Natural Health Degrees

The Advantages To Earning A Natural Health Degree

Natural health degree programs have been developed in response to the increasing demand for alternative health treatments, medicines, and preventative practices. The growing demand for means of increasing health and wellness combined with the need for quality, affordable health care has created a growing interest in natural remedies, holistic nutrition, and other natural health practices. Most natural health programs are based in specialized programs focused upon massage, herbology, holistic nutrition, homeopathy, spa management, and/or acupuncture. Students within natural health programs gain the ability and skills necessary to utilize a variety of techniques to help the body recover from injury and illness, increase wellness, optimize health, and reduce the effects of aging. Natural health programs generally offer students the combination of theoretical coursework with hands on experiences working directly with clients to gain skills necessary for a variety of careers within the field.

Many colleges and universities have created innovative online programs to extend education beyond on-campus instruction. As students manage work and family responsibilities in addition to educational obligations, most find online programs one of the most convenient paths to obtaining a degree. Most online courses feature the same educational experiences as their traditional on campus equivalents. Online classes consist of groups of 25 students who have 24 hour access to course materials and instruction. Online classes also give students a more personalized degree through one on one interactions between instructors and other classmates via Internet chats. Online degree programs are a great way to propel educational, personal, and professional goals.

What Students Learn Within A Natural Health Degree Program

A natural health degree program offers students the ability to gain knowledge and specialize training within several natural health and alternative medicine fields. A degree in natural health offers students the ability to use skills and training from degree programs to qualify for a number of natural health careers. Many students begin studies within a two year associate degree program and advance to higher degree programs or employment. Courses at an associate level include: philosophy of natural medicine; anatomy of the mind, body, and soul; history of naturopathy; current issues in naturopathy; Chinese medical theories; Ayurvedic medical theories; herbal medicine; herbal medicine systems of India, China, Europe, and America; original Bach Flower remedies; wholefood nutrition; Western and Ayurvedic nutrition; massage therapy; Raynor techniques of therapeutic massage; reflexology, aramotherapy, naturopathy, miscellaneous therapies and diagnostics; homeopathy; iridology; hydrotherapy; kinesiology; common diseases and natural treatments; essentials of massage and body work; dynamics of personal learning; English composition and learning; and mathematics for body workers. Many graduates who complete associate programs in natural health often advance to licensing procedures as determined by State and employer regulations to gain employment. Other graduates may continue studies in higher degree programs.

Bachelor degree programs within the field of natural health give students a greater understanding of the field and the ability to specialize training necessary for a variety of employment options. Bachelor level courses within the discipline of natural health sciences generally include: human anatomy and physiology; elemental chemistry; clinical biochemistry; clinical nutrition; philosophy of natural and integrated medicine; human anatomy and physiology; cellular nutrition, Oligo, and trace elements; nutritional assessment and counseling; iridology; scierology; tissue mineral and hair analysis; toxicology and detoxification; gastroenterology and colon therapy; clinical dietetics; integrative blood chemistry and urine analysis; research and case studies; botanical medicine; herb identification, selection, harvesting, horticulture, and usage; herbal formulation and preparation; evolution, teaching, and advancement of natural healing; dynamics of the human body; taxonomy; aromatherapy; and homeopathy.

Some students choose to pursue a bachelor degree in Oriental medicine and massage rather than natural health sciences. Courses within the discipline of Oriental medicine include: pathology for massage therapists; business management and ethics; pediatric Tui Na; stress management; Tui Na treatment of internal disharmonies; geriatric, chemotherapy, and post surgical disorders; clinical instruction; corporate wellness programs; preventative therapies; deep tissue techniques; treatment of advanced musculoskeletal disorders and disharmonies; survey of Chinese medicine; anatomy and physiology; Tui Na hand techniques; foot reflexology; current trends in the holistic care industry; male/female reproductive disorders; CPR/First Aid, kinesiology; channel and meridian theory; application of channel and meridian theory; sports Tui Na and traumatology; and clinical instruction and internship. Graduates with bachelor degree who complete licensure may advance to employment or continue studies within master’s degree programs.

