Alternative Medicine Careers

Alternative-Medicine-PractitionerAlternative medicine embodies a more “natural” approach to examinations and treatments that aren’t (or only slightly) derived from traditional medicine. Application of complementary alternative medicine (CAM), therefore, provides people something less conventional than regular medicine.

An underlying belief behind CAM is that standard procedures and medications can be very expensive and potentially result in harmful side effects. Also, they may be ineffective or just partially beneficial for certain ailments.

Subsequently, patients in some cases opt for other alternatives when they do not receive alleviation from traditional courses of treatment. Furthermore, otherwise healthy people may seek alternative medicine to prevent disease and improve well-being.

Here are three alternative medicine careers:

Massage Therapist

A massage therapist applies gentle to mild pressure, pushing, rubbing, pulsation, and patting to the back and limbs of their clients. Massage can improve wellness and health by countering the physical and psychological effects of stress. Through massage, these alternative medicine specialists employ various techniques to increase blood and lymph fluid circulation, which helps reduce pain caused by tense muscles and relieves muscle spasms.



Herbalists make a wide range of treatments from the leaves, flowers, berries, stems, and roots of various plants. Their purpose is to naturally prevent, relieve, or treat illnesses. These alternative medicine practitioners may also be involved in growing or farming herbs and gathering herbs that grow in nature (called wildcrafting). They may teach or write about herbal remedies. It’s not uncommon for herbalists to take on all of these roles.



An acupuncturist sticks very skinny, long, hollow needles just beneath the skin’s surface to equilibriate the flow of chi or qi (life energy) throughout the body. The needles are inserted in exact locations where the body’s energy pathways or meridians meet under the skin surface. The acupuncturist may apply circular, up and down, vibrational, and side-to-side motions with the needles to produce the desired effects.