How Can I Become an Energy Therapist?

Explore the career requirements for energy therapists. Get the facts about duties, education requirements, professional licensure and the employment outlook to determine if this is the right field for you. Schools offering Complementary & Integrative Therapy degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Does an Energy Therapist Do?

Energy therapists use alternative healing options like light therapy, polarity therapy and Reiki, in order to help their patients improve their physical, mental and spiritual wellness. They may treat patients who are looking to deal with general issues, such as stress and anxiety, as well as those who want to reduce the symptoms of specific medical conditions, like digestive disorders. In addition, they may advise clients to combine energy therapy with other practices that can help them improve their wellbeing, such as yoga.

Take a look at the following chart for an overview of how to enter the field.

Degree Required High school diploma, certificate
Education Field of Study Depends on field of practice. Generally human anatomy and physiology, energy fields and flow, manipulative techniques, healing procedure
Key Skills Detail orientation, Interpersonal skills, technical skills
Licensure or Certification Certification preferred
Job Growth (2014-2024) 12%* (for healthcare support workers, all other)
Median Salary (2015) $35,780* (for healthcare support workers, all other)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Is an Energy Therapist?

An energy therapist is an alternative health practitioner who works with the body's energy field, making adjustments in order to enhance overall health and well-being. As an energy therapist, you may perform specialized hands-on therapeutic techniques that can include Reiki, craniosacral therapy, reflexology and polarity therapy. Some energy therapists are licensed massage therapists who have completed additional specialized training in energy therapy techniques, although it's not required to be a massage therapist first.

Modalities

The various methods by which energy therapy is practiced may include light touching of clients or no touching at all. Reiki practitioners help clients improve how energy flows through the body using hands-on or hands-free techniques coupled with sacred symbols and a sacred healing grid; treatments may also include music, meditation, crystals and aromatherapy. Craniosacral therapy is a light, hands-on energy therapy intended to release deep tension in the body by rebalancing the fluid that runs between the skull, the spine and the pelvis. Reflexology is the application of hands-on pressure to reflex points on the feet, hands and ear with the intention of improving a client's energy flow. Polarity therapy is another hands-on energy manipulation technique that incorporates elements like spoken interaction to maximize body and mind alignment and awareness.

What Kind of Education Do I Need?

To become an energy therapist you will need to take classes in the specific modalities you wish to practice. These classes may be available through postsecondary schools or community colleges. You can obtain a general certificate in energy work or in a particular modality. Each modality typically has its own techniques and standards of practice. You may be able to take progressively more advanced courses within a modality as you evolve from beginner to practitioner. Other classes are available as continuing education courses for licensed massage therapists.

In general, your education will typically include an overview of human anatomy and physiology, energy fields and flow, manipulative techniques, healing procedures and associated elements related to a particular modality. You may be required to complete a hands-on component of a course or program, performing energy therapy techniques under supervision of a practitioner.

What Certification Do I Need To Practice?

While there aren't any national certifications available for each specific modality of energy therapy or energy therapy as a whole, there are many schools and programs that offer certificates and certification programs related to energy therapy, typically restricted to the modality you prepared for through that school or program. Requirements for practice can vary by state.

Massage therapists who may practice energy healing have typically completed a formal postsecondary training program and may be required to hold state licensing. State licensing requirements can include a state exam or licensing through the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards (FSMTB) or voluntary certification through the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB). The massage therapy exams through both organizations cover broad bodywork topics that include energy therapy as well as other areas of bodywork practice. Continuing education may be required in order to maintain licensing or certification credentials.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Instead of practicing energy therapy, you might be interested in becoming a yoga instructor. They often work at fitness centers or athletic clubs, where they may teach a variety of yoga classes, including power yoga, vinyasa flow yoga, gentle yoga and kundalini yoga. The minimum educational requirement for a job as a fitness instructor is a high school diploma, but professional certification may boost your job prospects. Another job that you might be interested in is a position as a dietetic technician. They assist dietitians, who develop nutrition plans for clients to promote overall health or manage disease. Dietetic technicians usually need to have an associate's degree.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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  • Southern New Hampshire University

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    • Master

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  • Ashford University

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  • Saybrook University

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  • Purdue University Global

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  • Regent University

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  • Penn Foster High School

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  • Stanford University

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    • California: Stanford
  • Southwest Institute of Healing Arts

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    • Arizona: Tempe
  • Harvard University

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    • Massachusetts: Cambridge