“Heilpraktiker” (german, Naturopath) is a protected professional title for people who, according to the German law, have state permission to practice medicine without having a medical license. The Heilpraktiker Act regulates professional licensing through a demanding examination system that guarantees patients a high standard of professional knowledge. Depending on previous education, the training at one of the naturopathic medicine schools in Germany can be completed in 12 to 24 months. While some distance learning schools only prepare students for the examination before the health authority, full-time training courses with a lot of practical instruction and direct exchange with competent lecturers promise greater success – even after passing the Heilpraktiker examination.
What is a Naturopath in Germany not allowed to do?
Naturopaths are not licensed, and this distinguishes them from doctors and psychotherapists. Unlike the latter, they are not allowed to prescribe prescription drugs or narcotics. They are not allowed to treat reportable, dental, and venereal diseases (with the exception of menstrual cramps, prostate enlargement, and other sexually non-communicable diseases of the primary sex organs). Radiation therapy and obstetrics are also off limits.
Naturopath education at Naturopathic Medicine Schools in Germany
There is no academic or legal standard training for the naturopath profession. Which at the same time means that each of the naturopathic medicine schools in Germany can create its own curriculum. The wheat is separated from the chaff at the latest during the final examination. To become a naturopath and to be allowed to work as such, one must obtain the necessary permit, which is issued by the regional health authority after a written and oral examination. In order to pass this demanding examination, a high quality and comprehensive education at one of the naturopathic medicine schools in Germany is essential.
Choosing a good school for naturopathic medicine
There are many naturopathic medicine schools in Germany, from small local ones to large distance learning academies, which offer all kinds of training. With such a large selection, choosing a school is not easy. Large, renowned schools with face-to-face classes and experienced instructors are recommended. Naturopath professional associations also offer specialized training, advanced training and continuing education.
When choosing the right, high-quality training center for you, please ask yourself the following questions:
- Do you feel comfortable in the school and well advised by the study management?
- Are free trial lessons or trial weeks offered?
- Is there a fair notice period?
- Do you get along well with the teaching methods and instructors?
- Is enough practical content and naturopathic therapeutic basics taught?
- Are there enough hours of instruction for the specialties that are relevant to the exam?
- Are specialized training courses and advanced specializations offered?
- Does the school help with questions, exam registration, and practice building?
- What experiences have others had with the school?
The examination at the public health office by the public health officer and the examination board
Heilpraktiker are not only experts in the field of naturopathy. In practicing their profession, they have the same responsibility as doctors – after all, they are entrusted with the health of their patients. Thus, a sound basic medical knowledge of body, mind, health and disease is mandatory for every therapist who wants to help and treat people as an alternative practitioner. The health authority therefore examines knowledge in these very areas extremely closely. The examination is very demanding and includes the following areas of knowledge, among others:
- General theory of disease
- Analysis and interpretation of laboratory values
- Application, effect, limits, dangers of diagnostic and therapeutic naturopathy measures
- Professional and legal knowledge
- Recognition and initial treatment of acute emergencies and life-threatening conditions
- Injections, blood sampling of different values i.e. Kreatinin.
- Clinical diagnosis
- Human anatomy, physiology, pathophysiology
- Pathology, psychopathology
- Practice hygiene, disinfection, sterilization
General training, specialized training and advanced training: Duration, costs and options
There are two groups of naturopath aspirants. On the one hand, there are interested persons without previous medical training, and on the other hand, there are members of medical-therapeutic assistant professions, such as physician assistants, health/nurses, midwives, MTAs, PTAs, paramedics and masseurs, who want to further qualify as alternative practitioners. The training lasts between 1 and 3 years, depending on previous education – usually 24 months. It can be completed in classroom training in various training variants or via distance learning. The most popular forms of training at naturopathic medicine schools in Germany are:
- Full-time training for career starters or subject entrants
- Part-time training, mostly in the evenings and at weekends
- Intensive courses for aspirants with previous medical training
Training costs vary depending on the form of study. For example, intensive courses for aspirants with prior medical knowledge are less expensive than full-time training for those just starting out in the profession. In addition to the costs for the school, there are also the examination fees and, at some schools, additional costs for learning materials. If the school is further away from the place of residence, travel and accommodation costs could also be added.
As a rule, each student bears the costs of the training himself. However, there are subsidies that can be claimed. These are possible from employment agencies and job centers as well as from the German Pension Insurance, the Employer’s Liability Insurance Association and the German Armed Forces. To receive these subsidies, certain requirements must be met and the school must be approved.
