Reflexology is an alternative medicine form based on the principle that applying pressure to feet and hands at specific points can have a beneficial effect on other parts of the body. However, it isn't possible to earn an accredited doctorate in reflexology. Doctoral programs in naturopathic medicine are typically 4-year programs leading to a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine (N.D.). Programs focus on holistic medicine and natural healing techniques. Most accredited programs prepare students for state licensing as naturopathic physicians. Prospective students should expect to take part in clinical rounds as apart of their studies.
Prerequisites for program entry include a bachelor's degree in a related field and a minimum grade point average (GPA). Previous coursework in chemistry, biology, mathematics, physics, social sciences and humanities may also be required.
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Doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine
The first 1 to 2 years of naturopathic medicine programs are often spent focusing on basic medical science. The final years of the program focus on clinical methods of naturopathic medicine. Students work with patients in clinical settings. Typical topics might include:
- Botanical medicine
- Clinical nutrition
Salary Information and Employment Outlook
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov), mean annual wages for non-specific groups of physicians and doctors were $197,700 as of May 2015. Job growth was expected to be 15% from 2014-2024.
Licensing and Continuing Education
As of 2010, 15 states had established licensing requirements for naturopathic physicians, according to the Association of Accredited Naturopathic Medical Colleges (www.aanmc.org). To obtain a license, physicians must graduate from an accredited naturopathic program, complete coursework in medical science and traditional naturopathic theory and pass the Naturopathic Physician Licensing Exam (NPLEX).
Physicians can pursue training in the practice of reflexology, which is often available through certificate programs. The American Reflexology Certification Board (www.arcb.net) suggestions for finding a course or program in reflexology.
Whilst doctoral programs are not available in the field of reflexology specifically, students wishing to pursue a career in reflexology have the option of obtaining a doctorate in neuropathic medicine. Typical topics within the program can include pathology, homeopathy and hydrotherapy.