Online Alternative Medicine Degree

An Introduction to Alternative Medicine
Alternative medicine refers to health care approaches that have origins or a history of use outside of mainstream pharmaceutical medicine and which are used in place of conventional medicine. According to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), approximately 40% of the population in the United States of America relies upon alternative medicine for their overall well-being, and even for the treatment of specific medical conditions. In recent years there has been a growing trend amongst conventional healthcare facilities to make use of these approaches in order to facilitate patient treatment.

Degree Programs
Various degree programs are available for students interested in the field of alternative medicine. Ranging from diplomas to certificates and from bachelors to doctorate degrees, these programs are designed to address the professional goals of students. In addition to traditional settings, these programs are also offered in online and hybrid formats, facilitating students who have work or family obligations.

Program Objectives
Students pursuing alternative medicine degrees will be able to:

  • Broaden their knowledge of alternative medical principles and practices
  • Make use of alternative medicine in a safe and effective manner
  • Acquire competency in the knowledge of conditions and ailments for which alternative medicine treatment is generally sought
  • Understand the patterns and prevalence of the usage of complementary medicine with reference to various communities
  • Develop proficiency in the use of conventional and complementary approaches so as to enhance patient well-being
  • Increase awareness amongst the general population about the benefits of alternative medicine and to communicate these effectively with patients and their families
  • Address any concerns of patients with respect to alternative and integrative medicine
  • Understand usage prevalence and  patterns of complementary medicine

Specialization Areas
Students pursuing alternative medicine degrees can choose to specialize in one or more of the following areas:

  • Meditation
  • Deep Breathing
  • Naturopathy
  • Herbal Medicine
  • Chiropractic and Osteopathic
  • Yoga
  • Acupuncture
  • Homeopathic Treatment
  • Progressive Relaxation
  • Ayurvedic Medicine

In any of these socialization areas, students will be learning about the basic theory and philosophy related to that area. They will be familiarized with the tools and equipment related to each specialization subject. Common clinical applications of that subject will be explored and students will be trained to analyze potential adverse effects by undertaking research evaluating the efficacy of the treatment methods that are non-invasive, non-pharmaceutical, relatively inexpensive, or non-surgical in nature.

Occupational Outlook
As the healthcare system is constantly evolving and expanding, some of the practices previously assumed to fall under alternative medicine are now being used to complement traditional treatment methods.  So individuals who have alternative medicine degrees can possibly find employment in conventional medical facilities such as hospitals, nursing homes and rehabilitation centers. However, many graduates choose to set up their own private practices that provide unorthodox treatment and diagnosis of diseases, illnesses, and infections, after acquiring the relevant State-required licenses and certification. These professionals can possibly earn a competitive income. For instance, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the median annual wage of chiropractors was $66,160 in May 2012.


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