Day spas and spa hotels – good for therapists too
If you’ve reached a turning point in your career and are contemplating the idea of changing professional path completely, re-training as a complementary therapist is well worth a second look.
Alternative therapists take a holistic approach to treating illnesses, using natural methods to restore the body’s balance and seeking the underlying cause rather than treating symptoms alone.
For hundreds of years, alternative therapies were associated with people who dressed, behaved, ate and lived “alternatively”. However, nowadays “complementary” medicine is acknowledged as doing precisely what it says on the tin – in other words it is viewed as a credible “complement” to conventional medicine.
As a result, complementary therapies have enjoyed a surge of popularity recently, and interest in training as a therapist has grown massively in the past few months, especially amongst people who have a genuine interest in helping others and want to really make a difference through their work.
As Karen Young, of International Therapist explains, “When there is a financial downturn, people take stock of their life and what’s important to them.”
She adds, “For many this will involve training in something they have always had an interest in or passion for, but never pursued – such as complementary and alternative health.”
Interest in aromatherapy, reflexology and body massage has always been fairly healthy, but recently other previously less well known holistic therapies – including Indian head massage and Hopi ear candling – have also become increasingly popular at day spas and spa hotels in the UK.
This has led to a strong demand for professional therapists offering treatments ranging from reiki to reflexology and from Shiatsu to La Stone, opening up a vast range of new opportunities for therapists nationwide.
The continuing popularity of weekend spa breaks would seem to fly in the face of the ongoing economic downturn. And with high stress levels becoming an almost inevitable side-effect of the rapid pace of modern life, the demand for alternative therapies looks set to continue rising for the foreseeable future.
So, once you’ve made the decision to re-train as a therapist, what next? Unsurprisingly, accreditation is essential for all therapists, and courses are available from a range of colleges and private trainers.
There are also a host of alternative and complementary medicine courses, lectures, workshops and exhibitions in the UK and abroad to help you to top up and broaden your knowledge and skills at any time. The diversity and flexibility of study options means that you can fit your learning around your family and other commitments.
Changing career is a daunting prospect, and of course you will have to weigh up the pros and cons to gauge whether it’s really right for you (and your partner or family). You’ll need time and space (possibly your own spare room when you’re first starting out), so the practicalities should all be considered in advance.
On the plus side, therapists experience high levels of job satisfaction, as they can see the difference that they make to their customers’ lives by easing their discomfort or helping them relax and think more positively.
Interestingly, one of the main reasons that prompt men and women from a variety of different walks of life to retrain as an alternative therapist is having benefited from a particular therapy or therapies themselves. Which makes them arguably the best possible advert for the therapies they practise.