A Hot New Industry
Alternative medicine is a hot new industry, with new alternative medicine practitioners in various fields opening up shop and treating patients with cutting-edge therapies.
However, as with any new industry, there are hucksters trying to take advantage of the interest in alternative medicine. Online, it’s easy to find scams on everything from acai berry juice and health supplements to cleansing foot bath machines.
Another prevalent scam in alternative medicine has to do less with products than with the diplomas hanging on the walls of alternative medicine practitioners. Some unwitting and well-meaning alternative medicine practitioners often enroll in courses that are not worth the money they cost and leave the practitioners with a diminished professional reputation rather than an enhanced one.
It is crucial for alternative medicine practitioners to choose wisely when it comes to picking an alternative medicine school.
Licensure Requirements and Accreditation
Because alternative medicine is relatively new, not all alternative therapies are regulated by state licensing laws. Acupuncturists and massage therapists, for example, often require a state license to practice their crafts. Other fields, such as energy healing and aromatherapy, generally do not require a license.
In the case that the form of alternative medicine you are interested in requires a license, be sure to check into the school’s accreditation. In order to ensure the legitimacy of your license and your practice’s reputation, you’ll want to attend a school that’s been accredited by a recognized, well-reputed accrediting body.
Universities and Alternative Medicine
A common misperception about alternative medicine is that the only schools that offer courses and educational programs in therapies considered to be “alternative” are fly-by-night online and distance learning schools. To the contrary, some universities have begun to offer courses in complementary and alternative medicine, especially where these therapies do not in any way contradict accepted western medicine practices.
Education in a Foreign Country
It should not be surprising that some of the world’s most respected doctors of traditional Chinese medicine can be found in China. Some of the world’s most respected practitioners of Ayurveda, which is traditional Indian medicine, can be found in India. In other words, in some cases, the best way to gain an education in a traditional medicine is to learn at traditional institution located in the place where that form of medicine originated.
Developing nations throughout the world send their bright young students to the west for an education in western medicine; why would westerners not also want to travel to India, China, Thailand, Vietnam, Japan, and other nations where many “alternative” medicines originated?