Master’s degree programs offer students the ability gain an expanded knowledge necessary to advance professional goals. Most students choose the disciplines of acupuncture and Oriental medicine when pursuing a graduate degree. Courses at a master’s level include: diagnosis and treatment of disease; acupuncture channels; fundamentals of Oriental medicine; herbology; pathophysiology; biological aspects of physics; foundations of Chinese medicine; anatomy and physicology; biology; medical terminology; advanced needle techniques; diagnosis and treatment of disease; orthopedic and neuropathological evaluations; acupuncture points; auricular acupuncture; treatment of orthopedic disorders; clinical counseling; clinical science; physical exam; channels and points; chemistry for the health sciences; biochemistry; Oriental medicine diagnostic methods and pattern identification; pathomechanisms and treatment principles; Oriental medicine palpatory assessment; traditional Chinese medicine internal medicine; acupuncture techniques; medical microbiology and immuniology; patient assessment; medical ethics; Eastern and Western nutrition; research data and methodology; Japanese acupuncture diagnostic methods; and a clinical internship. Graduates who complete master’s degree programs may continue studies at a doctoral level or complete licensing necessary for employment.

Students who choose to complete studies within a doctoral degree program gain the knowledge and training necessary to be considered experts in the field of natural health. Most doctoral candidates choose programs within natural medicine, family medicine, Chinese medicine; clinical studies, or clinical research programs. Courses at a doctoral level within the discipline of natural family medicine include: human anatomy and physiology, clinical biochemistry; clinical nutrition; basic nutrition; homeopathy; botanical medicine; tissue mineral and heavy metal hair analysis; blood chemistry and urine analysis; nutritional assessment and counseling; cell nutritional assessment and counseling; clinical pharmacology; ethical, legal, and professional standards issues; professional development planning seminars; family medicine; integrative medicine practicum; clinical research methods; Chinese medical languages; case review and mentorship; supervision skills; nutrition, energetics, and diet; family medicine clinics: family medicine, women’s health, and mental health; neurology; preventative medicine; irodology; homeopathy; clinical pharmacology and toxicology; physiotherapeutic modalities; and body/mind integrative studies. Graduates who complete doctoral degrees are considered experts in the field and may advance to employment as researchers, practitioners, and instructors in a variety natural health organizations.

Prospective Jobs For Natural Health Degree Graduates

Natural health degree graduates gain a solid educational background necessary to advance to licensing programs and qualify for a number of employment options. Formal education programs in natural health provide students with the specialized knowledge and technical abilities to gain employment in various private and public naturopathic organizations. Graduates who complete associate degree programs may advance to employment as natural health assistants, natural health technicians, or with additional training, massage therapists. Graduates with bachelor degrees often work as natural health specialists, natural health assistants, herbalists, acupuncturists’ assistants, and natural health wellness representatives. Graduates who complete master’s degree programs may work as acupuncturists, Oriental medicine practitioners, acupuncture researchers, Chinese herbalists, natural health and wellness educators, or instructors within natural medicine schools. Graduates who complete doctoral degrees may work as natural health researchers, natural health pharmacists, natural health wellness educators, natural health administrators, independent holistic health consultants, or natural health instructors within colleges and universities.

Salary Range For Natural Health Degree Graduates

Graduates who complete natural health degrees have varied incomes based upon educational, organizational, geographic and economic factors. The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics reports that most natural health professionals have average annual earnings of $28,173 with the potential to earn more as the industry grows. Natural health graduates generally have salaries primarily based in the size and type of practice. Graduates who work within established practices generally have higher earnings than graduates within practices with less clients. Additionally, natural health professionals who work for private organizations with generally have higher earnings than those working for public organizations. Associate degree graduates employed as natural health and acupuncture assistants generally earn $31,948 annually per reports from eHow. Graduates with bachelor’s degrees who work as assistants to naturopathic doctors generally earn $36,608 annually per reports from eHow. Master’s degree graduates with some experience who work as naturopathic doctors generally earn $47,500 to $82,424 annually per reports from eHow. Graduates with doctoral degrees who work as family health naturopathic practioners generally earn $50,980 to $97,959 annually eHow. As with most professions, graduates who complete advanced degrees, specialize training, and gain work experience generally have higher earnings in comparison to graduates with less education and experience. Additionally, natural health professionals who work for private organizations with generally have higher earnings than those working for public organizations.

Career Outlook and Advancement Opportunties For Natural Health Degree Graduates

As the health care industry expands and patients seek alternative treatments for a variety of illnesses or injuries and focus upon holistic and preventative health and wellness, the demand for professionals with natural health backgrounds will be great. The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics reports that job growth in all health care occupations will increase by 22 percent through 2018 at a much faster than average rate in comparison to other occupations. The demand for qualified natural health workers is anticipated to increase significantly to meet the demands of an aging population and as patients seek alternative treatments for a variety of health or wellness issues. Many graduates begin employment within entry level positions as assistants and advance to jobs with greater responsibilities and higher salaries upon gaining experience or continuing education. Most graduates with master’s or doctoral degrees begin employment as naturopathic practitioners within established facilities and advance to teaching jobs or begin independent consulting businesses upon gaining adequate experience.

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