Homeopathy, a form of alternative medicine, addresses the body as a whole. Explore this field, and find out what you'd study in a homeopathy program. Read about certificate and degree programs in subjects related to homeopathy. Get career info for the alternative medicine field.
Is Homeopathy for Me?
According to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), homeopathic practitioners, or homeopaths, evaluate patient symptoms and use non-traditional means and remedies to alleviate discomfort or pain. In assessing patient condition, homeopaths take into consideration a client's medical and personal history, body type and current mental, physical and emotional state. In the belief that the body can heal itself, homeopaths combat illness by providing patients with small amounts of natural substances, as opposed to more traditional drugs and doses. According to the NCCAM, it is not unusual for people to receive different treatments for the same illness.
Homeopathy is controversial because scientists cannot find substantive evidence that such a minimal amount of a substance can treat symptoms. NCCAM recommends that patients use caution when considering the use of homeopathic providers and treatments (www.nccam.nih.gov).
Employment and Salary Information
While the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not report job growth and salary statistics specific to alternative or homeopathic practitioners, it does provide information for health practitioners and technicians in general, including chiropractors, doctors and nutritional specialists. According to the BLS, there were approximately 7,755,810 health practitioners and technicians employed in the United States in May 2013 who earned an average yearly salary of $74,740. States with the highest levels of employment included California, Texas, New York, Florida and Pennsylvania. In that same month, California was also one of the top-paying states, in addition to Alaska, Oregon, New Jersey and Hawaii. (www.bls.gov).
How Can I Work in Homeopathy?
Certificate programs in homeopathy that complement traditional medical programs can be found at some colleges and universities. However, you should be aware in advance that very few of these programs are accredited. If you have a medical license, completing a certificate program may qualify you to work as a homeopathic consultant, medical assistant or researcher.
As of November 2011, few, if any, full-time homeopathy degree programs exist in the United States, including those available on campus or online. Some schools offer master's or doctoral degree programs in complementary and alternative medicine or doctoral degree programs in naturopathic medicine.
Depending on your course of study, you may explore advanced topics in anatomy, physiology, biochemistry and disease pathology. You'll also investigate the different types of alternative therapies and discover their practical applications. Additional courses might include topics in mind-body therapies, herbal medicine and homeopathy. As this is a hands-on field of study, you'll also complete lab work, participate in clinical practicums and conduct research.
Although licensing requirements can vary according to the state, as a licensed health or medical professional, you'll also have the legal right to work as a homeopathic practitioner. In some states, homeopathy falls under the guidelines used to regulate naturopathic physicians, chiropractors or physical therapists. A limited number of states have homeopathic licensing boards that oversee the work of homeopathic assistants, medical doctors or osteopaths.