The Alternative Medicine Sourcebook describes “alternative medicine” as healing practices that do “not fall within the realm of conventional medicine.” Critics claim that the effectiveness of alternative medicine is negligible, but many turn to it as a practical treatment for their ailments, often in conjunction with conventional medicine. Business is good, and practitioners are in demand. Here are a few fields that those interested in alternative medicine careers can pursue.
- Acupuncture: Acupuncture treats patients via the insertion or manipulation of needles in the body. The ancient practice originated in China and is used to relieve pain, promote health, and some claim that it can prevent disease and improve fertility.
- Chiropractics: This field of alternative medicine focuses on diagnosing and treating disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Treatments involve manual therapy of joints or of the spine and certain exercises.
- Iridology: This somewhat controversial alternative medicine involves diagnosing physical ailments by thoroughly examining the eye. Treatments then generally include homeopathy or herbal medication.
- Naturopathy: Naturopathy involves encouraging the body’s natural ability to heal and not relying on surgery or medication. Treatments include, but are not limited to, acupuncture, massage, kinesiology, iridology, enemas, vitamins, and a variety of other therapies.
Those interested in careers in medicine alternatives generally need some sort of specific education or training. This can be gained from classes, study, apprenticing or through specialized institutions like chiropractic schools. A lot of people are either wary of chemicals or in favor of more natural treatments and will need professionals in the field of alternative medicine to help them.