No matter what the folks in Washington decide regarding health reform, the prognosis for the field of holistic and alternative medicine is very positive. The holistic health care world could even get a boost as a result of the changing health care landscape, thanks to its reputation as an extremely cost-effective and efficient means of meeting a range of health needs.
Here's what the American Holistic Health Association (AHHA) has to say about this vibrant field: holistic health encourages balance and integration of the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual selves; respectful relationships with others and the environment; wellness-oriented lifestyle choices; and active participation in health decisions and healing processes. Do these tenets sound like the principles that would guide you in your efforts to help others achieve complete wellness in all aspects of life? Consider attending holistic school and get the training and specialization you desire!
Many have turned to holistic health for its emphasis on the wellness of the whole person, spanning mental, emotional, and spiritual health and not just providing a diagnosis or course of treatment for the specific physical illness(es) currently residing in the body. As a result of this broad view, holistic health practitioners are not limited to a single approach for treating patients; they may use homeopathy, massage therapy, acupuncture, aromatherapy, ayurveda, herbology, nutritional counseling, tai chi, yoga, chiropractics, medicinal herbs, or naturopathy, or some combination of these and other modalities.
Holistic Schools Focus on Total Wellness
Some holistic training programs last a few months, others may last a few years. Many programs lead to licensure, others may lead to a master's degree. Even if you choose massage therapy as your specialization, you will likely complete coursework in other modalities as all holistic health care practitioners are encouraged to integrate as many practices or techniques as may be necessary to help the patient achieve optimal health.
After receiving a degree, certificate, or license from the holistic school of your choosing, career seekers may find employment in a health center, private practice, sports-related recovery practice, spa, or health education center/institution. Holistic health practitioners need not feel limited to one type of setting to practice alternative medicine.
Your training at a holistic school will be a worthwhile investment, as the Bureau of Labor Statistics affirms the rapid growth of alternative health careers: a total of 580,000 establishments make up the health care industry, nearly 77 percent of which are offices of physicians, dentists, or other health practitioners (holistic health practitioners fall under this category). Yet another positive proof-source of this industry's permanence: seven of the 20 fastest-growing occupations are health care related. The BLS also indicates that health care will generate three million new wage and salary jobs between 2006 and 2016, more than any other industry, so if training at a holistic school is one of your near-term goals, you can feel confident that you have chosen well.