5 Careers in Alternative Medicine


If you’re passionate about healthcare, which does not require the use of surgery or drugs, a career in alternative medicine could be the ideal path for you. Alternative medicine as a discipline is becoming more and more popular in the US and looks set to continue to follow that upward trajectory. Alternative medicine takes a natural approach to curing illness and treating pain through physical therapies, person-centered counselling, natural supplements, dietary adjustments, and the use of herbs. Many of these practices have been around for centuries and trusted by people all over the world. Here are 5 careers to consider if you would like to help others through alternative medicine.

1. Acupuncturist

Acupuncture is an ancient medical practice which began in China. It involves the placement of tiny needles at key points on the body to relieve pain and other ailments. In fact, acupuncture has been used to treat problems as severe as heart problems and infertility as well as migraines, digestive issues, and much more besides. For more information on the ways, acupuncture can be used to treat illness and pain, click here. There are accredited degree programs in acupuncture and acupuncture is also included in a degree in Oriental medicine alongside herbal medicine.

2. Chiropractor

A chiropractor is a medical professional who treats musculoskeletal problems including back pain, neck pain, headaches and a range of other ailments. Much of the treatment is delivered through manual manipulation and adjustment of the spine and by educating patients on how to prevent further issues through exercise or improved posture. Chiropractors do not attend a traditional medical school and do not prescribe drugs and so are seen as an alternative or complementary form of medicine.

3. Mental Health Counselor

A mental health counselors job description can vary depending on the source, but essentially a mental health counselor helps people who are struggling with emotional, mental, and dependency issues through person-centered counseling. While a psychiatrist prescribe drugs, a counselor is there to actively listen to patients as they express their innermost thoughts and feelings and to facilitate their recovery through appropriate psychoanalytical treatment strategies. A career in counseling is best suited to people with a natural desire to help others, an innate sense of empathy and excellent communication and interpersonal skills.

4. Massage Therapist

More and more traditional healthcare providers are turning to massage therapists for the benefits the treatment provides for a wide range of illnesses and conditions. Accredited massage therapists can relieve discomfort and pain, treat injuries and reduce stress.

Massage therapy is another form of alternative treatment that is gaining popularity and acceptance by more traditional healthcare providers and insurers. Massage therapy is used to treat general pain, stress, sports injuries, pregnancy related discomfort, and more through the manual manipulation of muscles and soft tissue.

5. Homeopathy

Homeopathy was developed by a German physician over 200 years ago. It operates on the theory that if a large amount of a substance has caused symptoms, taking a small amount of the same substance will provide a cure. The substances in question are usually pellets made from animal, plant, or mineral extracts which have been diluted. Unlike a lot of traditional medicine, homeopathy focused on the treatment of the patient as an individual taking their emotions and spirit into consideration as well as their body. Homeopathy can be used to treat a wide range of symptoms and conditions but is not recommended for serious illnesses such as cancer, heart disease, or emergencies.

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