Your Guide to Pursuing an Online Degree in Alternative Medicine

April 2nd, 2013 by

When medical professionals treat injuries and chronic illnesses, not everything takes place at the hospital or the traditional doctor’s office. Patients are taking matters into their own hands and getting second opinions, hiring nutritionists and attacking disease from all sides with things like meditation and acupuncture. If you are interested in these aspects of holistic health, then you might want to pursue a degree that deals with a different side of the medical industry. Thanks to online degrees in alternative medicine, it is easier than ever to begin a new and satisfying career where you spend your time helping others.

Understanding Alternative or Holistic Medicine

There is no simple definition of holistic medical treatment, because it means different things to different people. In a nutshell, alternative forms of medicine are those that compliment traditional Western practices typically found in hospitals and clinics. While they are different, they are not mutually exclusive. Many cancer patients receive chemotherapy at hospitals, but they also practice yoga, enjoy weekly massages and visit nutritionists to learn about how their diet can reduce inflammation in the body. There is no doubt that these methods can work to varying degrees, but they are not typically regulated as strictly as medicine is.

Degrees Available in This Field

There are dozens of different degrees and certificates available in holistic and alternative medicine, and they range from week-long massage therapy courses to master’s degrees. Some of the most popular specializations in this field are chiropractic medicine, osteopathy, naturopathy and Oriental medicine. Some fields, such as chiropractic medicine, require chiropractors to have graduated from a four-year school after earning a bachelor’s degree, which totals eight years of formal education. Most degrees, at every level and subject of study, are available online as well as through traditional college campuses.

Careers and Opportunities for Graduates

Graduating with any kind of degree in alternative or holistic medicine can put you on the track towards a successful career. As health insurance costs rise and more and more people are trying to figure out how to treat the cause of their ailments rather than the symptoms, outlying areas of medicine are sure to increase in popularity and demand. Some of the most popular careers in this field include that of massage therapist, chiropractor, Doctor of Oriental Medicine, naturopath, nutritionists and acupuncturist.

Choosing to Study Online

While most degree programs in this field are available at traditional college campuses as well as online, the number of students choosing to study over the Internet is increasing year after year. By studying online, you will have freedom over your schedule, and you can study, take exams or watch lectures whenever you have time. For busy students with families or careers, this is a huge advantage. In many cases, online degree programs will also be cheaper.If you want to find a career that is personally satisfying, financially lucrative and can help others, a degree program in alternative or holistic health might be perfect for you and your future. offers a directory of accredited colleges and universities offering programs in this field.

About the Author:

Sandy Davis

Sandy Davis is a long-time educator who holds a Master’s Degree in Education, having taught English, writing, and communication on the secondary and college levels. With ten years of experience in blogging, social media and content management, she is a freelance writer and content marketing specialist for a diverse range of clients.

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