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Natural Health Degrees

Natural health, or naturopathy, was originally derived from the 19th century theory of health known as vitalism. It also falls under the ambit of the Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) spectrum.
Natural health is an approach to healing and revitalization which makes use of a wide range of natural therapies and healing techniques. These build and restore wellness by working with and complementing the body’s natural recuperative powers.

Naturopathy is a holistic and non-invasive approach to healing. Naturopaths will generally avoid making use of surgery or drugs in their treatment plans.

Natural Health Ideology

The principle ideology of natural health practices is that the human body has the capability and capacity to fully heal itself. This means that in natural health, all the healing which takes place is essentially self-healing. When a patient is unwell or is suffering from some malady or disease, the treatment plan takes into account and makes use of the body’s natural, innate healing abilities.
Furthermore, natural health does not view a disease or sickness as a localized problem in one part of the body. If a person is unwell, it is because there is an imbalance in the entire system. Therefore, in natural health, healing is considered to be a concerted effort of the entire organism and cannot properly be achieved by any part in isolation from the whole.
One of the founding fathers of medicine, Hippocrates once wrote that "the natural healing force within us is the greatest force in getting well."

What are Some Common Natural Health Specialists in the Field?

The field of natural health or naturopathy is quite large due to the fact that it employs a wide range of natural healing techniques. As such, someone who has studied naturopathy or natural health can become any one of the following specialists in the field:

  • Herbalist
  • Acupuncturist
  • Chiropractor 
  • Nutritionist
  • Holistic health specialist
  • Naturopathy doctor
natural health programs

Types of Natural Health Degrees

Natural health degree programs explore all of the many alternative, natural ways in which to heal patients. These programs have extensive hands-on training requirements and for this reason, distance learning or online degree options are extremely rare. Furthermore, natural health degrees are very uncommon at the bachelor’s degree level and typically begin to be offered at the graduate level.
For those interested in pursuing natural health, it is recommended that you first complete a bachelor’s degree in a related field, such as the physical sciences, in order to gain admission into a master’s degree program in natural health.

Master’s Degree in Natural Health

Master’s degree programs in natural health give students a thorough understanding of the functions of the human body and the wide range of natural remedies which can be used to help the body heal itself. Many master’s programs require students to complete a thesis paper on a specific aspect of the holistic sciences, such as Herbology. Students may also be required to complete an internship or carry out extensive hands-on work under the supervision of a trained naturopath.
This program typically takes two years to complete.
Entry Requirements:

  • A bachelor’s degree in the physical sciences or a related discipline
  • Minimum GPA requirements are determined by individual programs
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Statement of entry

The curriculum of these programs typically begins with exploring the nature and philosophy of human anatomy followed by natural methods to healing.
Common courses offered in this degree include:

  • Iridology
  • Advanced nutrition
  • Phytochemical composition of foods
  • Holistic human development
  • Advanced Herbology
  • Neuro physiology of beliefs
  • Advanced research methods
  • Detoxification and healing
  • Belief and wellness

Ph.D. in Natural Health

Doctoral degrees in this discipline typically culminate with the title of Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine. Individuals who pursue this degree are typically inclined towards research or academia in the field.
This degree typically takes four years to complete.
Entry Requirements

  • A bachelor’s or master’s degree in natural health
  • Work experience, either academic or on the job
  • Minimum GPA requirements are determined by individual programs
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Statement of entry

The curriculum of these programs involves both practical work and theory. Students can complete the clinical components by working alongside trained professionals in the field at local hospitals or clinics. The program culminates with a thesis on an original piece of research in the field.
Common courses that may be offered in this program include:

  • Naturally increasing health and energy
  • Insulin resistance in patients with diabetes
  • Traditional Chinese medicine
  • Adult hormone replacement therapy
  • Digestion, nutrition and longevity
  • Mental health and nutrition
  • Practical applications for holistic medicine
  • Mind and body wellness
  • Pathology
  • Histology
  • Hydrotherapy
  • Holistic diagnosis
  • Holistic approaches to specific areas, such as ear, nose and throat, oncology, urology, dermatology, etc.
  • Natural health as a business

Job Prospects & Salary

To date, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not have information and statistics listed for the professionals in alternative or holistic medicine. BLS has however listed acupuncturists, naturopathic physicians and hypnotherapists under the classification of health diagnosing and treatment practitioners, all other, for which the statistics are:

  • As of May 2014, these professionals made an annual median salary of $73,400.
  • The top ten percent of professionals in this field made an annual median salary of $138,130.
  • The top industries which employed these professionals were:



Percent of industry employment

Hourly mean wage

Annual mean wage 

Federal Executive Branch (OES Designation)





General Medical and Surgical Hospitals





Offices of Other Health Practitioners





Offices of Physicians





Outpatient Care Centers





Natural health or naturopathy covers a wide range of healing practices which take a holistic approach to healing. The field is based on a belief that the human body is fully capable of healing itself and so, it employ non-invasive techniques and practices which may work in conjunction with the body’s natural healing abilities. In order to become a naturopath or earn a qualification in natural health, one would first need to enroll in a bachelor’s degree in the physical sciences, followed by graduate and doctoral study, depending on your career aspirations.


Frequently Asked Question(s)

Q:What are online natural health degree programs designed for?

A:Online natural health degree programs are designed to provide students with skills needed for delivering holistic care. These programs focus on the use of natural products and techniques used for improving the overall health of clients. The program may cover important topics such as detoxification, nutrition, botany, and consultation techniques.

Q:How will I study if I choose to go for natural health courses online?

A:Online education will provide you with maximum flexibility. You will be required to cover the course components online. Online lectures, classroom conferencing, videos, and tutorials are used to deliver knowledge to students online. You will need a computer and a reliable internet connection. Please remember to check the accreditation status of the college before enrolling online.

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