Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Holistic Health Studies


Holistic Health

First Advisor

Carol Geisler

Second Advisor

Stasia Johnson Steinhagen

Third Advisor

Janet Dahlem


Holistic Health Studies


Researchers and scholars indicate that the holistic practice of Sabbath-keeping has several health benefits when done for intrinsic reasons. Most research on Sabbath-keeping is about individuals who have strong community support for observing a regular Sabbath. Little research exists about those who celebrate a Sabbath without such support, or on the transformative effects of Sabbath-keeping. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to describe in what ways celebrating a weekly Sabbath promotes transformation in individuals not part of a strong Sabbath-keeping community. Ten women share their stories through in-depth interviews set in organic inquiry. Six themes emerged: Sabbath-keeping enhances self-awareness, improves self-care, enriches relationships, develops spirituality, and positively impacts the rest of a participant’s week. Participants show that Sabbath practices and philosophies also evolve over time. While not without its challenges, a weekly Sabbath can be an effective, accessible, inexpensive, no-tools-or-training-required holistic practice that can contribute significantly to well-being.