The field of energy medicine is varied, and includes different types of therapies with their own requirements and standards. Read this article for more information about how to pursue a career in energy medicine, what paths are available, and what job duties typically include.
Energy medicine is a field of alternative medicine that involves the manipulation of natural energies believed to promote healing and balance in the human body. Though the career does not require formal education, apprenticeships under practicing professionals such as acupuncturists or other masters in the field or a degree in programs like acupuncture or Oriental medicine can be helpful for finding a job. This career is great for people interested healing through means outside of Western medicine.
|Required Education||None, typically|
|Other Requirements||Apprenticeships are available|
|Projected Job Growth for (2014-2024)*||9%-13% (for health diagnosing and treating practitioners, all other)|
|Median Annual Salary (2015)*||$74,710 (for health diagnosing and treating practitioners, all other)|
Source: *O*NET Online; **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Energy Medicine Career Info
The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) divides energy medicine therapies into two categories. Bioelectromagnetic therapies are based on known and proven forms of energy, such as electromagnetism, light therapy and magnet therapy. Biofield therapies, such as Reiki, qi gong and Therapeutic Touch, target the energy fields that practitioners believe surround the human body or even penetrate it. These energy sources are unconfirmed by scientific research.
Energy medicine therapies are non-invasive and designed to restore flow and balance to a patient's energy system. Techniques, as listed by the Energy Medicine Institute, include massaging, pinching and connecting energy, known as acupoints, on a patient's skin. Energy medicine therapies are also included in some aspects of Oriental medicine and Asian bodywork therapies.
The Explore Health Careers website reports that complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is a fast-growing field with excellent job prospects. Demand for CAM practitioners among the American public is increasing. A 2005 study by the Institute of Medicine found that U.S. patients are seeing CAM practitioners more often than primary care physicians.
There are no standardized training and licensing requirements for energy medicine practitioners. However, there are degree programs and certifications for acupuncture and Oriental medicine, which include energy medicine therapies.
The Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (ACAOM) is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and accredits professional master's degree, certificate and diploma programs in acupuncture and Oriental medicine. The ACAOM also lists schools offering accredited educational programs for these professions. Specific academic requirements vary, but in general most acupuncture schools require three years of training, and Oriental medicine programs require 3-4 years. A bachelor's or associate's degree is required for admission into most programs.
Though some energy medicine therapies do not have special licensing or professional standards, others do require specific training. The energy healing therapy Reiki must be taught by a master or an experienced teacher and has three levels of training which may take years to complete. According to NCCAM, licensed health care professionals are increasingly seeking training in Reiki.
Certification and Licensing
The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) offers certification in acupuncture and Oriental medicine. NCCAOM also administers the Asian Bodywork Therapy exam and lists state-by-state requirements for certification and licensure in acupuncture and Oriental medicine.
Energy medicine is a broad field, and different types of energy medicine have their own requirements for adequate training. Certification is available, and some states require licensure in specific areas of energy medicine.