Natural health practitioners are doctors who provide healthcare using the whole-body approach. They focus on the three beings that make up a person: body, mind, and soul. These experts technically identify as holistic medicine practitioners.
A natural health practitioner tailors treatments according to “who you are” and not “what is wrong with you.” This is unlike orthodox medicine that concentrates treatment on the ailment you’re suffering.
Holistic medicine professionals combine the best of traditional and “complementary and alternative” medicines. This combination of two medicinal fields means that there are multiple kinds of holistic health practitioners. Some own licenses, while others do not.
AcademyEpic is a place to receive holistic health training. Visit their page and become a certified natural health professional. However, you have to know what sub-branch of natural medicine fits you best, which the following discusses.
Shortlisting the 8 Most Common Kinds of Holistic Health Professionals
1. Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO)
The DO, or an osteopath, is a physician who uses osteopathic manipulative treatment to cater to health problems. This branch of medicine is about physically correcting musculoskeletal disorders.
A DO operates on the concept that the musculoskeletal framework, including your nerves, muscles, and bones, affects your whole body.
Osteopaths have the license to deliver healthcare, as they are also medical doctors (MD). They both go to medical school and see through a residency, just that they major in different specialties. Both write the same exam before obtaining their licenses.
An osteopath only differs because they may practice musculoskeletal shaping sometimes.
2. Integrative Physician
An integrative physician integrates orthodox medicine with complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). They own a license too.
Integrative physicians incorporate lots of traditional medicinal methods and various forms of therapies. The integrative medicine practitioner uses the system that accords to you best.
However, despite an integrative physician’s license, there isn’t an official course to study for becoming one. They only have to obtain a medical degree and then opt for CAM training. A special board may also certify an integrative physician.
3. Ayurvedic Doctor
Ayurvedic doctors specialize in Ayurveda, a medicinal system you can trace to ancient India. Ayurveda translates to “knowledge of life” in Sanskrit.
Experts in this holistic practitioner course believe that life energies are in charge of health. An imbalance in these life energies (or doshas) leads to health problems. As such, these natural health practitioners aim to balance these energies using herbal remedies, alternative medicine, lifestyle changes, and diet.
Ayurveda is the main healthcare system in India. Persons who want to become Aryuvedic doctors have to undergo professional training at a standard Ayurvedic school.
However, Ayurveda isn’t popular in the United States. The health board doesn’t recognize Ayurvedic doctors as medical doctors.
4. Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine (ND)
A naturopathic doctor is an expert in naturopathy, a medicinal system that combines holistic approaches with Western science and natural therapies. You may use the latter component (natural therapies) as the main and supplementary means of treatment.
To become a naturopathic physician, interested persons must complete training for traditional medical doctors in a naturopathic school. You may also study naturopathy online.
Doctors of naturopathic medicine sit for a professional board examination to earn their license. Yet, the health board doesn’t recognize them as medical doctors.
5. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Practitioner
TCM is traceable to Ancient Chinese Medicine. Practitioners of this medicinal system believe that everyone has a qi, or life force, which must maintain balance. A flowing qi ensures good health.
On the other hand, a person with an imbalanced qi suffers poor health. TCM aims to maintain qi balance through lifestyle therapies, herbal medicine, and acupuncture.
Becoming a TCM professional takes 3-4 years of training and a certification exam. Some colleges offer the doctor of Oriental medicine and other degrees. However, the health board doesn’t consider these degrees to be medical doctor degrees.
The herbalist is a holistic practitioner who treats health issues with the use of herbs and plants.
Medical herbalists study the attributes of plants to know their healing abilities. They prescribe medications for patients by conducting specific tests or according to the symptoms the patient displays.
The common forms of treatment that herbalists practice include oils, skin creams, teas, liquid capsules, and bath salts. Patients may have to use only one of these medicines or more.
There isn’t a specific certification to become a medical herbalist. Some schools can only offer clinical herbal medicine degrees, where they train students with the combination of science and traditional herbal remedies. A herbal doctor is not a recognized medical doctor.
Aromatherapists are healthcare providers that facilitate health and wellness using natural plant extracts. They focus on improving the mind, body, and spirit, positively impacting emotional and physical health.
You may also call aromatherapists “essential oil therapists.” This title is because they use naturally scented essential oils to uplift the mind and heal the body.
Essential oil therapy is traceable to the Persians. This holistic approach to health works mainly through the sense of smell and, complementarily, through skin absorption. The most everyday effective essential oils include clary sage, eucalyptus, ginger, lavender, rosemary, and ylang-ylang.
Natural health practitioners in the field of aromatherapy are not medical doctors.
Hypnosis doesn’t involve swaying watches or onstage entertainment. It’s simply a sub-branch of natural health professions that induces a person to a trance-like state. Hypnosis experts focus on the soul.
A hypnotist leads a person to deep focus and concentration before suggesting beneficial thoughts to the person. You tend to accept suggestions more easily in this state because of your heightened mental focus.
There’s no formal degree to become a certified hypnotist. However, you may take online classes and complete the course when you’re good at hypnosis.
Natural medicine is a complementary and effective form of treatment to various health challenges.
Only a few practitioners in this medicinal field are recognized as medical doctors. Yet, there’s no denying the effectiveness of these professionals.
Become a natural health practitioner at AcademyEpic. They offer professional holistic courses.