Holistic Medicine Schools and Naturopathic Colleges

Choosing Holistic Medicine Schools and the Holistic Health Education Programs that are Right for You

Holistic medicine schools and naturopathic colleges offer holistic health education programs if you are interested in pursuing a career in alternative medicine or just want to learn more for your personal use.

Depending on your goals, you can attend alternative medicine schools online, in person, or by correspondence.

Holistic health and specialty area licensing degree programs offered through acupuncture schools, massage schools, and naturopathic colleges, are comprehensive rigorous educational programs that require you to attend on location.

Depending on school, state and national requirements, you are likely to invest hundreds or thousands of hours, and thousands of dollars in your training.

Correspondence degree and certification programs can also be comprehensive, demanding and expensive.

Expect to get very good education through correspondence schools.  My certification programs through the Australasian College (now called the American College of Healthcare Sciences took almost as much study, effort and time as my college degree.  

Online distance learning often requires reading, written lessons, audio/video instruction, and tele-classes. Modern technology even offers people attending distance classes the chance to talk with facilitators and communicate with other participants in break-out groups. 

A very important consideration when choosing between licensing and certifying is this:  With few exceptions, a certification may be worth something to the holder, some clients, and employers in natural health fields, such as health food stores owners or the media looking for an article or quote. It is of little or no value if you want a job in a recognized health field, or want local or national licensing, at least not in the U.S. 

Here are some steps to take to help you choose the best holistic medicine schools or programs for you. 

  • Before deciding on a modality or training program, thoroughly familiarize yourself with the healing system you are considering. Book a few sessions and talk to practitioners about their practices. Ask about the holistic medicine schools they attended, variations of the system, different philosophies, and other requirements. Be sure to research the different alternative medicine schools on-line as well. 
  • Decide what you want to achieve with your holistic health education. This is a major determining factor in deciding whether correspondence or live training is right for you. 
  • Do you want to extend your conventional medical training and become a holistic integrative doctor, nurse or dentist to expand your practice and better serve your patients?
  • Do you want to become a licensed health professional? Thoroughly research the field and licensing requirements and expectations.This will open doors for you to practice in the health field and perhaps even have your services paid for by insurance.

    Not all holistic healing arts are regulated. In order to be licensed, you will be looking at alternative medicine schools offering acupuncture, massage, chiropractic, nutrition and naturopathic medicine. Expect these to be on-campus programs, with few exceptions. You will be required to spend up to four years to complete your education. Massage training generally requires between 500-1000 hours, depending on your state. Do not assume one state accepts the license of another.  
  • To become a licensed doctor of naturopathy with rights to practice in seventeen states, D.C., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin islands, you must receive your degree from one of these seven accredited naturopathic colleges and pass an extensive board exam. To keep your license, you may have to take yearly continuing education credits.

    *Bastyr University in Kenmore, Washington

        *Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine, North York, Ontario

        *National College of Natural Medicine, Portland, Oregon

        *Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine & Health Sciences, Tempe, Az

        *University of Bridgeport College of Naturopathic Medicine, Bridgeport, Ct

        *Boucher Institute of Naturopathic Medicine, New Westminster, BC, Canada

        *National University of Health Sciences Lombard, Illinois

  • Would you prefer to have a full or part-time career in the holistic health and wellness industry without having to operate under the constraints of a license? 

    Consider becoming a certified holistic health practitioner or a wellness coach, a health food store or wellness spa owner, or an energy healer.  You can write articles, and teach workshops and classes.  Distance learning schools offer a very good education. They are a good choice if you are not concerned about licensing.  Unlike a licensed provider, you cannot diagnose, treat or prescribe. You must be very careful not to break the local laws. Examine the laws of your area and consult with your State Department of Education or Department of Health for this information. 

If you prefer to forego holistic medicine schools, your options to learn about holistic healing and wellness are still vast.

A great place to begin your holistic health education is with the seven week Natural Health and Healing E-Course offered free right from this site. 

Whichever learning and career path you choose, it is important to choose the type of holistic health and healing programs that is right for you. The right on-line holistic medicine schools, training in specific modalities, or live training at one of the naturopathic colleges will not only prepare you for a career, but also for a healthier, transformed life. 


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Related Pages

Guide to Holistic Health and Healing


Types of Holistic Medicine

Holistic Practitioners

Health and Wellness Coaching


The Seven Week Holistic MindBody Healing Natural Health ECourse (free!)