Derived from osteopathy and chiropractic medicine, naprapathic medicine is a holistic approach to wellness that focuses on connective tissue disorders. Damaged connective tissue, including muscles, tendons and ligaments, can cause pain to slowly build and spread throughout the body. The results can be chronic migraines, carpal tunnel, TMJ and a host of other conditions.
Naprapathy schools teach students manual manipulation, stretching techniques, and neurological and orthopedic practices that can relieve the root symptoms of connective tissue problems, restoring blood flow and nerve functioning.
During an initial session, naprapathic doctors will conduct a lengthy client interview, gathering information on health history and current problems and conducting a physical assessment. Subsequent sessions will typically involve different aspects of the treatment plan, from spinal adjustments to electrical muscle stimulation to ultrasound.
Because naprapathy uses an integrative approach to healing, naprapathic doctors will also ask clients about their nutrition habits and even stress level. In fact, many naprapaths have received training in areas such as psychotherapy and hypnotherapy that can help them tend to a client's emotional health.
Training and Education
What You'll Study in Medical Massage School
Programs at naprapathy schools will vary somewhat from one location to another. In general, though, you can expect course work for naprapathic medicine to include the following:
- Anatomy, physiology and biochemistry
- History and principles of naprapathy
- Naprapathic techniques
- Nutrition science
- Therapeutic exercise
- Clinical preparation and practice
Average Length of Study
Training at naprapathy schools typically involves four years of master's-level study. When you complete your training, you will earn a Doctor of Naprapathy degree (DN) and will be eligible for licensure if required by your state.
Tuition at naprapathy schools is approximately $11,000 per year. Schools like the National College of Naprapathic Medicine in Chicago offer financial aid and private student loan programs that can help ease the burden of tuition costs.
Naprapathic Medicine Certification
Currently, only two states, Illinois and New Mexico, license the practice of naprapathy. A license to practice as a D.N. tells patients that you have passed a rigorous certification process and is a testament to your expertise in the skills, techniques and safety practices required of the job.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' 2014-15 Occupational Outlook Handbook, employment of chiropractors, a close relative of naprapaths, will grow at a rate of 15 percent through 2022, which is faster than average. The public's ongoing interest in natural medicine and drug-free healing methods are just two of the factors contributing to the positive job outlook for alternative medicine professions.
Naprapathic Medicine Salary
Naprapaths are part of the larger field of chiropractors. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' 2014-15 Occupational Outlook Handbook, the median national annual salary for chiropractors is $66,160. Actual salaries may vary greatly based on specialization within the field, location, years of experience and a variety of other factors.
Is a Naprapathic Medicine Career Right for You?
A career in naprapathic medicine requires advanced training in natural and life sciences, strong analytical skills and a genuine compassion for helping patients overcome physical and emotional conditions inhibiting their overall wellness. Patience and perseverance also help in joining an occupation striving to make a name for itself and its benefits in the complementary and alternative medicine industry.
If you are interested in a naprapathic medicine career, take a closer look at naprapathy schools and training. Then choose the naprapathy program that meets your personal and professional needs.
Sources: Advanced Center for Health and Pain Management, Commando Communications, National College of Naprapathic Medicine, wiseGEEK