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About 50% of adult Americans use some form of alternative medicine.

If you are fascinated by the inner workings of the body and are curious about treatment options offered outside hospitals, a career in alternative medicine might be the profession for you.

If this piques your interest, here are top career suggestions in alternative medicine for you to consider.

Acupuncture

This involves inserting very thin needles at specific points of a client’s body.

With roots in traditional Chinese practices, acupuncture is said to reduce stress, improve general wellness and treat pain.

More specifically, the practice is explained as a means to balance energy flow or chi.

This energy or life force is believed to flow through pathways. It is then thought that inserting needles into these specific points helps rebalance energy flow. 

In western medicine, acupuncture is said to boost the body's natural pain killers by stimulating connective tissues, nerves, and muscles.

Path: To be legally employed as an acupuncturist, you need to complete an accredited program and pass a state licensing exam.

Naturopathy

Naturopathic medicine is a broad field premised on the healing power of nature.

Professionals in this line of work are trained in both conventional and alternative medicine. This is done to better understand mental, physical, and spiritual manifestations in order to assist patients with different conditions.

To do this, a naturopath uses many therapies, including massage, herbs, acupuncture, exercise, and nutritional counseling.

Naturopathic physicians show significant success in treating conditions that traditional medicine struggles to manage.

Some of these include pain, sleep disturbance, fatigue, and digestive disorders.

Path: You will need formal training and must pass the NPLEX exams. You will also need to fulfill licensure requirements before you can begin practicing. Read more on how to become a naturopath.

Naturopaths also need high levels of patience and discernment to work closely with patients to identify the cause of their problems, not just the symptoms.

Aromatherapy

Aromatherapists use essential oils extracted from blossoms of plants, leaves, roots, and seeds to promote healing.

These oils can be mixed with carrier oils and used for massage, or inhaled using a diffuser. They are then used to induce calm and relaxation and to treat infections and inflammation.

Researchers have carried out clinical settings focusing on aromatherapy for stress, pain, nausea, and insomnia. These have concluded that, indeed, it does help with anxiety and insomnia.

Path: Enroll for a 200-hour course in a school approved by the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA).

Thereafter, the Aromatherapy Registration council handles certification and registration.

Ayurveda Medicine

With roots in India, Ayurveda medicine uses a number of techniques, massage, herbs, and specialized diets to balance the mind, body, and spirit.

This, in a bid to improve general wellness.

In recent times, research has shown that some of these practices are quite effective in improving people’s health.

Examples of these include the use of Neti pot for sinuses, and oil pulling with coconut oil to remove oral bacteria.

Yoga is also a significant part of Ayurveda medicine. Time and again, yoga has been proven to increase endurance and strength, as well as relieve stress, high blood pressure, and insomnia.

Reflexology

Reflexology entails the application of pressure to specific parts of the hands, ears, and feet. The theory behind it is that these points correspond to different parts of the body.

Pressing these points is believed to affect the organs they correspond to positively.

Clinical studies have found that reflexology can indeed help with hospital anxiety, depression, as well as nausea and fatigue from cancer treatment.

Path: You will need to take a foundational course in reflexology, which will include massage and acupuncture. Be sure to check the stipulated hours in your state as they vary from one state to the next.

The Bottom-Line

Alternative medicine is indeed as broad and as detail-oriented as contemporary medicine.

These are just a few suggestions of some careers you can consider, among others, in alternative medicine.

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