Category: Integrative Health

Why Health Literacy is Important

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why health literacy is important

Introduction

Maryland University of Integrative Health (MUIH) Department Chair of Health and Wellness Coaching, Duston Morris, recently published research on health literacy education in Speech Language Pathology (SLP) programs. Dr. Duston Morris is a certified Health Education Specialist and Health Coach. He has been practicing and teaching in community health, public health, health and wellness, fitness and recreation for more than 25 years, and his research agenda explores the relationship between exercise, physical activity and other healthy lifestyle characteristics, the benefits of active infrastructure, and interprofessional education for healthcare students. Download the full publication here.

The Study

This study was part of a larger study that explored how SLP leaders (i.e., program administrators and faculty) implement health literacy education in SLP training programs. Health literacy skills are a vital aspect of an individual’s quality of life and well-being and low health literacy is related to low life expectancy and higher prevalence of disease and illness.

The Outcome

Historically, healthcare providers have overlooked the health literacy skills of their clients. Findings from the study reported that more than half (56%) of SLP leaders implemented HLE within their SLP programs. However, only 4% always teach students why health literacy is important and 75% never instruct students to encourage clients to ask questions. Although HLE occurred in SLP programs, use of HLE varied greatly across different programs. This research points to the importance of incorporating health education in healthcare training programs. Health and Wellness coaching programs should review their training protocol to ensure that students learn how to improve their own health literacy and are able to effectively assist their clients with health literacy education.

Study Health and Wellness Coaching at MUIH

Interested in learning more about studying Health and Wellness Coaching to help clients better implement health in their education programs? Visit our Health and Wellness Coaching Academic Programs to learn more about growing your future as a coach. As a student, you’ll learn the evidence-based approach and set of skills that empowers individuals to tap into their own inner source of motivation to restore and preserve health and well-being. Graduates are prepared for credentialing by the International Coach Federation (ICF) and the National Board for Health & Wellness Coaching (NBHWC).

Is a Career in Integrative Health Right For You? Here’s Why You May Want to Consider

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Integrative health is an exciting and expanding field of health and wellness that utilizes a holistic approach to patient care, personal empowerment, well-being, and community health. And while many integrative healthcare practices rely on  ancient global philosophies, we know that integrative health is increasingly found in mainstream environments, including hospitals,  other comprehensive healthcare systems, companies, non-profit and community-based organizations, and government agencies.

An integrative health career can be a great way to serve others while also honoring your own commitment to human and even planetary wellness. Keep reading to learn more about careers in integrative health and whether this track is right for you.

What is Integrative Health?

Integrative health is commonly defined as the coordinated use of multiple health approaches in health care, and it also describes a holistic perspective of what it is to be healthy. At MUIH, we promote integrative health as a holistic approach to health and well-being. We consider the physical, emotional, social, and spiritual domains of health and wellness. We also consider a range of contributing factors including the environment, personal behaviors, and genetics. Our educational and clinical practices are grounded in a whole-person and relationship-centered perspective that supports collaboration between the patient and the healthcare team. We aim to empower individuals to become informed, take personal responsibility, tap into their inner resilience, and choose the best options for themselves. We use approaches that are evidence-informed and tailored to each individual.

Some of the  growing careers in integrative health and wellness available today include:

  • Acupuncture
  • Ayurvedic wellness
  • Health and wellness coaching
  • Health promotion
  • Herbal medicine
  • Yoga therapy
  • Nutrition
  • Corporate and workplace wellness
  • Cannabis science

Like other leaders in the integrative health field, we at MUIH believe that integrative health is not meant to be utilized in a vacuum. Likewise, integrative services are not mutually exclusive to more conventional medical approaches. Both integrative health and conventional medicine can work wonderfully together in order to enhance patient care, community well-being, and quality of life.

Who Should Work in Integrative Health?

Integrative health is a growing field, and the demand for integrative healthcare providers is expanding rapidly. And because there are so many ways to practice integrative health—and so many opportunities to serve patients, clients, and communities —this field is open to anyone who has a genuine interest in health and wellness.

If you have a natural interest in holistic practices, love working with others, and enjoy helping people develop a deeper understanding of the relationship between their mind, body, spirit, and lifestyle, then a career in integrative health is an excellent option for you—either as a way to augment your current healthcare career or as a way to pivot into a brand new profession!

Things to Consider When Pursuing a Career in Integrative Health

The career outlook for integrative health practitioners is promising. But first, it’s important to make sure you feel confident that it’s the right choice for you.

Before investing in a career in integrative health, be sure to consider questions such as:

  • What area of study do I want to practice in?
  • Why do I want to pursue a career in integrative health?
  • What career opportunities exist for me in my chosen area of study?
  • What kind of population or populations would I love to serve?
  • Where do I see myself practicing?
  • How much money and time am I willing and able to invest in my education?
  • Which program is the best fit option for me?
  • Do I already have any of the prerequisites or prior experiences needed for acceptance into an accredited graduate program?
  • What does work/life balance mean to me, and how can my career in integrative health honor that?

Choose an Area of Study

The first thing to consider is choosing an area of study. Integrative health is an all-encompassing term that includes acupuncture, Ayurvedic wellness, health and wellness coaching, health promotion, herbal medicine, nutrition, cannabis science, yoga therapy, and more. You truly have so many options! In many cases, integrative health practitioners are even able to incorporate two or more specialties into their professional practice. This holistic and comprehensive approach helps them serve their patients, clients, and communities even more effectively.

MUIH offers a diverse array of integrative health programs to choose from and help you hone your skills and narrow down your career focus.