List of Naturopathic Medicine Schools in Germany
Below is a list of Naturopathic Medicine Schools in Germany.
Akademie für Homöopathie
The sponsor of the “Academy for Homeopathy” is the Homöopathie Forum e.V. in Gauting near Munich, an association of classical homeopathic practitioners with approximately 1000 active members and promotion members. The association is committed to the teaching of homeopathy in the spirit of Samuel Hahnemann.
Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Klassische Akupunktur und Traditionelle Chinesische Medizin e.V.
The AGTCM e.V. was one of the first naturopathic medicine schools in Germany to develop a nationwide framework curriculum for the training courses at the six schools and thus advocates qualified training and further education in Chinese medicine.
In a database you will find current offers for training or continuing education in diagnosis, acupuncture, drug therapy, Tuina, Qi Gong, dietetics, ear acupuncture, classical medicine, western herbs in Chinese medicine, animal acupuncture and many more topics.
BDC Chiropraktik Akademie
Founded in 1993 in Berlin as the Chiropractic School Berlin, the BDC Academy teaches alternative practitioners and physicians the original methods of the American chiropractic techniques.
Chiropraktik Akademie CPA
The Association School of the Federation of German Chiropractors e.V. offers a 5-year training to become a Heilpraktiker and chiropractor as well as a Bachelor and Master of Science in Chiropractic.
Clemens von Bönninghausen-Gesellschaft für Homöopathik e.V.
Training in Classical Homeopathy according to the founder of homeopathy Dr. Samuel Hahnemann.
The training in CranioSacral Healing® is based on the teachings of the craniosacral founder Dr. Sutherland. The entire training spans a period of about two years on a total of 48 seminar days.
Deutsche Akademie für Akupunktur | DAA e. V.
In addition to training, the Academy’s tasks also include research and further development in close cooperation with renowned universities in China.
Deutsche Ärztegesellschaft für Applied Kinesioloogy (DÄGAK)
The DÄGAK offers courses in Applied Kinesiology, a multidisciplinary diagnostic and therapy method, for physicians, dentists and other medical professions. They prepare for the IMAK medical association diploma for physicians and IMAK dental association diploma for dentists, for the other medical professions for the Test of Clinical Competence (“CCT”) of the ICAK.
Chamfering for healthy ones – chamfering courses – chamfering migration – chamfering leaders of the original fasting method according to Buchinger.
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Akupunktur und Neuraltherapie (DgfAN) e.V.
With over 3000 members one of the largest societies for acupuncture and neural therapy in Germany; 30 years of experience in education, training and research.
Deutsche Paracelsus Schulen für Naturheilverfahren
Training institute for non-medical practitioners, non-medical practitioners for psychotherapy and psychological counselors, animal healers, for wellness and health care.
The German Paracelsus schools for nature welfare procedures train for more than 27 years in 52 schools throughout Germany.
Deutsche Qigong Gesellschaft e.V.
Qigong trainings for people who work in social, therapeutic, helping, medical or artistic fields. After the 2-year course instructor training (1st level), the training to become a Qigong teacher (2nd level) takes place over another 2 years.
DGMH-Akademie für Miasmatik in der Homöopathie
In a three-year course of study at the academy a solid, comprehensive and and practice-oriented basic knowledge of classical homeopathy with a special consideration of the miasms.
Europäische Akademie für Ayurveda Deutschland
The institute offers in-service training and continuing education with publicly recognized education partners and certifications the non-profit society with its facilities in Germany, Austria and Switzerland offers Ayurveda training and continuing education.Europäische Akademie für Traditionelle Chinesische Medizin e.V.
The European Academy for Traditional Chinese Medicine is the umbrella organization for its affiliated societies and is responsible for the special training in Traditional Chinese Medicine in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. It is a recognized training center of Nanjing University for TCM.
Feldenkrais Training Programs in Europe
Training in the Feldenkrais Method is usually in-service. The Trainings are internationally accredited and supervised. In all accredited trainers and assistants teach in all accredited trainings.
Freiburg School of Medicinal Plants
In one-year extra-occupational phytotherapy trainings, well-founded knowledge in contemporary medicinal herbal medicine. Thereby both traditional applications as well as the latest findings of phytomedicine over secured welfare effects of medicinal plants are included. The training is suitable for participants with previous medical knowledge (physicians, pharmacists, alternative practitioners, health professionals, nursing professions, midwives, physiotherapists etc.) or medical interests.
Holistic Shiatsu Therapy
Holistic Shiatsu Therapy is a Shiatsu method, to which only members of medical (assistant) professions are admitted. This is because it is aimed at therapeutic treatments that also require medical knowledge. The training is divided into two complete training courses.
