Students in a holistic medicine program can expect basic science courses like anatomy and physiology as well as alternative medicine classes such as reflexology. Educational prerequisites for holistic health certificate programs vary greatly from school to school. Some schools require that students have a background in health sciences or be enrolled in a health sciences degree program. Other holistic health certificate programs are more open to any individuals who are interested in the field and are at least 17 years of age. Some programs call for internships. Program lengths vary, with some calling for as few as 16 credit hours of study, while others require 30 credit hours. Completion of an internship may also be required.
Holistic Medicine Certification
Many states and cities require licensing or regulation for practitioners of certain types of holistic health services, such as massage therapy. Practitioners can earn voluntary certification in their field through professional organizations. The courses included within a holistic health certificate program are designed to provide students with an introduction into a wide range of holistic practices. Some of these include:
- Western holistic health
- Eastern holistic health
- Biofeedback process
- Chinese perspectives of holistic health
- Alternative health practices
- Environmental health
Popular Career Options
Many certificate programs in holistic medicine are designed to provide an overview of the field and don't necessarily provide students with the training necessary to enter into a specific career. However, a holistic health certificate can provide a continuing education credential and offer introductory training in several professions. Some of these include:
- Massage therapist
- Holistic nurse
- Holistic health practitioner
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), massage therapists could expect job growth of 22% from 2014-2024--faster growth than the average for all occupations--and earned a median annual salary of $38,040 as of 2015. Registered nurses could expect job growth of 16%, and health diagnosing and treating practitioner employment was projected to increase 17% from 2014-2024. As of May 2015, the BLS reported, registered nurses earned a median annual salary of $67,490.
There are several kinds of certifications available within the holistic healthcare field. The American Holistic Health Association (AHHA) offers a list of healthcare modality associations with their own particular certifications. Some of these include the National Certification Commission for Acupuncturists and Oriental Medicine, the Biofeedback Certification Institute of America and the Holistic Dental Association.
Students enrolled in holistic health certificate programs study topics ranging from holistic stress management to herbology and meditation, which may prepare them to enter fast-growing fields such as massage therapy or nursing.