What Types Of Holistic Health Jobs Exist?
"I am feeling called to help people be healthy, but I don't want to be a regular doctor. I love learning about the body, and the connection between the mind and body. What jobs exist where I can help people heal their whole bodies?"
asked by Sammy from Ashland, OR
There are many ways to build a successful career in the holistic health field. It is helpful to know how much time you are willing to dedicate to schooling, as well as your available budget for tuition. Think about whether you prefer to be moving your body and working hands-on, or if you prefer to talk, analyze, and prescribe. Are you curious about the energy lines of the body, or more interested in herbs? And would you prefer to work in an office with a steady schedule, or have more flexibility and work in a variety of settings?
If you are more physical and curious about how movement contributes to health, then consider teaching Yoga, Somatic Movement, or another physical mind-body-spirit discipline. These healing arts focus on the connection between our physical movements, our thoughts, our emotions, and our overall wellbeing. These fields tend to require the least amount of initial study, though continued education is necessary to be an effective and respected teacher. These people usually work in studios and other spacious movement facilities.
If you are a hands-on person with a nurturing touch and presence, there are many opportunities in the field of massage. Massage therapy ranges from relatively simple Swedish and Shiatsu styles to in-depth forms such as Hawaiian Lomi-Lomi and Neuromuscular Therapy. The initial schooling is less than a year, though most massage therapists continue training frequently throughout their careers to deepen their understanding of the various techniques available. You would be working in a private office, spa, resort, or clinic.
If your interest lies in the subtle energetic forces that control our bodies and health, then explore Medical Qigong, Acupuncture, or Reiki. These careers focus on exploring the energy lines of the body to find and maintain internal balance, as well as heal particular ailments. They are also about cultivating “qi,” vital life energy that enables overall health and vitality. Meidcal Qigong practitioners require the most schooling and usually earn the highest salaries greatest professional respect, while Reiki energywork is still a controversial career and only requires a few months of initial training. These fields are definitely still out-of-the-box, and are wise to enter if you feel a deep intuitive calling to work with people in this way. You would usually be working in a private office or clinic.
If you love plants and feel a deep sense of communion with nature, then herbalism or homeopathy may interest you. These fields look at the connection between the health of our external and internal eco-systems, and treat conditions in an office setting with plant-based remedies.
If you are passionate about food and want to educate people about healthy diets, consider a career as a nutritionist or dietician. These professionals help people make healthy eating choices, diagnose allergies and food sensitivities, and guide people towards a vital lifestyle through nutrition. In these careers you will spend a lot of time in the kitchen, and meet with clients in your office or their home.
If you would like to be a part of a medical healing profession, Naturopathic doctors have the full training of MDs with the addition of alternative medicine approaches such as herbalism and other natural therapies. It requires dedication and a lot of time to pursue a career in naturopathy, though it is possible to establish a successful private practice that helps many people and provides you a generous income.
And there are many cutting edge positions being created or defined all the time. There are people working with the power of sound and other vibration therapies, color therapy, life coaches, and many other supportive care-giving positions. The ways that you can be of service in the holistic health field are only limited by your imagination.
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