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4 Alternative Medical Careers that Help Change Lives

by Jan 4, 2017

Home » NUHS Blog » 4 Alternative Medical Careers that Help Change Lives

4 Alternative Medical Careers that Help Change Lves

Most people who enter the medical field do so, at least in part, because they hope to have a positive impact on the lives of their patients. As demand increases for alternative medicine in its various forms, National University of Health Sciences is proud to offer the opportunity to pursue an education in holistic, evidence based, patient centered health care that goes beyond the limits of traditional Western medicine. Below are four such careers:

1. Chiropractic Medicine

Chiropractic medicine is so much more than adjusting the spine to help with back pain. Like all of the branches of alternative medicine taught at National University, chiropractic medicine is a comprehensive, non-invasive approach to the health of the whole person.

At NUHS, our philosophy is to train chiropractic students in evidence based medicine to be able to become primary care physicians who are able to diagnose, treat, and manage a variety of patients and conditions–from performing adjustments and creating rehab therapy plans to providing supplements. By treating the whole person and not just one or two symptoms, we believe chiropractic physicians have a unique opportunity to make a deep and permanent positive impact on the lives of their patients.

The career opportunities for chiropractic physicians are wide-ranging: private practice, hospital care, sports medicine, integrative clinic work…the list goes on. Not only that, but, the chiropractic profession leads the nation’s workforce in holding the lowest rate of unemployment and highest rate of job security, making it an excellent choice for students interested in a health care career. In an analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) published on Marketwatch, chiropractic physicians (chiropractors) rated #1 in job security among all occupations evaluated second year in a row. Additionally, the latest BLS statistics show that the field of chiropractic medicine should expect a 17% growth in employment by 2024.

2. Naturopathic Medicine

Naturopaths are committed to implementing nature’s healing powers in their treatment of illness. They operate under six principles: First Do No Harm, Treat the Whole Person, Identify and Treat the Causes, The Healing Power of Nature, Doctor as Teacher and Promoting Wellness. Due to the emphasis on treating the whole person (as opposed to merely treating symptoms), and supporting the body’s natural healing process, many people have found healing through naturopathy that they were unable to find in allopathy medicine.

As the field of naturopathic medicine continues to grow, career opportunities for naturopathic physicians multiply. While private or group practice is the most common path, hospitals and other integrated health care clinics are starting to include naturopathy in their services. Treatment modalities can include nutrition, botanical medicine, homeopathy and minor surgery.

3. Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine

Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (AOM) is a field within alternative medicine that encompasses healing techniques that are over 3,000 years old, designed to heal through rebalancing the patient’s Qi (or chi) energy. The World Health Organization recognizes AOM effective for over 43 conditions, from mental health disorders to gastrointestinal disorders. Like other branches of alternative medicine, the philosophy behind AOM is about the healing and restoration of the whole person through techniques that are time-tested and minimally invasive. After conducting a highly comprehensive and individualized diagnosis of a patient’s Qi (or chi) energy, the oriental medicine practitioner uses a broad scope of therapies to restore balance to a patient’s Qi, thereby encouraging health and healing.

While most acupuncturists and oriental medicine practitioners (58%) go into private practice, as AOM is increasingly recognized by mainstream medical institutions, more and more clinics and hospitals are employing AOM physicians as well. Examples include, but are not limited to: pain management clinics, fertility clinics, weight loss or addiction treatment centers. Even cosmetic and spa facilities are now offering acupuncture for clients to relieve stress and combat the effects of aging.

4. Massage Therapy

It’s no secret that the majority of American adults are stressed, anxious, depressed, or some combination of all three. Medical massage therapy has been proven to successfully treat these problems as well as promote holistic wellness, hence the growing demand for professionally trained massage therapists. Massage therapy can also be employed in conjunction with other alternative medicine such as naturopathy and acupuncture.

While career opportunities abound for massage therapists–you’ll find MTs working everywhere from spas and fitness centers to hospitals to corporate wellness events–correct training is crucial, and can’t be provided by simply attending a “spa school.” Those who are serious about pursuing medical massage therapy need comprehensive medical education and training, which is what NUHS offers.

The Value of an Integrative Approach to Alternative Medicine

At NUHS, we are passionate about our unique, completely integrated approach to teaching alternative medicine. The belief that holistic patient-centered care is paramount is what drives us to require all of our students to work alongside each other–regardless of their intended specialities–so that their understanding of the human body and its needs is as nuanced as possible. Our high admissions standards, rigorous curriculum, knowledgeable faculty, and broad-scope curriculum all make National University the place to begin a career that can not only change your life, but the lives of countless others.


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Victoria Sweeney

Victoria Sweeney


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