GSD recognized Shiatsu schools
A directory of Shiatsu schools, which offer a well-founded, practice-oriented, learning goal oriented Shiatsu education and training. The classes combine Far Eastern healing and health teachings with modern Western didactics. The training of at least three years over 500 time-hours integrates the learning of Shiatsu into the personal development.
Schools of the professional association of German Heilpraktiker
Directory of the schools of the oldest and largest Heilpraktikerverband in Germany. Nationwide there are 8 alternative practitioner schools on the state level, which benefit from the over 60-year experience of the professional association of German welfare practical men registered association and have joined together to form a quality circle with high training goals.
Homeopathy training courses in classical homeopathy for alternative practitioners
Anyone interested in a homeopathy training will find many and partly divergent representations to this topic at the different naturopathic medicine schools in Germany. The foundation Homeopathy Certificate has set itself the task of ensuring quality assurance in Germany. Due to many years of experience in the gradual introduction to the homeopathic way of thinking via individual modules has proven its worth.
IfP – Institute for Phytotherapy and Heilpraktikerschule Healing with Plants e.V.
The IfP is Germany far the only of all naturopathic medicine schools in Germany, which offers a qualified three-year training with therapeutic emphasis on Herbal medicine. The orientation of the training refers to the the large areas of the classical naturopathic therapies and prepares by practice-oriented training concept, for the work in the naturopathic practice.
International Society for Chinese Medicine
The training to become a Certified Physician of Chinese Medicine is a postgraduate course of study for physicians and medical students. The certificate, jointly awarded by SMS and University of Witten-Herdecke guarantees the most qualified training in all areas of qualified training in all areas of Chinese Medicine.
In addition to the medical school, the SMS also has a school, which is open to all interested parties and offers training in Qigong, Taiji, Chinese Dietetics and Tuina (Chinese manual therapy).
International medical society for neural therapy according to Huneke Regulation Therapy e.V. (IGNH)
Neural therapy is a medical and invasive procedure that requires qualified training on the part of the therapist. Since 2004 the IGNH training includes a total of ten courses, which take place within two years.
Kneipp Doctors Association e.V.
As an accredited organizer of the Bavarian Medical Association, the Medical Association for preventive medicine and classical naturopathic treatments, Kneippärztebund e.V. offers advanced and continuing education courses for physicians.
Naturopathy at the University of Duisburg-Essen
The aim of the first German Chair for Naturopathy is to create the for an integrative medicine, a combination of orthodox medicine, scientifically verifiable naturopathy and traditional Chinese medicine as well as its integration into clinical care. The chair includes an internal medicine-naturopathic department with 54 beds and an outpatient clinic for naturopathy and traditional Chinese medicine (acupuncture, Chinese phytotherapy, Qi Gong, Tuina massages and TCM nutritional consultations) at the academic teaching hospital of the Essen-Mitte Clinics.
Naturopathy at the University of Rostock
Endowed Chair for Naturopathy on the initiative of the Ärztegesellschaft für e. V. and the Hufelandgesellschaft für Gesamtmedizin e. V. with the aim to transfer results of naturopathic research through application in the rehabilitation clinic “Moorbad” Bad Doberan directly into clinical practice.
The clinical services offered there are covered by all statutory and private health insurance companies on the basis of health insurance companies.
Medical Section at the Goetheanum
The Medical Section is one of 11 specialist sections of the School of Spiritual Science at the Goetheanum in Dornach/Switzerland. It offers, among other things, training and further education in anthroposophical medicine.
School for Christian Naturopathy SCN
The aim of the school is to provide a well-founded naturopathic education at a high professional level without esoteric and far-eastern religious philosophies.
Sebastian-Kneipp-School – Vocational school of the Kneipp-Bund e.V.
The Sebastian-Kneipp-Schule is an institution of the Kneipp-Bund, which offers courses in the Physiotherapy and Physical Therapy vocational training.
TRAGER Association Germany e.V.
“Do not strive, but ask yourself: How would it like to be?” How can we learn to communicate with our body? How do we learn its language in order to live in harmony with it to follow easier, more joyful and freer paths? Since 1995 the TDV has been providing TRAGER education and training in Germany. The training is especially suitable for people in therapeutic, pedagogical, nursing or artistic professions.
The NMCC hopes this list of naturopathic medicine schools in Germany can help you for your education. The list is not complete for the reasons mentioned above – there are simply too many naturopathic medicine schools in Germany – but offers you an overview of the most important schools.