“You are educated. Your certification is in your qualification. You may think of it as the ticket to the good life. Let me ask you to think of an alternative. Think of it as your ticket to change the world. Even if that world is one person, even if that one person is you.”
I’ve got my qualifications, what do I do now?
It’s a very common question asked by students worldwide. The great response in relation to holistic health is, pretty much anything you like, there’s so many options.
Fortunately, we are living in a time where holistic health practitioners are more in demand than ever before, with their popularity only increasing. A very cool combination is trending in the healthcare world today; doctor’s utilising holistic health professionals in tandem with western medicine. This is such a win for both fields and is a perfect recipe for true healing. Certainly an interesting end-goal to your holistic healing career path.
Does a home-based work space fit your lifestyle?
It is quite common for naturopaths, herbalists, massage therapists and such to work from home. Usually, they will have an area of their living space dedicated to client treatment, potentially offering to make home-visits. House calls can be an important part of client relation, especially where some people may have difficulty travelling or limited mobility. It’s also considered a luxury, and can have huge benefits on your clients short-term effects of treatment. Not having to get dressed, composed, and drive off into horrible traffic after receiving a relaxing, healing therapy? Erm yes please!
This is definitely a smart option as you save the money and organisation required to rent an office space. When starting out, it’s always best to test the waters before jumping into something. First, build up your client-base and establish strong relationships. Once you’ve done that you can start getting ideas, and have the work to back it up.
You don’t have to stick with the first job you have
There are many avenues to consider, or discover one by one if you like to change things up. If self-employment doesn’t appeal to you, you have a few alternatives. The really great thing about employment is a guaranteed pay check. You don’t have to be self-disciplined or worry about paper work. You just need to find an establishment that needs to fill a vacancy. This could be an array of hotels or health centres. It could be a stand-alone spa or franchise, even your local salon that has an eclectic menu. Cruise ships are going mad for masseuses and beauty workers, and are constantly hiring. Gyms, fitness centres, yoga studios and detox retreats are commonly offering a large selection of massages and holistic treatments to satisfy customer needs and compliment their businesses.
Do your research
It’s important to do your research and ask around. Make contacts, improve your CV and show your face rather than applying online. There’s a lot to consider when it comes to what your daily life is going to entail. Working as a massage therapist on a cruise liner for example, is hard hard work for average pay. Clients go in and out like a production line and you need to make sure you are at your peak fitness level. The sad fact is, not all employers are on your side. A lot of managers only care about sales, and if you find yourself in that type of situation it’s a good idea to end the contract as soon as you can. In every case, your welfare needs to be your priority. Your second priority should be ensuring your client is getting a proper holistic treatment, not a quick rub down with zero aftercare.
Look after yourself
It’s a shame to train as a holistic therapist, have your whole heart and mind in it and then be washed out by harsh work environments and unrealistic sales goals. This is an all too familiar tale unfortunately, but there’s an advantage to everything. During your employment, you will learn how a business is run, meet all kinds of people, gain experience and earn cash while doing so. You will have good days and bad days and learn to handle all types of situations. You will benefit from personal growth and learn tricks of the trade from your colleagues and peers. The most important part is to make sure you protect your body from strain and injury. Working with your hands for 7 hours straight or more, can exhaust you, leaving you vulnerable to bad posture and muscle over-use.
Take your time
One of the key tools for finding an employment path that suits you best, is knowing who you are and ultimately what you want from your career. Specialising occurs over time, not the day you graduate. Money and time needs to be set aside for your studies and for your start-up. Throughout your studies, practice on everyone for a very discounted price. Friends, friends of friends, family, neighbours. This way you won’t be completely out of pocket but you’ll always have people lining up for their next treatment. They understand you are only starting out, and so there is not a whole lot of pressure on yourself to give a perfect treatment. This is a great time to actually make mistakes and experiment with techniques. Be open to feedback and suggest constructive criticism. Relax into the type of therapist you’re aspiring to become. Tryout different equipment whenever possible. This should be the time for trial an error, with every aspect of treatment. Through the learning journey, find the professional you that suits you best.
Interested in becoming a qualified practitioner? At The School of Natural Health Sciences there are over 50 different holistic health courses to choose from including Business & Marketing for Holistic Therapists, a valuable add-on for your already existing qualifications. The School of Natural Health Sciences lets you enrol online, study from the comfort of your own home and gives you internationally recognised qualifications. Take advantage of this months special offers, or visit the A-Z overview of Holistic Therapy Courses on offer.