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Embracing Alternatives: A Look at Holistic Health Schools

For students interested in alternative health care beyond the prescription-heavy tendencies that much of the health care world has gravitated toward, holistic health schools are viable place to start. The philosophy behind a holistic health career is that the practitioner focus on using treatment procedures that emphasize taking care of the entire person. This includes physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being.

The breadth of a holistic health careers is growing as more people -- both patients and practitioners -- discover this alternative form of treatment. Holistic health schools educate students on topics including massage therapy, acupressure, yoga, reflexology, and more. Training future practitioners to safely diagnose patients and offer a multitude of natural remedies for improving their overall health is the core of the curriculum at holistic health schools.

Coursework available at holistic health schools varies. Training programs at holistic health schools can range from a few months of classes to three years. True to holistic healthcare's general philosophy, a holistic health education intertwines many techniques and practices. Even if a student is studying to become a licensed massage therapist, their degree program will usually include training in a variety of other areas as well, such as herbology and general nutrition. Beyond a full-blown degree program at holistic health schools, many colleges have small offerings that can serve as powerful additions to an already existent related career, such as a chiropractor.

What draws many students to holistic health schools is the appeal of exploring new and creative ways of improving quality of life. What are the medical benefits of composing a piece of artwork or writing a story? How can dancing and movement serve as a means to not only healing yourself mentally and emotionally, but physically as well? These are questions students at holistic health schools are challenged to examine.

Places of employment for a holistic health degree are flexible and growing, and career applications for students with a holistic health education can be as creative as the treatments and therapies themselves. Along more traditional lines, a holistic health degree can lead to employment in a health center, spa, sports-related recovery practice, or private practice. However, many students wind up applying their holistic health education to more tangential fields like counseling or teaching.

Whether your interest is in a obtaining a certificate to boost your knowledge and proficiency in an existing health care career, or acquiring a full-blown master's degree in alternative medicine techniques, holistic health schools provide an avenue for educating yourself to help people lead better and more fulfilling lives.