Holistic has come to be synonymous with “good”, “healthy”, “gentle” and “non-toxic”. It has become a moral word, since the pursuit of health and a natural life has become a religious quest for quite a few people living in the wealthier countries such as the United States.
The dictionary does not define “holistic” in moral terms. It is an approach or a goal. That’s all.
Some viruses affect our body’s “complete system” and even sicken people who touch our body. Does that make them better than viruses that affect only one part of our body? Whether holistic is good or bad depends on context. That is why the word holistic is, in fact, a neutral term and is neither good nor bad.
What is holistic cat grooming?
What I think owners want when they ask for holistic grooming is thoughtful grooming. They want me to notice their cat’s behavior, skin condition and fur condition. They want me to choose shampoos with care, so that I don’t use a shampoo that will strip most of the oil from their cat’s fur if a gentler one would do. They want me to handle their cat with an awareness of health issues like arthritis.
Another term to describe this sort of grooming is “skilled grooming.” This is the sort of grooming that educated, caring groomers have been providing ever since grooming became a profession.
There have always been bad groomers, the ones who care only for speed or for money, use products that are too hard on the fur or the skin, carelessly handle pets so that grooming becomes very uncomfortable, and so on. Their problem isn’t that they are not holistic. It’s that they are insensitive.
Being a “holistic” groomer is a fad. Being a skilled groomer is not a fad, because doing a good job is never going to go out of style.