|Many people take tablets for headaches, colds
and allergies. But painkillers, antibiotics and the
like are controversial. Over half of Germans now use
alternative forms of treatment. Herbal medicine and
acupuncture are among the most popular healing
methods, but traditional Chinese medicine and
homeopathy are also becoming increasingly popular.
methods of alternative medicine are characterized by
their holistic approach : In this sense, man is a
unity of body, soul and environment. Diseases result
from an imbalance between these parts. Treating the
sick is primarily about activating the body's
self-healing powers. Meditation and forms of
movement such as Qi Gong are used to prevent
diseases, for example.
In the meantime, alternative treatment methods
are also increasingly recognized in western
conventional medicine. Many doctors are now using
them to supplement traditional therapies. For this
reason, the term complementary medicine is
increasingly being used here instead of alternative
medicine. Universities are also paying tribute to
this development and are now increasingly offering
courses in complementary medicine.
Study programs in the field of alternative
The Bachelor programs are primarily aimed at
trained alternative practitioners. But it is also a
good idea for physiotherapists, pharmacists and
pharmaceutical- technical assistants to continue
their training in alternative medicine programs.
There are also bachelor programs on offer that can
be completed without prior training and prepare for
the alternative practitioner exam.
The master’s courses are aimed primarily at
doctors who want to train in complementary medicine.
Some study programs are also open to graduates of
other courses in the field of health science. Many
of the Bachelor and Master courses offered are
designed to be part-time.
In the bachelor's program, students are taught
the basics of alternative medicine. The curriculum
starts with medical subjects such as anatomy and
pathology. They also learn about the different
approaches of naturopathic procedures. Depending on
the study program and university, they choose a
focus and specialize, for example, in homeopathy or
European naturopathy. In addition to medical
expertise, the universities also offer modules such
as medical law or practice management. These prepare
the students comprehensively for later independence
in their profession.
The master’s courses offer doctors, naturopaths,
psychotherapists and graduates of other health
science courses the opportunity to deepen their
knowledge in the field of complementary medicine.
Most universities offer programs in which the focus
is on a specific healing method, such as traditional
Chinese medicine or manual medicine. Legal, economic
and ethical aspects also play a role in the course.
Studying alternative medicine: personal skills
The interest in alternative healing methods and a
holistic view of the human being are of course basic
requirements for studying complementary medicine.
Applicants should bring scientific knowledge to
study, which is necessary to understand the medical
content. Since some of the specialist literature is
only available in English, good knowledge of English
is an advantage.
After graduation: career opportunities
As alternative healing methods are becoming
increasingly popular, the career opportunities for
graduates are also good. Anyone who has completed a
primary-qualifying bachelor's degree in order to
become an alternative practitioner must take the
"official medical examination for practicing
medicine" at the health department after completing
their studies. Only then can graduates practice as a
non-medical practitioner in a foreign or their own
For doctors, further training in the field of
alternative healing methods means a valuable
additional qualification. The knowledge acquired can
increase the prestige of your own practice and
attract completely new customer bases. Clinics,
hospitals and rehabilitation centers also
increasingly employ doctors with knowledge in the
field of complementary medicine.
Health scientists with a degree in alternative
medicine can advise health insurance companies and
companies in the medical and pharmaceutical industry
on alternative healing methods. Working as a
specialist journalist or working in associations and
publishers is also possible. Master's graduates are
often in managerial positions. They can also pursue
an academic career.
Reasons for studying abroad
Many alternative healing methods known here come
from outside Europe. A study stay in the respective
countries offers students the unique opportunity to
gain intensive insights into the healing arts and
way of life there. In addition to the technical
knowledge, the foreign language skills and
intercultural skills gained are valuable additional