Considering a Career in Alternative Therapies? 5 Challenging but Rewarding Opportunities

By | August 3, 2018

how to become a therapist
Alternative therapies are wide-ranging and far-reaching. It is now thought that a third of Americans use complementary therapy, which could be anything from herbal supplements, to sports massage, to chiropody. With this in mind, it’s a great time to think about pursuing a career in this field.

The personal rewards for a career in this area are multiple.

Firstly, you get great satisfaction from making a difference to the quality of life of many people in real need, such as cancer patients and those in chronic pain. Helping manage their symptoms and aiding in their recovery is deeply rewarding.

Secondly, there is fulfillment from acquiring a great depth of knowledge in your chosen field. It’s a career that encourages lifelong learning, meaning no opportunity to stagnate or get bored. Alternative therapies can be studied at all levels of higher education, right up to doctorate level.

There are so many opportunities to meet incredible people, both as colleagues and patients. There may be opportunities to travel, too, in order to further your knowledge. The appeal of this field extends from young people to those seeking a second career in a meaningful, positive industry.

A career in alternative therapies shouldn’t be taken lightly, however.

Alternative therapy careers require a great deal of commitment to years of study, exams and practical assessment. Students need an academic mind and resilience. You’ll need to be hard-working and dedicated once you qualify, too. You’ll also need to be a good listener, and caring and patient at all times.
If this could be you, here are 5 challenging, exciting opportunities for a career in alternative therapies:


Aromatherapy combines knowledge of both chemistry and anatomy with the practical skill of massage. This therapy is a popular way of improving a patient’s wellbeing.

An aromatherapist uses their specialist knowledge to select, blend and apply oils through body massage. Oils are selected according to the patient’s needs and health conditions, so the therapist must be confident in their knowledge of a wide range of health problems, as well as the chemical properties of many oils.

Pregnancy, Postnatal and Baby Massage

Helping mothers through this exciting time in their lives can be really rewarding. The physical toll of pregnancy on a woman’s body is substantial, and many women come to massage to relieve back and muscular pain, and to recover from childbirth.

To practice in this area, therapists undergoing pregnancy and postnatal massage training need to understand anatomy and physiology like all massage therapists. In addition, a knowledge of obstetrics is required.

Baby massage is a growing field. A massage therapist gives guidance to mothers on how to use massage to soothe and calm their restless infant.


Reflexology is an ancient art used to release blockages and improve the flow of energy around the body. It is a popular treatment with those who wish to relieve stress and pain for a variety of reasons. For instance, it is used by cancer patients and by expectant mothers to help prepare for childbirth.

Practitioners need a broad general knowledge of anatomy and physiology so that any part of the body can be treated. Actual treatment, however, involves applying pressure to specific areas of the hands and feet only. The specialist techniques work on the principle of lines of energy working through the body.

Sports Massage

Sports massage therapists are required to have specialist knowledge of the musculoskeletal system and of soft tissue.

Typically, a therapist works with amateur and professional athletes to treat injury as efficiently as possible so that the patient is quickly able to bounce back into full fitness. There is a broader range of applications for sports massage, however.


Hypnotherapy is fascinating to many people. Clinical hypnotherapy can treat a wide range of conditions and can relieve patients of a variety of psychological symptoms, such as panic and anxiety.

A hypnotherapist (not to be confused with a hypnotist) verbally guides patients into a conscious trance. This act connects their conscious and self-conscious minds to heal the roots of unwanted behaviors and impulses.

Embark on alternative therapy studies

Are you a high school graduate still deciding on a field of study? Or perhaps you have reached a point in your career where you feel that you really don’t belong, and wish to embark on a different and highly satisfying career path.

With the insights and information shared above about the different specialisms in the field of alternative therapy, it is hoped that all your questions have been answered.

And whatever your reasons may be, alternative therapy could be the very thing you are looking for. If you have the commitment and diligence to strive, there is no reason why you cannot succeed in this field.


Marc Innes is the Owner and Principal of the School of Natural Therapies, a training school for Massage & Holistic Therapies located in London. Marc began his career in the NHS, working in a number of managerial and training roles within the Ambulance Service in London. He spent much of that time educating and coaching medical staff. Over time, he developed an interest in all things complementary to Allopathic Medicine, in particular, Reiki Healing and EFT, which culminated in running a successful teaching and ‘energy healing’ practice. Marc is passionate about the massage and complementary therapy industry.

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