Homeopathy is a system of medicine that treats ailments by administering highly diluted remedies in order to fight both diseases and their symptoms.
It was developed over 200 years ago by a German physician, Samuel Hahnemann, and is still practiced today on every continent.
Homeopathy is based on the Law of Similars, or "like cures like." Accordingly, the substances used as remedies are those that would cause the same negative symptom in healthy individuals if given in a larger dose. These "similar" substances are said to combat the disease at its deepest root, thereby imparting better overall health and healing. They are used in such minute doses as to be considered safe by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
If you are feeling like a homeopathy career could be right for you, read on to discover more about this intriguing field, the education involved, and why today is an excellent time to become a homeopathy practitioner in the Law of Similars.
Pursuing Homeopathy as a Career
Homeopathy as a Medical Practice
Pursuing a career in homeopathy requires in-depth scientific and medical knowledge as well as an understanding of individual human genetics and behavior. The practice of homeopathy is not regulated on its own, but its use is complementary to naturopathic care and other holistic healing arts. Because homeopathy involves a truly holistic practice, practitioners should enjoy learning the way each patient responds to his or her surroundings, genetics and lifestyle, and how that affects the patient's health and ailments.
Homeopathy Apart from the Medical Field
Some homeopathy providers are considered counselors instead of medical professionals if they are not also certified as physicians, nurse practitioners or physician assistants. These homeopaths can recommend over-the-counter remedies and provide guidance to individuals as long as they don't claim to provide medical advice or healing. If you are interested in pursuing this career, there are a number of homeopathy classes and seminars directed toward providing you with the basics of homeopathic tradition, practice and scope.
Homeopathy for Personal Use
Many individuals are perfectly capable of diagnosing and self-treating everyday ailments with over-the-counter homeopathic remedies. Certain weekend seminars and online courses can equip you to make homeopathy a part of your family's healthy lifestyle. Of course, you should always seek qualified medical attention for more serious illnesses or health problems.
Licensed naturopathic physicians (NDs) include homeopathy in their scope of practice, so if you would like to become a doctor and use homeopathy in your practice, pursuing a graduate degree from a naturopathic medical school is a great way to start. But you can add homeopathy training to your Doctor of Medicine (MD) or Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) degree as well. In addition, an estimated 40 percent of chiropractors recommend homeopathic remedies to their patients. For more information on becoming a chiropractor, see our Chiropractic Career Guide.
Homeopathy is practiced in so many settings and with such diversity that salary ranges vary widely. According to Salary.com's August 2012 survey, the median national annual salary for family practice doctors is $175,596; for nurse practitioners, $90,979; for physician assistants, $90,311; and for chiropractors, $131,105. Actual salaries may vary greatly based on specialization within the field, location, years of experience and a variety of other factors.
Homeopathy Career Outlook
The outlook for homeopathy careers has never been brighter. We are now seeing a return to natural, holistic medicine at a rate we haven't experienced since homeopathy spread throughout the U.S. in the early 1900s. Americans currently spend hundreds of millions of dollars on homeopathic preparations each year, and the numbers are only rising. In many parts of the country, all you have to do is walk down the street to see holistic pharmacies popping up. And the aisles of your local grocery store are likely stocked with a good number of remedies already. As people continue to integrate homeopathy into their family's lifestyle, your homeopathy career outlook will continue to improve.
If you are interested in practicing homeopathy as a doctor or in your own life, you can take any number of homeopathy education courses and begin using them as soon as you are properly trained with the process. There are a number of accrediting and certifying bodies to help ensure you can provide the best care to your family or your patients.