How Do I Choose the Best Complementary Medicine Course?

Nicole Etolen

A complementary medicine course can be beneficial if you are considering going into the field of alternative medicine. It can also be helpful if you are already a medical doctor and want to relate better to patients who choose to use complementary medicine in addition to traditional medicine. There are many different types of complementary medicine, so you will need to know which field you would like to study. When choosing a course, it is important to choose one through a reputable organization.

Chiropractors are complementary medicine practitioners.
Chiropractors are complementary medicine practitioners.

Before choosing a complementary medicine course, think about the type of alternative medicine that appeals to you the most. While most people think of alternative and complementary medicine as including just herbal remedies, meditation, and acupuncture, the field actually encompasses much more. Chiropractors, massage therapists, and even nutritionists can be considered complementary medicine practitioners. Deciding which type is best for you depends on your personal preferences and, if applicable, your current practice.

Going through a reputable organization is the most important factor to consider when choosing a complementary medicine course. In some countries, including the United States, this can be difficult, as federal governments may not recognize all types of complementary medicine as an official field of medicine. If your country does not offer licensure for the type of complementary medicine that you want to practice, you may try taking a course designed by practitioners from a country that does have strict standards. India, for example, requires their complementary medicine healers to attend several years of training before they can practice.

Some courses, including chiropractic medicine and massage therapy, are accredited by individual regions, even if the federal government doesn’t recognize them. It is best to take these types of courses in person rather than online, because they require hands-on training. Chiropractic schools offer extensive training in that field, while massage therapy training courses may be found at trade schools or community colleges.

If you cannot find a complementary medicine course that is recognized by a federal or regional governing authority, try to choose a complementary medicine course that is accredited by a professional organization devoted to your chosen field of practice. For example, the United States does not recognize herbal medicine as an official field of medicine, there are organizations made up of long-term practitioners that have their own accreditation criteria for courses. The best way to find the right organization is to talk to other respected professionals in your chosen field and find out which courses the recommend.

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