Like any other health care career, you need credentials to become a holistic health practitioner. The specific discipline you pursue will determine what kind of background you need to practice. There's no single holistic medicine degree, though some practitioners choose to specialize in multiple techniques. Becoming a doctor of Oriental medicine may be the closest to what you're thinking of when you're wondering about pursuing a holistic medicine degree, but holistic health encompasses a variety of approaches to care.
Quite simply, holistic medicine is a system of health care that considers the whole person in its approach to treatment of medical conditions and improving a person's wellbeing. It prioritizes natural healing methods and patient empowerment.
Part of the philosophy behind holistic medicine is to enhance the body's ability to heal itself. As part of that process, it takes into account a patient's spiritual and mental wellbeing, in addition to physical health and symptoms.
Jobs in holistic medicine
There are many holistic health careers and even more ways to pursue the credentials you need to practice. Depending on whether you want a degree Oriental medicine — which is also referred to as Chinese medicine and other names — or massage or chiropractic care will largely determine what kind of holistic medicine degree or certification program you pursue, how long it will take, what it will cost and so on.
To become a holistic health practitioner, you need to decide which technique to pursue based on factors like what you want your daily life to look like, how much you want to make and more. Yoga instructor certifications can take anywhere from months to weeks, massage therapy programs anywhere from about 33o to 1,000 hours and Oriental medicine degrees, in which you learn acupuncture and herbal medicine, can take years.
Some careers in holistic health require licensing and certification in certain states. Any program you're considering should help thoroughly prepare you to pass necessary exams to practice.
Decide how long you want to spend in school, what your financial resources are for pursuing a degree, whether you need to attend on a part-time basis, where you want to practice and how you picture your life five years down the road. Many holistic health training programs offer financial aid, part-time and weekend tracks and multiple start times throughout the year.
If you are considering careers in holistic medicine, read our Comprehensive Guide to Holistic Medicine Careers. Acupuncture and Massage College offers programs in massage therapy and Oriental medicine that start multiple times a year in south Florida. Call (305) 595-9500 for more information.