Alternative Medicine Degree programs are being viewed with more and more credibility as patients become tired of traditional approaches to their health. Often referred to as natural healing or holistic medicine, the field encompasses massage therapy, chiropractics, acupuncture, reflexology, and herbal remedies. Generally, alternative programs target a patient's overall internal... balance rather than specific symptoms of a given illness.
Although many traditional physicians incorporate holistic elements into their practices, an individual does not usually need an M.D. to practice alternative medicine. Licensure differs widely for the different areas of alternative medicine. For instance, most states require massage therapists to earn a 500-hour certificate in order to practice; obtaining a Naturopathic Doctorate (ND), on the other hand, is usually a rigorous 4-year process that prepares students to work as primary care physicians.
Given the many different paths available, one thing remains certain: Americans are sure to keep seeking alternative approaches to their healthcare regimens. With sweeping changes in the national healthcare system affecting the quality and cost of traditional medicine, more individuals than ever are attracted to the benefits of holistic practice. Dedicated, knowledgeable professionals will be needed to greet a new generation of patients interested in achieving optimal balance between their minds, bodies, and spirits.
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