Alternative Medicine: Courses and Specialisations to Explore
Today, a wide range of alternative medicines are used instead of traditional healthcare. These include dietary supplements, vitamins, natural products, various teas, herbal recipes, Hypnotherapy, Homoeopathy, Ayurveda, Naturopathy, massage therapy, magnet therapy and spiritual healing. These therapies have undergone testing by medical researchers and some of them have even proved effective. Various universities and colleges across the world offer science-based Alternative Medicine courses for students who wish to broaden their knowledge in non-traditional medicinal and therapeutic methods.
There are various courses that take a holistic approach to Medicine and aim to treat diseases and ailments along with promoting healing by integrating mind, body and spirit. Alternative medicinal practices are diverse in their foundation as well as methodologies. These medicines and therapies either have a cultural origin or based upon traditional medicinal practices of folk knowledge, spiritual beliefs or supernatural energies. Below is a list of major courses you can choose from.
1. Diploma Alternative Medicine Courses
- Diploma in Yoga
- Diploma in Physiotherapy
- PG Diploma in Health Science in Acupuncture
- Diploma in Acupressure
- Diploma in Aromatherapy
- Diploma in Naturopathy and Yoga
- Diploma in Ayurvedic Nursing and Panchkarma Therapy
2. Undergraduate Alternative Medicine Courses
- Bachelor’s in Health Medicinal Science
- Bachelor of Natural Medicine
- Bachelor of Naturopathic and Herbal Medicine
- Bachelor of Health Science in Acupuncture
- Bachelor of Health Medicine
- Bachelor’s in Acupuncture
- Bachelor of Occupational Therapy
- Bachelor in Midwifery
- Bachelor of Physiotherapy
- Bachelor of Electro Homeopathy
- Bachelor of Yoga Therapy
- Bachelor of Herbopathy
- Bachelor of Traditional Medicine
- Bachelor of Hydro Therapy
- Bachelors in Physiology
- Bachelor’s in Kinetic Science
- Bachelor’s in Chiropractic Science
- BSc in Paramedicine
3. Postgraduate Alternative Medicine Courses
- Master of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine
- Master of Health Practice in Acupuncture
- Master’s in Acupuncture
- MSc in Emergency Medicine
- MSc in Rural and Remote Medicine
- MA in Art Therapy
- MA in Dramatherapy
- MSc in Comparative and Experimental Medicine
- MSc in Oriental Medicine
- MSc in Midwifery
- MSc in Epidemiology
- MSc in Complementary and Alternative Medicine
- MSc in Occupational Therapy
- MD Homeopathy
- MD Ayurveda
- Master of Naturopathy and Yoga Science
Career Prospects for Alternative Medicine
Graduates in Alternative Medical care help to promote alternative medicines in the mainstream health care system. These practices have gained huge popularity in the current times, whether it is because of the reduced side-effects or increasing accessibility to better treatments. You can explore career opportunities in clinics, hospitals, medical centres, wellness centres and even international health organisations. Here is a list of various job profiles for graduates aspiring to build a solid career in the field of Alternative Medicine:
- Health Administrators
Specialisations offered under Alternative Medicine
1. Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine
Acupuncture includes the techniques used to treat illness and improve health by stimulating prescribed points on the body. These redirect the flow of energy throughout the body to restore balance and peace of mind. It also includes Oriental Medicine or Traditional Chinese Medicine which facilitate a full-bodied healing along with herbal prescription.
2. Naturopathic Medicine
Naturopathy or Naturopathic Medicine uses natural remedies to allow the body to heal itself. This science-based tradition aims to eliminate the root cause of the illness and not just stop the symptoms. Naturopaths are trained in natural therapeutics including Exercise Therapy, Physical Medicine, Hydrotherapy, Homoeopathy, Clinical Nutrition, Botanical Medicine and Lifestyle Counselling. Naturopathy Courses
3. Osteopathic Physicians
These provide healthcare services such as medical testing, diagnosis and prescription of medicines and surgery to patients. Osteopathic Physician training is similar to that of a medical doctor and further includes spinal manipulation training as well. Various Medical practitioners include several alternative medicines in their practice like Osteopathic Manipulative Therapy for the improvement of health and body function.
Chiropractors are involved in aligning the neuromusculoskeletal system (including vertebrae and spine) using drug-free, non-invasive therapies. They use x-rays to determine any misalignment of the patient’s spine, vertebrae or ribs and then manually readjust those areas. However, chiropractors are not allowed to perform any surgery instead can offer nutritional counselling or acupuncture services. These therapies have an excellent safety record with no potential adverse effects.
Ayurvedic Medicine has its roots in the ancient Indian medical system based on ‘natural’ and holistic approach to physical and mental health. This traditional healthcare system includes diet, exercise, products (derived from plants, animal, metal and mineral) and lifestyle.
Yoga plays a significant role in the mental, spiritual and physical aspects of our lives and can help us in mastering our mind and body. With a combination of meditation, relaxation and breathing techniques, yoga can give an assured reduction of stress and anxiety. It has its foundation with a rich philosophical heritage accounting to deepen self-awareness and unfolding consciousness.
7. Herbal Medicine
These use plants or mixtures of plant extracts or parts such as leaves, flowers or roots to cure illness and promote health and wellbeing. Herbal medicines are employed to restore your body in order to protect, regulate and heal itself. Herbal medicines are of two types: Western Herbal Medicine and Chinese Herbal Medicine.
Students can opt for bachelor’s degree courses in various disciplines like Alternative Medicine and Surgery, Homeopathic Medicine and Surgery, Naturopathy and Yogic Science, Health Science including Herbal Medicine. Other specialised education venues for Alternative Medicine graduates include master’s degree, MD, PG Diplomas and PhD programs.