As the field of natural healing therapies continues to grow, so does the demand for alternative health careers. Some of the diverse healthcare occupations that alternative and complementary medicine offer prospective students include healing arts disciplines in massage therapy, homeopathy, herbal medicine, natural health, and acupuncture, among many others.
Today’s alternative health careers like massage therapy require specific training and education; including an expanding minimum standard of 500 instructional hours comprised of basic sciences (anatomy, physiology, kinesiology, and pathology), Swedish massage, deep tissue massage, and sports massage. Other related studies like CPR and first aid, as well as business management and client communications are commonly integrated into this program of study.
Homeopathy is also a unique option to those seeking alternative health careers. Similar to most medical programs, homeopathic courses require rigorous educational studies like anatomy, biochemistry, homeopathic philosophy, physiology, materia medica, and other comprehensive coursework. To successfully acquire alternative health careers in homeopathy, individuals should review educational prerequisites as most homeopathic colleges and schools typically require some formal training and education prior to enrollment.
If you’re drawn to alternative health careers that involve herbal medicine, a number of holistic education programs including Chinese medicine, naturopathy, homeopathy and natural health commonly offer herbology and aromatherapy as part of their curricula. Choose from beginner classes to more advanced training options like earning your degree in herbal sciences.
Natural health professions are also part of the vast array of alternative health careers. Earn your diploma or certificate as a natural health practitioner after you’ve completed an in-depth course in natural healing therapies like massage, aromatherapy, herbal medicine, Reiki, and reflexology. Healing arts schools vary in subject matter, so check with prospective schools prior to applying.
Of these alternative health careers, acupuncture and Oriental medicine practitioners probably have one of the most unique educational foundations. In addition to learning both Eastern and Western medicine philosophies, acupuncture education offers a rare look into Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) principles and theories; including needling techniques, Tai Chi, moxibustion, Chinese herbal medicine, Tuina, Qi gong, and even Chinese medical language, among others. Prospective students should be aware, however, that alternative health careers in acupuncture do require several years of dedication.