behavioral symptoms. You don’t understand your life and for sure: not the world – it completely breaks apart. So perhaps it’s time for a doctor or psychiatrist? But can a physical or mental doctor really cure an unfulfilled soul?

Are sickness, fear and blockage always a problem or sometimes just a sign of a healthy but deeper individuality – which is begging, yeah even screaming for a different life?  



Don’t you think sometimes: “This makes me sick. What am I doing here? Do I really want this?” And do you sometimes think you are sick or crazy? Or do you sometimes want to blame something or somebody else for your misery?

Yeah, why not? That could be a solution and easy possibility to feel better. Many people do it like that. They buy a cheap ticket to the victims perspective, free of responsibility. But with the loss of responsibility you also lose power, self-confidence and dignity. So think twice about that and think about a change of mindset as well. Ask your self:  



Would it help to do, earn or consum more of this, what you can’t get enough of? Perhaps then, one day, it will fulfill you?

Many people believe that. Question: How much do you need to fulfill a bucket without a bottom? Do you think “more” would be enough?  



Fulfillment is easy and it’s not about the outside world. You just need to close your bucket on one side. And that’s the challenge …

Many people have their bucket open on both sides: always stressed, never fulfilled. They suffer from inferiority. They die from accidents, heart attacks, strokes or cancer.

Some have their bucket closed on the top. They participate on life. They give and give. But they don’t get anything in return. They feel empty, exhausted, unaccepted and miss self-confidence. They burn out like a candle: eating up themselves. A slow, starving, unhappy death.

Others have their bucket closed on both sides. Their life is a lonely and dark place. Depression, aggression, suicide.

And it’s all in their hands. It’s their bucket – and to work on it is …  



It shows you the best way. Simple and easy: natural ecstasy. Open your bucket at the top, embrace and enjoy life. Close it at the bottom with values, limits, principles, self-confidence and stability – with philosophy. So you will be fulfilled easily, have enough energy, dance through life and die with a smile.

With all the superfluous energy which flows over the edge of your bucket you can help and create a positive impact on the world – without stress or consuming yourself.  



True, that’s a challenge. The challenge of your life. You can’t manage that on the weekend or after a busy workday. It’s deep work – at the roots of your personality, principles and reality.

Yes: reality – because your reality (the way it looks, smells and feels) is your construction, presented by YOUR MINDSET and: changeable.  



Many people just function and follow some random life agenda without ever having worked on their individual life agenda, principles and mindset. So they lack control over their life. Will they be happy?

As happy as a driver on the street without control over the car. Much likely they feel frightened, blocked and stressed. They will have symptoms. How good can a busy doctor or one-dimensional therapist help here?

This specialists help to deal with the symptoms and to go further: in a meaningless direction, without control or orientation. They help like caffeine, nicotine and cocaine. Are they part of the solution?  



It’s not the duty of a specialist to treat you like a complex individual or to teach you life. He is a hammer. He will treat you like a nail. Bam. Done. Next one.

The rest is your responsibility and there is truth in it: It is your responsibility.  



You see, the ability to live happy is not coming on its own. It’s an art (to create it) and it’s a fight (to achieve it): PHILOSPHICAL KUNG FU.

This is what AMOR FATI is all about. Finding yourself. Creating yourself. Becoming who you are. Loving your destiny. Embracing it. And rejecting everything, what doesn’t fit to you. Now you can imagine the importance of holistic therapy: It helps you to achieve all of this.  



Many people with ACUTE PROBLEMS have a physical problem and they need medical treatment. The interesting question is: WHY do they have this problem? There is a reason for it – a deeper reason.

And yes: SOME PEOPLE are crazy and they need a psychiatrist. But isn’t it normal to be somehow crazy in this ununderstandable world? Isn’t it crazy to be normal? Or to believe blindly?

Indeed: There is a big need for specialists to treat people with special problems. But what about the people with RECURRING, CHANGING and CHRONICAL ISSUES? If a specialist can’t help them, they probably need a more holistic treatment.  



