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What's the Curriculum of an Online Degree in Alternative Medicine?

Alternative medicine is the use of non-western or traditional medicine in place of conventional practices. Read on for further information about course topics.

Overview of Alternative Medicine Programs

The curriculum of an online degree program in alternative medicine may vary depending on the school and the emphasis of the program. A general program in alternative medicine might offer courses that emphasize the fundamentals of alternative medicine, integrative treatments, mind and body medicine, nutrition, herbs and dietary supplements, and ethical issues.

Important Facts About Alternative Medicine

Degrees Post-baccalaureate certificate; master's degree; doctoral degree; post-graduate certificate
Degree Fields Integrative health; acupuncture; Oriental medicine; nutrition; herbalism; chiropractic medicine, naturopathic medicine
Licensing All states require doctors and nurses to be licensed; all states require chiropractic doctors to be licensed; many states require naturopathic doctors to be licensed; many states require acupuncturists to be licensed or certified; some states include the practice of Chinese herbology or Oriental medicine with acupuncture licensure; some states require certification for Asian bodywork therapy
Online Availability Available through many programs
Median Salary (2018) $73,960 (for health diagnosing and treating practitioners, all other)
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 13% (for health diagnosing and treating practitioners, all other)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Integrative Treatments

An integrative treatment course might examine case studies that explain the usefulness of alternative medicine in treating common ailments such as arthritis, hypertension, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, and other conditions. Students could learn how to combine modern medical practices with techniques such as chiropractic, homeopathy, acupuncture, hydrotherapy, therapeutic massage, nutrition, and exercise.

Mind and Body Medicine

Courses in mind and body medicine look at the biochemical connection between the brain and the rest of the body. Students could learn about different systems in the body and the promotion of wellness through various alternative medicine strategies. Such strategies may include hypnosis, tai chi, yoga, and relaxation.

Nutrition, Herbs and Dietary Supplements

Nutrition is often a large component of any alternative medicine treatment. Courses in this area may look at the nutritional aspects of this healing art while also emphasizing the history, governmental regulations, preparation, and traditional application of herbs and dietary supplements. Students might also look at the ways in which different herbs interact together and their possible side effects.

Ethics

Because many people who work in alternative medicine often work with traditional licensed medical professionals, courses on ethics may be included in the curricula. Such courses might teach students about their ethical duties and obligations to their patients, as well as their roles in the greater scientific community.