Last updated on November 27th, 2023.
Alternative medicine, also known as complementary or integrative medicine, has been gaining popularity over the years as a means of promoting wellness and healing without the use of traditional Western medicine. This type of medicine is often used in conjunction with conventional medical treatments or as an alternative for those who prefer a more holistic approach to their health. If you’re interested in pursuing a career in alternative medicine, obtaining certification is an important step to take. In this article, we’ll explore the 7 best alternative medicine certifications out there and what they entail.
What is Alternative Medicine?
Alternative medicine refers to practices and therapies that are not part of conventional Western medicine. This includes practices such as acupuncture, herbal medicine, meditation, and yoga, among others. Alternative medicine often focuses on the whole person and not just the symptoms of a specific ailment. It takes a more holistic approach to health and wellness, taking into account a person’s physical, emotional, and spiritual needs.
What does it take to become certified in Alternative Medicine?
To become certified in alternative medicine, you typically need to have completed some form of training in the specific therapy or practice. This may include attending a program or school that specializes in the practice or therapy, completing an apprenticeship, or obtaining a certification from a reputable organization. The specific requirements may vary depending on the practice or therapy you’re interested in pursuing.
The 7 Best Alternative Medicine Certifications Out There:
1. National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM)
The NCCAOM offers certification in acupuncture and Oriental medicine. This certification requires candidates to complete a minimum of 1,725 hours of training and pass an examination. Once certified, acupuncturists can use the title of Diplomate of Acupuncture or Diplomate of Oriental Medicine.
2. American Herbalists Guild (AHG)
The AHG offers certification for professional herbalists. To become certified, candidates must complete at least 1,600 hours of training and pass an examination. Once certified, herbalists can use the title of Registered Herbalist (RH).
3. International Association of Yoga Therapists (IAYT)
The IAYT offers certification for yoga therapists. To become certified, candidates must complete a minimum of 800 hours of training and 150 hours of clinical practice. They must also pass an examination and adhere to a code of ethics. Once certified, yoga therapists can use the title of Certified Yoga Therapist (CYT).
4. National Ayurvedic Medical Association (NAMA)
The NAMA offers certification for Ayurvedic practitioners. To become certified, candidates must complete a program that includes at least 500 hours of training and pass an examination. Once certified, Ayurvedic practitioners can use the title of Ayurvedic Health Counselor (AHC) or Ayurvedic Practitioner (AP).
5. International Association of Reiki Professionals (IARP)
The IARP offers certification for Reiki practitioners. To become certified, candidates must complete training in Reiki and pass an examination. Once certified, Reiki practitioners can use the title of Reiki Master or Reiki Practitioner.
6. American Association of Drugless Practitioners (AADP)
The AADP offers certification for a wide range of alternative medicine practices, including holistic health coaching, naturopathy, and aromatherapy. To become certified, candidates must complete a program in their chosen area of study and pass an examination. Once certified, practitioners can use various titles, depending on their area of specialization.
7. Council for Homeopathic Certification (CHC)
The Council for Homeopathic Certification (CHC) is a nonprofit organization that offers certification for homeopathic practitioners. Homeopathy is a form of alternative medicine that uses highly diluted natural substances to stimulate the body’s natural healing process. It is based on the principle of “like cures like,” which means that a substance that causes symptoms in a healthy person can be used to treat similar symptoms in an ill person.
The CHC certification is a rigorous process that requires candidates to complete a minimum of 500 hours of training in classical homeopathy and pass an examination. The training may be obtained through a variety of sources, including schools of homeopathy, apprenticeships, and self-study programs. The examination consists of both a written and practical component, and covers topics such as homeopathic philosophy, materia medica, and case-taking.
What can I do with an Alternative Medicine Certification?
Obtaining certification in alternative medicine can open up many doors for individuals interested in pursuing a career in this field. Some potential career paths include:
- Acupuncturist: Acupuncturists use needles to stimulate certain points on the body to promote healing and alleviate pain.
- Herbalist: Herbalists use plants and natural remedies to help heal and prevent illness.
- Yoga Therapist: Yoga therapists work with individuals to use yoga and meditation to promote wellness and treat certain health conditions.
- Ayurvedic Practitioner: Ayurvedic practitioners use Ayurvedic medicine, a holistic healing system that originated in India, to promote health and wellness.
- Reiki Practitioner: Reiki practitioners use energy work to promote healing and relaxation.
- Holistic Health Coach: Holistic health coaches work with individuals to create wellness plans that incorporate nutrition, exercise, and other lifestyle changes.
- Homeopathic Practitioner: Homeopathic practitioners use small doses of natural remedies to promote healing and prevent illness.
Many alternative medicine practitioners work in private practice, while others work in healthcare settings such as hospitals or wellness centers. Some may also work in education or research, or in the natural products industry.
Alternative medicine has become an increasingly popular option for those seeking natural and holistic approaches to health and wellness. Obtaining certification in a specific area of alternative medicine can provide the necessary training and knowledge to pursue a career in this field. With the many options available, individuals can find a certification program that aligns with their specific interests and career goals. The 7 certifications highlighted in this article are just a few of the many options available for those interested in pursuing a career in alternative medicine. Whether you choose to work in private practice, healthcare, or education, a certification in alternative medicine can open up many exciting and rewarding career opportunities.