… recognizes the difference between a symptom and it’s origin. Most doctors and therapists just work at the symptom. Real healing is not about treating symptoms. It’s about the question: What makes you sick? What blocks you and how to overcome it? To do research here is detective work: deduction and induction. It’s a kind of art.  



Question: If something terrible grows into your life, is it enough to cut some branches of it?

It works – for the moment. The specialist gardener has cutted some nasty branches and you are happy: “Amazing, it worked. I feel so much better.” But what happens behind the fence and below the ground?

The roots and trunk of your problem have gotten more time to grow stronger – and they will come back with more and thicker branches. So back to the specialist gardener? Cutting some branches again? Think about more medicine or surgery and hey: What about alcohol or suicide?  



Let’s take an example: shoulder or neck pain. A simple physical problem, isn’t it?

You just need to treat it right where it hurts and probably it’s too much stress: “You have to relax more. And here is a recipe: get some painkillers and physiotherapy. Next.”  



Just for the moment. The real question is: What are the deeper causes and reasons for this symptoms?

Neck and shoulder pain can also be caused by a blockage in your sacroiliac joint or by mobbing in your workplace or an inherited predisposition for depression or a trauma from the past.

It can be caused by an inflammation, a lack of fitness, different long legs or muscular imbalance in your hip flexors. It can be caused by a bad relationship, your passion for BDSM or too much smartphoning. It can be caused by the relationship to your parents, financial problems or your inner self-image and the lack of self-confidence. It can be caused by your jaw, your atlas vertebra or your rotator cuff. What about asymmetric movements and positions during sport, working, sleeping, driving or sleeping during driving?

Are you stressed? Do you stress yourself? Or is it the hand on your shoulder; the hand of the person who abused you in your childhood? The arm around your neck which belongs to the wife who cheated on you?

For sure it’s connected to your energy, attitude and fascia. It’s also linked to your personal history, genetic predisposition and deepest fears.

Is it also linked with tinnitus? With special moments, places, subjects, foods, smells or persons? Or are you just running away? Creating small problems to avoid the big one? Do you procrastinate to face certain steps or decisions? And the list of my questions would be much longer. You see …  



Human problems have distinct causes and reasons but often they hide deep down in the shadow – somewhere in the intertwined world of body, mind, soul and: life.

This deeper problems block energy and cause imbalance. They create many superficial problems, compensations and excuses. Dark and nasty fruits. They weaken the whole system. They make sick and cause symptoms. Real symptoms – with real causes and reasons but they are hidden.

Mostly it doesn’t hurt at the same place. It hurts at the weakest spot of the system. Sure, you can treat that symptom. But will it help? Mostly it comes back or will occur in a different shape at another place. All of this just conserves and strengthens the real problem. It costs money, time and energy. It will make you suffer long term. It will frustrate you, for decades.  



Mostly because you lack the courage to face the deeper problem. You are running away. Driving further with a flat tire, installing a better sound system to silent the strange noises and investing in new shock absorbers to deal with the bumps.

Then you have some issues with the sound system and the shock absorbers. You have to deal with different garages and mechanics. Your focus changes completely to the symptoms and the new grown problems. You read manuals about sound systems. You discuss them online in special forums. You hire specialists for shock absorbers and recognize that there is something wrong in a construction detail. You become a specialist on your own. You invest years of investigating. You suffer from it. You lose lots of money, time and energy – even friends or parts of your family. This ignorants don’t want to believe: that you have serious problems with your sound system and shock absorbers.  



You manage some of the problems. A very special specialist helps you. Now everything makes sense. You feel great. Driving is still horror. But somehow you have to deal with it, that’s life, and finally you have managed your sound problems. Probably even the problems with the shock absorbers had been caused by the sound problem. Sounds strange. Nobody believes you – but you know it better. You feel better.

But just for a couple of days or weeks. Placebo. In fact: You haven’t touched the real problem for years. All you have done: was wasted. Occupational therapy.

So, if you really suffer from chronical, changing or recurring problems, do you really think to work on symptoms will help you? Will it help to manage your real problem: the flat tire?  



