Heilpraktiker ("healing practitioner") is a naturopathic profession in Germany. It is recognized as an alternative and complementary health care profession by German law. A heilpraktiker does not need to have any formal education or training but must do an exam at the health authorities. This exam used to be somewhat basic until the 1980s, at which time it was made to become much more demanding. A candidate needs to have good knowledge of medical sciences, such as anatomy, physiology and pathology and psychiatry; a good knowledge of law regulations is also needed. Healing practitioners often specialize in a complementary and alternative field of healthcare that could be anything from homeopathy, phytotherapy, Chinese medicine, Ayurvedic medicine, to reflexology or acupuncture. A healing practitioner is a person who is allowed to practice as a non-medical practitioner using any unconventional therapy. About 35000 heilpraktiker are accredited in Germany.
- Gesetz über die berufsmäßige Ausübung der Heilkunde ohne Bestallung (Heilpraktikergesetz), 17.02.1939.
- Erste Durchführungsverordnung zum Gesetz über die berufsmäßige Ausübung der Heilkunde ohne Bestallung (Heilpraktikergesetz), 18.02.1939.
- https://www.destatis.de/DE/Publikationen/Thematisch/Gesundheit/Gesundheitspersonal/PersonalPDF_2120731.pdf Federal Statistical Office of Germany: Gesundheitspersonal 2011 nach Berufen (Fachserie 12 Reihe 7.3.1), p. 13.
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