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Natural Therapist

VOC Course Interview Subject Prerequisites Year 12 Preferred University Course Subject Prerequisites

Also known as Natural Medicine Practitioner.

Natural therapists specialise in a range of complementary and alternative medical techniques and remedies (including homeopathy, herbalism and aromatherapy), which they use to diagnose, treat and prevent physical illness or dysfunction.

TASKS

    Natural therapists may perform the following tasks:

  • analyse patients' eating habits and develop personalised nutrition plans
  • prescribe natural medicines such as herbal remedies, vitamin compounds and mineral supplements
  • use organic techniques to stimulate the body's capacity for self-healing
  • examine the iris (the coloured part of the eye) to analyse and treat illness in various organs of the body (known as iridology)

PERSONAL REQUIREMENTS

  • desire to help people achieve good health
  • committed to promoting complementary and alternative medicine as a complement to conventional medical treatments
  • a mature and confident personality
  • good communication skills

Interest Area

Medical Helping/Community Service

SPECIALISATIONS

Naturopath - provides holistic remedies for physical ailments by assessing the client's lifestyle, including mental, emotional, nutritional and physical habits. They prescribe necessary changes (as well as herbal and natural medicines) to encourage the maintenance of a lifestyle that supports health and wellbeing.

Herbalist - prescribes and prepares natural remedies specific to their clients' health profiles, using plants and plant parts. These remedies can take the form of tablets, capsules, teas, tinctures, extracts, essential oils (aromatherapy) and other herbal preparations.

Homeopath - prescribes medicines and therapeutic measures to assist the natural tendency of the body to heal itself. A homeopath takes into account the individual's whole physical and emotional environment as well as the specific symptoms of illness.

Aromatherapist - blends therapeutic plant oils, including essential oils, and uses methods such as topical application, massage and inhalation to promote psychological and physical wellbeing.

Kinesiologist - uses non-invasive muscle monitoring to evaluate imbalances in the body's nervous system and energy systems and employs muscle-testing techniques to restore and promote overall health and wellbeing.

EDUCATION & TRAINING


VOC Course Interview Subject Prerequisites Year 12 Preferred University Course Subject Prerequisites

To become a natural therapist you usually have to complete a VOC qualification in the natural therapy field in which you wish to practise. You may be required to attend an interview. As subjects and prerequisites can vary between institutions, you should contact your chosen institution for further information. You may be able to study through distance education.

You can also become a natural therapist by completing a degree in the natural therapy field in which you wish to practise. To get into these courses you usually need to gain your HSC/ACT Year 12. Prerequisite subjects, or assumed knowledge, in one or more of English, biology and chemistry are normally required. You may also be required to attend an interview. A number of institutions in Australia offer degrees in the natural therapy field. Institutions have different prerequisites and some have flexible entry requirements or offer external study. Contact the institutions you are interested in for more information as requirements may change.


Additional Information

    Natural therapy is not a registered health profession. However, national professional bodies such as the Australian Traditional Medicine Society and the Australian Natural Therapists Association set standards for membership.

EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES

Natural therapists usually work in private practice, and success depends largely upon the local community's willingness to receive complementary and alternative medical treatments. Other career options include employment in group practices, research, consultancy, government agencies or in industries such as health food and natural products.

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More Information - External Links

Job Outlook for Natural Therapist Australian Natural Therapists Association Australian Traditional Medicine Society


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