Alternative Healing Schools In Richmond Va

Massage therapy is one aspect of holistic and alternative medical practice.

Medical schools typically don’t offer courses in alternative medicine or healing. In fact, alternative medicine derives its name from its emphasis on holistic medicine as opposed to the traditional curriculum of doctor of medicine (M.D.) programs. M.D. education typically focuses on treating symptoms and using pharmaceutical approaches to do so. Alternative healing schools may rely upon other therapies, some of which may emphasize spiritual wholeness and well-being, along with various herbal and natural remedies.

Virginia Commonwealth University

Although not commonly publicized by the university or its medical school, Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) offers courses of study in holistic and alternative healing for its medical and health science students at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. Because VCU has not made holistic and alternative medicine a major portion of its medical curriculum, most of the information about classes offered in this field by VCU can be obtained from sources outside the university. For instance, the “American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education” noted VCU’s pharmacy students can take courses in alternative medicine as part of the electives required for their degree plan. The university’s nursing school has hosted various alternative therapy conferences, like the 2008 Odyssey Critical Care Conference, and its nursing faculty such as Nancy L. McCain and Jo Lynne W. Robbins have published works on alternative stress management therapies to deal with medical conditions like HIV. Courses offered as part of the medical school curriculum that fall into the category of alternative medicine include elective courses in fields like yoga anatomy, physiology and medicine.

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VCU School of Nursing

1100 E. Leigh St.

Richmond, VA 23298


VCU School of Pharmacy

410 N. 12th St., # 5

Richmond, VA 23298


VCU Medical School

1101 East Marshall St.

Sanger Hall, Room 1-014

P.O. Box 980565

Richmond, VA 23298


The Natural Therapy Center

The Natural Therapy Center (NTC) in Richmond also provides training in alternative medicine and holistic healing. Unlike the program offered at VCU, the NTC is not a school approved by the American Medical Association (AMA). Nonetheless, those interested in alternative therapies are not likely to care about such approval since alternative medicine tends to fall outside the mainstream of modern medical practice. NTC is certified, however, by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork. The school offers various certificate programs in a variety of areas in the alternative medicine field. Courses include areas such as aromatherapy, natural health, natural fertility, natural pregnancy, acupressure, health and nutrition and even Chinese medicine.

The Natural Therapy Center

2520 Professional Rd., Suite D

Richmond, VA 23235


Careers in Alternative Medicine

Because the medical community does not always recognize the validity of alternative healing methods, most schools approved by the AMA do not offer degrees in the field or a large number of courses. Schools in Richmond like VCU are rare and may draw students and researchers open to alternative therapies. Students should be aware, however, that courses in holistic alternative medicine will likely be offered primarily as elective courses.

Those who take the alternative path of attending a school like the NTC can take courses on a number of topics and possibly pursue careers in a variety of fields related to holistic medicine. Some of these might include work in massage therapy, homeopathic medical practice, yoga instruction, acupuncture, naturopathic medicine and reflexology.

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