Various techniques in energy wellness or healing are taught through two-year associate's degree programs and some certificate programs. Associate's programs might focus on holistic health or body manipulation techniques with students gaining hands-on practice through clinics and internships. Some coursework is available online for associate's programs.
Certificate programs can be part of a degree program or offered separately, and are often designed for healthcare professionals. These programs focus on a particular area such as Reiki or reflexology and also emphasize hands-on clinical experience. Similarly, healing touch certificate programs are also available for healthcare providers wishing to enhance their medical training in this form of therapy. Other specializations are also available, like in the area of Qigong.
To qualify for these programs, applicants must have a high school diploma. Programs will generally take 2 years to complete at the associate's level. Certificate programs take approximately 100-200 hours of training.
Associate Degrees in Energy Wellness
Students may earn such degrees as an Associate of Science (A.S.) in Integrative Health and Healing, an A.S. in Holistic Health Care with a focus on Reiki or an A.S. in Asian Bodywork with a concentration in Qigong. General education courses, such as anatomy, business, nutrition, math and communication, may be part of associate's degree requirements. Students may take classes in diverse subjects, such as:
- Holistic healing
- Body manipulation
- Asian philosophy
- Mind and body wellness
Energy Therapy Certificates
Certificates in energy therapy can be obtained independently or to supplement a degree program. Healthcare professionals who wish to enhance their knowledge of alternative healing methods may earn certificates as part of their continuing education. Introductory certificate programs may not have educational prerequisites; however, a requisite number of hours in clinical practice is often necessary for program completion. Certificate program lengths vary by specialty and level, with some programs requiring 100-200 hours of training. Certificates are offered in various disciplines, and hands-on experience is usually mandatory. In modalities such as Reiki, students learn specifically from a Reiki master. Courses are given in:
- Traditional Reiki
- Medical Qigong
- Tui Na
Healing Touch Certificates
Healing touch is an alternative technique that uses light touch and sweeping hand and arm motions on and above a patient's body to clear energy fields and promote physical, emotional and spiritual wellness. The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, a division of the National Institutes of Health, states that registered nurses, massage therapists and other healthcare workers may integrate alternative healing practices with conventional Western medicine to provide patients with comprehensive treatment options (www.nccam.nih.gov). Healing touch coursework is divided into six levels, the sixth aimed at those who wish to become healing touch instructors. Courses may include topics such as:
- Healing touch technique
- Complementary health
- Magnetic fields
- Herbal supplements
- Community nursing
Registered nurses who use healing touch are considered holistic nurses. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), jobs for registered nurses, in general, were expected to increase by 12% between 2018 and 2028, which is much faster than the average for all occupations (www.bls.gov). The BLS reported that the mean annual wage for registered nurses was $75,510 as of May 2018.
Graduates of associate degree programs may practice energy healing in various venues. Individuals may find jobs as:
- Massage therapists
- Chiropractic assistants
- Acupuncture assistants
Students holding certificates in energy wellness may practice in various settings, such as nursing homes, holistic health centers and private practices. They may decide to pursue careers as:
- Teachers or masters
- Energy therapists
- Holistic nurses
Students may earn certificates in various techniques to add to the repertoire of therapies they can offer to clients. A degree program may satisfy the educational requirements for voluntary certification from the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine or the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork. State licensure may be required for some types of practitioners.
Energy wellness is a field of study that students might pursue if they wish to combine traditional medicine with more holistic practices. Programs in energy wellness prepare students for careers as massage therapists, acupuncturists, and holistic medical professionals.