Are you looking for a new career that combines your love of helping others with stability and great earning potential? Now is the time to jump into the exciting field of holistic health careers because the demand for natural alternatives to conventional medicine continues to grow.
A recent study found that 60 million Americans spent money on complementary treatments and spending topped $30 billion a year, or an average of $500 per person. Treatments used by people in the study ranged from acupuncture to massage to homeopathy. If you have a calling to help people and want to change your professional path, consider these top 5 holistic health careers.
What better way to help people than through the power of a healing touch? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of employed massage therapists was expected to rise at a higher rate than that of other fields — a whopping 22 percent from 2014 to 2024.
Besides growing opportunities for employment, pursuing a career in massage therapy has many other attractive qualities: Earning a degree can take less than a year, flexible work environment options and scheduling upon graduation, an active and healthy career.
Like massage therapy, a degree in acupuncture will allow you flexibility in your work life upon graduation from school. Most acupuncture and Oriental medicine degrees take three to four years to complete. You'll be qualified to diagnose and treat a variety of ailments using a philosophy of health care that's thousands of years old. In addition to stimulating specific points on the body using needles, you may also learn how to employ heat, suction, pressure or electromagnetic energy to treat imbalances in the qi life force energy.
Reiki pracitioner or energy healer
Energy healing comprises several disciplines that may be pursued on their own or as part of another holistic health degree program, such as massage. Obtaining the proper education int energy healing may take as long as a few weekends or months, depending on whether a program is part of another degree. Training and practice may focus on one of several types of therapy, such as:
- Healing touch
- Qi gong
- Polarity therapy
These modalities aim to channel healing energy into a patient and facilitate energy balance. Like acupuncture and massage, energy healers help people with a wide variety of health issues, and practitioners may work alongside other providers of complementary medicine.
Kinesiologist or movement therapist
Kinesiology is the study of how muscles and movement affect your overall health. Kinesiologists who work in the area of complementary medicine use muscle testing to to determine energy imbalances that may be affecting a patient's health. Based on the findings, the practitioner then determines the herbal treatments, diet modifications and other therapies needed to address the health issues. Kinesiology can also help with preventive care and improving general wellbeing.
Certification in the field requires about 300 hours of training, and many practitioners of other health care disciplines seek training to augment their own practices in fields like massage therapy or chiropractic care. Another benefit to pursuing kinesiology is that practitioners work in a variety of capacities in the conventional and complementary health care fields, opening up a multitude of employment options.
Another way to leave behind the world of 9 to 5 desk jobs is to become a yoga instructor. If you love practicing this mental and physical discipline that focuses on breathing and specific body postures, you might decide to spread your love to other people by getting a certification to teach, which can take anywhere from a few months to years. It seems yoga is everywhere these days, with classes popping up that allow you to do yoga with animals.
Additional benefits of teaching yoga: It's a global career that allows you to set your own schedule and create a work-life balance that works for you. You might find yourself working in a variety of settings, from your own private studio to a spa or gym to a business that offers yoga to its employees.
For more information on careers in alternative medicine, download our free ebook. Contact our admissions department for more information on degrees in Massage Therapy and Oriental Medicine at the Acupuncture and Massage College at (305) 595-9500.