If you are interested in holistic health personally and have wanted to translate that passion into a career path, there are several options from which to choose. Three of the most popular careers in the field of holistic health include massage therapy, acupuncture, and yoga.
Massage therapy is the manual manipulation of muscles, tendons, connective tissue, and ligaments designed to improve the recipient’s overall well-being. There are many types of massage modalities but the two fundamental methods include relaxation and rehabilitative massage. Relaxation massage is typically practiced in wellness centers, spas, and resorts. Rehabilitative massage is usually practiced in settings such as chiropractic offices, clinics, and hospitals and is sometimes called medical, clinical, or therapeutic massage.
Massage therapy has been increasingly embraced by mainstream medical practitioners as a complimentary treatment. Recent statistics predict a 23 percent growth in an industry that was worth almost $12 billion in 2014. Those interested in pursuing a career in massage therapy will need to go to an accredited training program and work to obtain state and possibly national certification. They will also need to purchase equipment for their training and personal practice such as massage tables, chairs, accessories and supplies from industry respected suppliers like earthlite.com.
Acupuncture is an ancient healing modality that is used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). It is a technique that requires the practitioner to stimulate specific locations on the body of the patient. Usually this is done by inserting delicate needles into the skin although there are other options. Studies have shown that acupuncture is an effective method of relieving or managing various pain conditions such as back pain, neck pain, knee pain, headaches, and osteoarthritis. There is ample anecdotal evidence that the practice can also help with a wide variety of other health issues and a long tradition of use in TCM.
Most health professionals and acupuncturists view the profession as a complimentary practice rather than a primary form of treatment. It is important that anyone considering this as a career path undergo the appropriate training and fulfill the requirements for state licensure, certification, or registration. It is important to note that the path to accomplish this will vary by state, however, most states require practitioners to obtain a diploma from the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine as part of the process.
Yoga is a practice that blends body and mind together using ancient Indian practices and philosophy. It has a component of meditation but also requires steady movement, breathing techniques, and signature postures. There are many styles of yoga that offer different benefits and approach the tradition in slightly different ways. Some of the most popular forms of Hatha yoga include Ananda, Ashtanga, Bikram, Anusara, Viniyoga, Kripalu, and Kundalini. A person interested in pursuing yoga instruction as a career would typically need to focus on one or two of these modalities.
Yoga is often recommended as a possible solution for those suffering from back pain, stress, insomnia, difficulty focusing, and even a lack of energy. It is usually considered a low-impact type of exercise and is safe for most healthy individuals as long as it is practiced with the guidance of an experienced instructor. However, pregnant women and individuals with some health conditions may need to modify or even avoid some yoga poses.
Recent studies suggest yoga is one of the top complimentary health practices in the United States among adults and the practice among children is also on the rise. This indicates a strong potential for growth in the industry for those who take the time to train and become certified. There are many options for training to become a yoga instructor. Some programs are only a few days for those with previous experience while others require a time investment of more than two years. As with other holistic modalities, standards for certification and training depend on the style chosen and the state in which one wishes to practice.
The holistic health industry has been experiencing dynamic growth over the past decade across a number of professions. As more people learn of these services the demand is expected to increase for qualified practitioners.