Practitioners of natural healing (NOC 3232)

High opportunity occupation

About this job

Practitioners of natural healing provide complementary  forms of care to promote, maintain and restore the overall or holistic health of patients. They use a variety of treatments including acupuncture, traditional Chinese medicine, herbology, homeopathy and reflexology.

Common job titles
  • acupuncturist / doctor of acupuncture
  • aromatherapist
  • auriculotherapist
  • herbalist, chartered / herb practitioner
  • holistic practitioner
  • homeopath / homeopathic practitioner

Duties

Acupuncturists:

  • Diagnose diseases, physical disorders, imbalances and injuries
  • Treat patients by inserting needles
  • Use stimulation techniques that include hea t, light (including laser), acupressure, magnets, suction and electric currents
  • Work within the framework of traditional Chinese medicine
  • May suggest exercises and offer food guidelines

Traditional Chinese medicine practitioners:

  • Diagnose diseases, physical disorders, imbalances and injuries
  • Treat patients using acupuncture and Chinese herbology

Herbalists:

  • Use herbs to treat arthritis, rheumatism, asthma, skin disorders, stomach problems and other conditions
  • Use plant-based foods to promote healing and wellness
  • May grow, manufacture and sell herbal compounds

Traditional Chinese medicine herbalists:

  • Diagnose diseases, physical disorders, imbalances and injuries
  • Prescribe and mix herbal formulas to treat patients
  • Work within the framework of traditional Chinese medicine
  • May suggest healing Chinese recipes

Homeopaths:

  • Assess illnesses
  • Treat patients by giving a small dose of a herbal or chemical remedy made from natural substances
  • Suggest lifestyle changes

Reflexologists:

  • Assess clients’ physical, mental and emotional health
  • Apply gentle pressure with fingers to reflex points on the hands, feet, ears and face

Work environment

Many practitioners of natural healing work in private practice, including group or team practices. Some have home-based or mobile businesses. Others are employed by health clinics, extended care facilities, rehab centres, health clubs or spas.

They may work regular business hours, evenings or weekends. Most work environments are quiet and soothing.

Practitioners must keep treatment areas clean and take other safety measures to protect their clients and themselves from infection. They may feel strain from standing or sitting during treatments. They also risk injury when lifting and moving tables and other equipment.

Insights from industry

In addition to acupuncture, herbology, homeopathy and reflexology, practitioners of natural healing use a range of lesser-known holistic practices including:

  • Acupressure – stimulating points on the body to change energy flow
  • Aromatherapy – using essential oils to relax clients and enhance the effects of other treatments
  • Rolfing – manipulating soft tissue to release stress, improve movement and reduce pain
  • Shiatsu – using touch to balance energy flow

Career paths and resources

Career paths

With additional education and training, traditional Chinese medicine practitioners may become doctors of traditional Chinese medicine. In this advanced role, they deal with more complex medical needs.

Additional resources

  • Acupuncture Canada
    www.acupuncturecanada.org
  • British Columbia Association of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture Practitioners (ATCMA)
    atcma.org
  • Canadian Alliance of Regulatory Bodies of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists (CARB-TCMPA)
    carb-tcmpa.org
  • Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture Association of Canada (CMAAC)
    www.cmaac.ca
  • College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists of British Columbia (CTCMA)
    www.ctcma.bc.ca
  • Natural Health Practitioners of Canada
    www.nhpcanada.org
  • Small Business BC
    smallbusinessbc.ca
  • United Acupuncturists and TCMP Association of British Columbia (UAABC)
    www.uaabc.com