Body Heal Thyself. That is the basic description of naturopathy, which is the form of holistic medicine practice that uses food, exercise, heat and other natural methods to allow the body to cure itself from certain injuries and illnesses.
Traditional Western medicine treats the symptoms and the diseases in the body, while naturopathy treats the mind, spirit and body together. Meditation, for example, is based on the theory that calming the mind will help relax the body and make it more open to healing. Naturopathy is not a new concept. It has been used for thousands of years in ever culture and in the beginning of the 20th century was once even used as routine medicine in the United States. In the past few years, naturopathy has made a comeback.
How Would I Enter the Field of Naturopathy?
Several states require naturopathic doctors to be licensed. Naturopathic doctors must complete at least four years of coursework in an accredited school of naturopathy. At a school of naturopathy you will learn how to assess a patient as a whole, taking into consideration their family medical history, lifestyle, and mental, physical and spiritual state. You will learn to treat the ailments with nutritional and lifestyle counseling, spiritual counseling, herbal medicine, acupuncture, hydrotherapy, using touch, hot and cold compresses, electric currents, and sound waves to manipulate the muscles, bones, and spine, detoxification and psychological counseling for the patient, as well as sometimes the entire family or close circle of loved ones.
The states that require you to be licensed before practicing naturopathy include: Alaska, Arizona, California, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Maine, Montana, New Hampshire, Oregon, Utah, Vermont, Washington and the U.S. territories of the Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico.
If you desire to enter the field of naturopathy in these states, you will need to make sure to choose a school approved by the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP). It is also wise if you do not live in a state that requires licensure to choose an approved school, as many online schools have appeared in recent years that may or may not lead you to a beneficial career in naturopathy.
The Job Prospects for Those Entering the Field of Naturopathy
As the population in the United States continues to age and deal with more health issues, more people will be turning to alternative medicine to compliment traditional Western medicine treatments. The Bureau of Labor Statistics lists holistic medicine practices, including naturopathy, as one of the growing careers.
If you're looking for a career that will see you at least through the next decade, take a further look into naturopathy and cure your job woes!