Integrative Medicine Program

To practice Integrative Medicine one must make an academic journey that usually begins with a formal education in either conventional medicine or naturopathy. Students of Integrative Medicine will also engage in hands-on training in one or more of the many complimentary and alternative modalities of healing bodywork, as well as a full exploration of the various approaches to natural medicine. Here we answer your questions about the academic path to a career in integrative medicine:

What are the educational requirements for practicing integrative medicine?

Part of what makes Integral Medicine so unique is that any naturopathic doctor (ND), osteopathic doctor (DO), or doctor of conventional medicine (MD) who chooses to explore and study alternative healing modalities, and who accepts an Integral Worldview that respects all known methods of healing, can effectively practice this form of medicine. The academic path chosen by the individual is as subjective as his or her own life experience, but will always involve formal training in either conventional, osteopathic, or naturopathic medicine; as well as training in some chosen alternative approaches to healing that will often involve bodywork.

What can I expect from bodywork training programs?

Accredited bodywork training programs will include course study in anatomy, physiology, kinesiology, business ethics, and will also provide hands-on instructional practice in the chosen modalities of bodywork and the specific techniques that these involve.

Full-time and part-time programs are available and can typically be completed in six to 18 months respectively. Many programs offered through accredited integrative medicine schools will also assist with apprenticeship placement. This allows students to complete the 600 hours of apprenticeship needed to meet the licensing requirements set by some states, and the requirements set by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB) in order to earn bodywork certification on a national level.

What can I expect from formal medical training?

Earning a doctorate-level degree so as to earn the Medical Doctor (M.D.), Doctor of Naturopathy (ND), or Doctor of Osteopathy (D.O.) credential requires four years of undergraduate study followed by an additional four years of medical school. After the academic and clinical study is complete an additional three to eight years of residency is also customary.

Integrative Medicine Schools

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