A medical doctor? A physiotherapist, personal trainer, financial adviser, flirt coach or psychoanalyst?

Yeah, a psychologist would probably help you the most, from the people on this list. Not necessarily a psychoanalyst, he is focused on digging in your past and traumas too much. More important is to deal with the present and to create a great future – there are some good therapies for this.

But to be honest: Many of the psychological therapists aren’t a good example for a powerful, happy, holistic human being with body, mind, soul and life in balance. They are still specialists – don’t know much about fascia, estrogen, squats, omega-3, quantum physics, Seneca, fasting, investing, meditation, tantra, fighting, traveling or creating freedom. They have a couple of different hammers. A holistic therapist instead brings a case full of different tools and skills. He won’t treat a screw like a nail.  



… the best choice to treat you in the first place would be a pragmatic philosopher and holistic therapist – a generalist, not a specialist.

He helps you to understand the reason and complexity of the problem. He helps you to understand, why you create problems in the hope to don’t face your inner demons. He helps you to understand, treat and manage your life pragmatically. He makes you strong, stable and self-confident with body, mind, soul …  



… in your work, freedom, financial, sexual and social aspects as well. He makes you fit and relaxed – teaches you skills, self-defence, rhetorics and meditation. Also how to train, stretch, read, eat and sleep properly. He talks with you about culture, science and philosophy. Gives advice how to manage your job, time, friends, family, finances and relations better.

You don’t need to be a specialist in all of this. Keep Pareto in mind. But all of this should be in control. All of this is connected; and weak links in the chain weakens the whole system – makes it susceptible.  



You can’t solve your problems only with talking, avoidance and pharmacy. You have to become real, to face your demons and to train your abilities. A big part in life is about competency – and competency is the solution to many of your problems.

The better you are in rhetorics and the more fit you are physically the better you look, the stronger you behave and the more self-confident you get. This improved self-confidence helps you to face your financial or social problems. It will help you to quit drinking and smoking or to divorce from your abusive husband. It will help you to overcome sexual blockage and to enjoy a new dimension of passion. It will even give you the power to change your life completely and to dare a restart: maybe with a new job and in a new place or even country?  



… and life is just a game. So stop being ashamed. Why always play the same level? Why don’t risk more? Enjoy more? Dance more freely? Fight more passionately? You will die anyway.

This is the reason why a holistic therapist also needs to be a holistic coach: he reflects, plans and leads you to a better and more complete life.

Wait! So the holistic therapist is also entering into your whole life? Deep into your privacy, hidden wishes and darkest secrets?  



If you don’t bring light into the depth you can’t work in it. So you have to trust – especially to your self. And if you want to achieve good for the world and your self, there is nothing to hide. Dare to be open. It’s the start of the healing and strengthening process. Yeah, people can abuse it and attack you – but that just makes you stronger. Everything in life is training: fitness training.

And to work with a holistic therapist is neither a brainwash nor does he tell you what to do in detail. He helps you to ask the right questions and how to answer them in a way that fits to your personality and makes you free, happy, strong, stable and self-confident.

He helps you to enlighten the darkness and to recognize that your problems aren’t so cruel or embarrassing at all. They are human. He helps you to work on it, to talk about it, even to laugh about it and to change the flat tire – and to think about where you want to drive at all.

He works with you on the big picture and the more you can see it – a vision, a plan, a purpose – the more easily you will follow and fulfill it, with a smile on your face. That’s what holistic therapy is all about.  



We live in a world of specialists. Highly educated professionals – but from a holistic view: blind for complexity. Technical idiots. Kids with a hammer in their hand.

We need a holistic turnaround. We need to change the system. We need professional generalists in the sector of health, stability and happiness. We need a holistic mindset! Everything else would be similar to a business company without CEO.

So, we need holistic schools, universities and degrees. Not for creating specialists but for teaching them enough about every important matter of human life and about the entanglements between them. It’s about the big picture of human being and …  



We need all of this to create a system of holistic therapists and holistic clinics. The holistic perspective should always be the first step in the treatment of a person with too noisy symptoms: with chronical, changing or recurring problems.

