Holistic health: It's a growing field and you want to get into it. How do you decide what specific careers in holistic health to consider when so many exist? Part of your decision might depend on your personal passion. But you also should take into consideration things like the time and money you have to spend on training or educational programs needed to practice. Find out what steps to take to explore careers in holistic health.
Careers to consider
A growing number of Americans are realizing that achieving optimal health requires taking care of not only your body, but your mind and spirit as well. That means taking a holistic approach to health care. According to recent statistics, Americans each spend about $500 annually on complimentary and alternative health treatments and that number is predicted to grow. As a consequence, holistic health careers are on the rise.
People often just don't go to the family doctor for medical treatment these days — many also take yoga classes, get massages, use herbal supplements, go to a chiropractor for adjustments, receive acupuncture and more. These practices and treatments help treat acute illness, along with maximizing wellbeing over time.
How you fit into this niche could be as unique as the treatments any given person uses in their health care. Some holistic health providers even specialize in multiple fields. Here are some of top holistic health careers that you can explore:
- Massage therapist
- Yoga instructor
- Doctor of Chines medicine
- Kinesiologist of movement therapist
- Reiki practitioner
- Qi gong instructor
- Hypnosis practitioner
- Holistic nutritionist
What to ask
During the process of exploring holistic medicine careers, you'll want to take some questions into consideration.
- How much training is required?
- What are the prerequisites for entering a program of study?
- What do certification, education or degree programs cost?
- Do you need a license to practice?
- What kind of environment do I want to work in?
- How much money do I hope to make?
- What do I want my day-to-day life to look like?
Length of study could vary from a few hundred hours — for a discipline like yoga or qi gong — to years spent completing a school program — for a degree in a niche like acupuncture or chiropractic care.
Many holistic health fields offer the option to work alongside other natural healers, but also open your own independent practice. For example, 67 percent of massage therapists run their own solo practices. In general, holistic health fields offer a lot of flexibility — in scheduling and work environment.
First step: Take a class or schedule a treatment
You may already have one particular field you want to get into because you have experience or success with using that kind of treatment in your own life. But if you have a more general interest in careers in holistic health or have multiple types of practices or treatments you enjoy, take classes or schedule treatments. If you have a chance, talk to the instructor or practitioner about their job — ask about their perspective on the pros and cons, as well what their daily and weekly schedules look like. Most holistic health professionals are passionate about their work and will enjoy an opportunity to talk about it.
Look at holistic health programs
Once you narrow down the field of holistic health disciplines you are considering, reach out to relevant educational and training programs. Find out what credentials you need to enter a program, when programs start and how to enroll. Other good questions to ask include:
- What do employment numbers look like for graduates of your program?
- What kind of resources do you have for graduates?
- Do you help your graduates prepare for any board or licensing requirements?
- Do you offer part-time, night or weekend programs?
The Acupuncture & Massage College offers programs starting multiple times a year in Oriental medicine and massage therapy in southern Florida. For more information, contact the admissions department at (305) 595-9500.