In case you haven’t noticed, the health and wellness industry is set for record expansion. Why is this? The answers are fairly clear: People are looking for natural and non-invasive ways to stay healthy. There is so much information out there, and new pharmaceutical drugs are being invented all the time. Of course, there is a very important place for this kind of medical treatment; but more and more, people are leaning toward maintaining health and wellness through preventative measures.

What this means is that healing arts – such as massage, acupressure, trigger point therapy, kinesiology, and others – are experiencing a huge wave of interest and popularity. It’s also an industry that many people find extremely rewarding. As a career, it can offer great potential for growth as well as deep levels of personal satisfaction. Anytime you have a career field with this kind of potential, there will be a lot of interest in education and training to become a practitioner.

If you’re someone that has recently become interested in a career in the healing arts, you probably already know that there are many different paths available to you – and for each of those paths, there are many different institutions that offer courses and certifications of various lengths.

The key question is what kind of school, and what kind of program, is truly going to help you achieve your goals. The right choice can set you up for career success and satisfaction in the field of healing arts, but the wrong choice can bring no small amount of frustration.

Here are three basic questions that can help you make a better decision when it comes to choosing a school for the healing arts.

1. Is it grounded in medical science (e.g. biology and human anatomy)?

There are a lot of healing programs out there that are based on understandings of “energy” and other aspects of wellness that are not understood by medical science. These modalities may have a lot of meaning for many people, but there is also a very strong argument for healing arts that are grounded in medical understanding and knowledge.

2. Does it offer a variety of techniques?

Massage therapy is good example of a healing art with many different techniques, and the most successful professionals in the field usually have a good working knowledge of these different areas. Some healing arts schools are more focused on getting as many students as possible enrolled in the program, with less attention to the standards of professional education being offered. A reputable massage therapy school is much more concerned about training dedicated students to reach a high level of skill and professionalism in the field.

3. Does it offer certifications that meet or exceed state requirements?

Different states have different requirements when it comes to certification and license in the healing arts. It’s hugely important to make sure that your school meets or exceeds these requirements, if applicable. Otherwise, you could find yourself graduating with a certificate that doesn’t actually hold water. Pay close attention to the real world applicability and certification standards of any healing arts program you choose to attend.

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