Choose the Right Program

Once you’ve chosen an area of study to pursue, it is important to research different colleges and universities and programs and find your best fit. Here are a few questions to consider as you research and narrow down your program options:

  • What sort of accreditations does the institution offer?
  • What prerequisites are required prior to acceptance?
  • What are the anticipated program fees and schedules?
  • Does the institution have any collaborative relationships with other healthcare systems, hospitals, or institutions?
  • Does the institution provide any guidance or assistance when it comes to post-graduate employment opportunities?

Talking to existing and former students is a great way to get real-time insights into the quality of the institution, faculty, and programs. 

Conclusion

Integrative health is an expanding field of health and wellness that offers providers and patients, clients, and communities a growing number of exciting opportunities. If you’re interested in exploring graduate studies toward a career as an integrative health professional, contact Maryland University of Integrative Health today to learn more about our classes and programs.

Integrative Health Programs at MUIH

Learn more about our degrees in Integrative Health. These programs provide foundational knowledge of a range of integrative health approaches, the evidence-informed efficacy of such practices, and how complementary health approaches can be integrated with conventional medical approaches. They are designed for health care and related professionals who wish to gain a foundational understanding of the field or incorporate it into their organization. Talk to our Career Services Center to determine how you can pursue your career goals!

What Can You Do With a Degree in Integrative Health

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integrative health degree

What Can I Do With an Integrative Health Science Degree

Integrative Health has been a trending topic in recent years and for good reason. As people across America become more health conscious, their preferences for health care have changed. Patients are asking for more holistic and preventative options in contrast to conventional medicine. And healthcare practitioners are beginning to switch over to integrative health options to use with conventional methods. An Integrative Health degree is becoming more prevalent in these recent years.

If you are interested in a career in integrative health, then you’re in luck. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of healthcare occupations is projected to grow 15 percent from 2019 to 2029. With stats like that, there are plenty of career opportunities for those interested in integrative health.

What is an Integrative Health Degree

Before we jump into the benefits of a degree in integrative health, some readers may be wondering, “what does integrative health mean?”

Integrative health approaches are typically defined as the coordinated use of conventional and complementary therapies. The term integrative implies that the various approaches are not just used in parallel to one another, but are employed in an organized fashion to optimize the benefits for clients/patients. It is a holistic approach to health care that encompasses all aspects of an individual. It finds the root cause of an illness. Practitioners in integrative health will utilize healing-oriented approaches, such as herbal remedies, and assess the whole person, including their diet, lifestyle, and mental health.

There are many career paths in which an integrative health practitioner may specialize in, including but not limited to functional nutrition, herbal medicine, acupuncture, and yoga therapy. Keep reading to find out more about career opportunities in integrative health.

Alternative Health and Holistic Careers

For those interested in alternative health or holistic career paths, there are lots of avenues to choose from. In fact, the different career opportunities may be a little overwhelming. For those prospective students who are a bit newer to the idea of pursuing a career in integrative health, you may be asking, “what can I do with a degree in integrative health?” The fact of the matter is, integrative health is an all-encompassing term to describe many different careers and job functions.

Here are some specific roles that fall under the description of integrative health:

  • Non-Pharmaceutical Pain Management
    • Non-pharmaceutical pain management is the management of pain without medication. Integrative health practitioners who specialize in pain management help patients cope with pain through therapeutic practices.
  • An emphasis on nutrition in healthcare
    • Nutrition is often overlooked in conventional medicine. Functional nutrition is a fulfilling field, helping patients and clients live healthier lives through proper nutrition and supplementation.
  • Natural remedies for mental and cognitive health
    • Herbalists and other integrative health practitioners can help improve the mental and cognitive well beings of their patients through natural remedies. As mental health awareness continues to rise, so has the demand for natural remedies.

Integrative Health Trends

As we mentioned before, there are many areas of specialty in integrative health.

Here is a list of some popular career opportunities one can pursue with a degree in integrative health:

  • Nutritionists
    • Nutritionists focus on the patient instead of the disease. Nutritionists optimize their patients’ health by creating personalized meal and supplementation plans based on a patients genetics, lab results, and lifestyle among other things.
  • Corporate/Workplace Wellness
    • Practitioners who work in corporate wellness design and manage workplace wellness programs for the benefit of company employees. They help promote healthy habits in the workplace and can even help businesses save on corporate health insurance.
  • Cannabis Science
    • There are a variety of career opportunities in cannabis science. You can specialize in cannabis therapeutics, dispensary operations, and formulating cannabis products. The cannabis industry continues to grow as more states legalize cannabis use.
  • Yoga Therapy
    • Yoga Therapy is a rapidly growing practice that is being adopted in hospitals, private clinics, and other health care organizations. Yoga therapists can work 1-on-1 with patients, help with mobility, mental health, and conduct research to further the field of yoga therapy.
  • Coaching
    • Health and wellness coaching has been dubbed “the new fitness career”. Health coaching takes a holistic approach to a person’s wellness. Health coaches blend fitness training, meal planning, and counseling into a personalized service for each individual. Health coaches can be seen as a healthy lifestyle consultant.

How Can MUIH Help You Achieve Your Career Goals?

If you’re looking to jumpstart your career in integrative health, then consider earning a degree or certificate from the Maryland University of Integrative Health. We offer 11 comprehensive areas of study led by qualified faculty. Our accredited programs can help you take the next step into a fulfilling career in integrative health.

Programs we offer:

If you would like to learn more about the degree programs offered at the Maryland University of Integrative Health, please reach out to our admissions team at and we would be more than happy to answer any questions you may have.

MUIH Faculty Tips: Keep Your Immune System Strong This Winter

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We’ve got a few more weeks left of winter – wouldn’t it be great to stay strong and healthy during this time? We asked several faculty members from our yoga, nutrition, herbal medicine, health and wellness coaching, and acupuncture and Oriental medicine programs to answer this question: What are some of the top tips you’d give a client to help them maintain a strong immune system during this time of year?

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