Alternative medicine refers to all healthcare practices that have the healing effects of standard medical treatments, but lack scientific backing. Pursuing a bachelor’s degree in alternative medicine affords you the opportunity to understand the principles of practices such as mind-body intervention, energy therapy and spiritual healing. You will also learn about human anatomy and physiology, healthy psychology, herbology and botany, nutrition and aging, body awareness and physical movement, detoxification and healing among others.
See Also: How to Become a Color Therapist
Before identifying the careers that you can pursue with this degree, here are some of the universities offering it:
- Everglades University, Florida
- Johnson State College, Vermont
- Metropolitan State University of Denver, Colorado
So, what jobs can you find with an alternative medicine degree?
Herbalists use their superb knowledge of plant medicines to create concoctions that can be used to treat illnesses and relieve pain. They interview clients to gather information about their conditions, conduct a range of non-invasive tests to diagnose illnesses, and prescribe appropriate herbal medicines. Other duties include growing and producing herbs, and advising patients on lifestyle and diet. Beginning herbalists can find employment in herbal clinics. According to Indeed, these professionals earn an average annual salary of $71,000.
2. Holistic Nurse
Holistic nurses provide healthcare services that address patients’ emotional, mental and spiritual wellbeing. Unlike in other traditional nursing specialties, holistic nurses apply the principles of alternative or no-western medicine. They also provide support to naturopathic or alternative medicine doctors. Employers include emotional wellness centers, spiritual counseling centers and herbal clinics. Apart from earning a bachelor’s degree in this field, prospective holistic nurses usually need to pursue certification from the American Holistic Nurses Credentialing Corporation to find employment. Indeed reports that holistic nurses have an annual average salary of $58,000.
Acupuncture is a popular alternative treatment practice today. Acupuncturists insert needles in specific parts of a patient’s body to treat conditions such as backache, asthma, anxiety and infertility. These professionals also advise clients on lifestyle and maintain accurate records of their medical histories. Although many acupuncturists are in self-employment, beginners can find full-time positions in holistic therapy centers. According to Payscale, the median annual wage for acupuncturists is $48,797.
4. Wellness Coach
Another job you can get with a bachelor’s degree in alternative medicine is that of a wellness coach. These coaches typically work in fitness clubs and wellness centers, and their job is to develop wellness program that suit the needs of clients, as well as deliver training on eliminating risky behaviors and adopting healthy lifestyles. Other duties may include organizing wellness seminars, monitoring the progress of clients and creating and distributing wellness education materials. If you are interested in this job, Indeed notes you should expect to take home about $47,000 a year.
5. Massage Therapist
Massage therapy is used to reduce stress, relieve pain and rehabilitate injured body parts. Massage therapists use their hands to methodically touch and manipulate the body’s soft muscles in a way that stimulates relaxation. They also maintain an inventory of massage supplies and advise clients on how to improve sitting posture and strengthen muscles. These therapists can find employment in hospices, pain management clinics, hospitals, wellness centers and spas. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, massage therapists have a mean annual wage of $41,790.
See Also: How to Become a Colon Hydrotherapist
The use of alternative medicine to complement scientific medicine is becoming increasingly popular. According to an article published by Natural Healers, 33.2% of adults in the US used complementary or alternative health approaches. So, a bachelor’s degree in alternative medicine will not only open doors to great career opportunities, but also offer you the chance to make a difference in the lives of thousands of people.
Have you ever used any alternative medicine therapies? If so, what are your experiences? Let us know in the comments section below.