Once you have found the real cause or reason it can be solved much better – and then it may be time for a specialist. But in case of a diffuse problem: not in the first place. Specialists always suffer heavily from confirmation and availability bias.

By the way: To enlighten hidden causes and reasons will also help the specialists and to bring them fitting patients. They won’t work in the dark anymore. They have more time and energy for the patients who really profits from their help and they will have more success per patient.  



… the field of “holistic therapy” is filled with lonely wolves, esoteric idiots and spiritual weaklings. Most of them have lost the connection to reality, facts and society. That’s natural. If you don’t enlighten something properly it will be filled by dirt, maniacs and shadow on its own – like an unwatched backyard of a train station.

Should it really stay like this? Or is it time to respect, understand and treat human beings more holisticly – on the base of their nature, entanglements and complexity – and to bring it on a more professional and realistic level?  



Every one of us needs to find a place in this world. Wouldn’t it be great to link it with a smart and stable mind in a strong and healthy body?

This kind of balance and flow is the best way to create a rich and happy life. And it leads us to a free and open-minded society with trust and respect to nature.

Until that happens for the human culture you have to take individual responsibility. So, take time and ask your self:  



What kind of symptoms challenge you? What’s their message? What’s your imbalances and blockages – your flat tire? What are the reasons? What the causes? Have you searched already in the darkness or are you still cutting branches, afraid of the depth?

Never surrender. The way to fulfillment is not a weekend trip. It’s a lifelong journey but until you don’t start you won’t live – and in case you struggle: imagine a bucket.

“Never surrender. The way to fulfillment is not a weekend trip. It’s a lifelong journey but until you don’t start you won’t live “

Dr. Z


Written by: Dr. Z

“Amor Fati means: Love destiny… and destiny will love you. Dance through life… and life will dance with you. Trust nature… and nature will trust you. Invest in your development… and development will invest in you. That’s life – it gives what you give. So give growth, happiness, love and you will harvest what you sow.”


  1. Tiffy

    I need this. Exactly this. Right this.

  2. Tony

    Danke, dass Du nicht ganz abgetaucht bist. Immer wieder stark etwas von Dir zu lesen und mitzuerleben.

    Dopamin und Serotonin in Buchstabenform.
    Mehr davon!

    Auch danke an Sascha für die Plattform, wird besser und besser.

  3. Negar

    How does one find a trustworthy holistic therapist?

  4. Oliver

    Super article and mindset. Thank you so much for writing in English.

    Looking forward to our journey and coaching! See you…

  5. Tanja S

    Hi Chris)

    Tanja here. Personal Trainer and Yoga Teacher from the gym where you have trained in Stockholm. I’m sure you remember me)

    I want to learn more about this holistic therapy. I would like to integrate it in my sessions. How can I do this?

  6. Laura

    Amazing article. Please also books in English

  7. Jane

    Hey Dr. Z,

    thank you so much for this insight and your philosophy. For sure we have to work on this agenda but everything seems so rigid and immutable, even in the university.

    The whole paradigm has to change.
    Will follow it.
    Jane, medical doctor from Auckland

    • Josh

      Hi Chris,

      It’s Josh, we have met in Lisbon. Thank you for your words. Great read.

      I would like to invite you to our clinic in Sao Paulo, when you are in Brazil next year.

      Will write you on facebook.

    • Thomsen

      Hallo Herr Dr. Zippel,

      der holistische Gedanke ist wesentlich, aber wie soll das bitteschön umgesetzt werden?

      Aktuell fehlen sogar den “Spezialisten” die Möglichkeiten. Die Kassen zahlen oft nur Basisbehandlungen, wenn überhaupt. Da bleiben keine Ressourcen für umfassende Gespräche.

      Zack. Bumm. Next – wie Sie so schön schreiben. Aber anders geht es in diesem System auch nicht. Fließbandarbeit.

      Nur als Anmerkung aus der Praxis. Grüße aus Österreich.


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