Alternative Medicine

In Israel, there is no licensing procedure for alternative medical fields. Many practitioners work privately while others work in Kupot Cholim (health clinics). In order to work in a Kupah, you must present your credentials from abroad and show that you have malpractice insurance. Obtaining malpractice insurance in Israel also requires you to present your credentials.

There is a broad range of salaries in alternative medicine in Israel. Salaries differ between those who work in a Kupah and those who work privately. Like any other business, building up a clientele is the biggest challenge in the beginning. In order to develop a client base, you can give lectures, network with other professionals in your field, and use social media to attract patients. It is important to charge competitive rates so as not to price yourself out of the market.

Training Courses in Israel
There are several institutions in Israel that offer a degree or certification in alternative medicine. Here are the names of a few:

  • Reidman International Center (site in Hebrew), info@reidman.co.il , Reidman International Center has six campuses throughout Israel: Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Haifa, Kineret, Beer Sheva and Eilat.
  • Michlelet Shelem in Jerusalem, Tel: 1-700-50-54-54, info@shelem.com. Located in the Jerusalem Central Bus Station (5th floor). Classes (in English) in Jerusalem – subsidized for new Olim. This is an Orthodox institution that offers separate classes for men and women.
  • Michlelet Elima

Online Resources

Insurance
There are several companies that provide malpractice insurance. The oldest is Madanes Rappaport that focuses primarily on providing malpractice insurance for people working in alternative medicines. Phone: (03) 638-0000.

Kupot Cholim
Each of the four health funds, Meuchedet, Maccabi, Clalit and Leumit offers alternative medicine options. Their websites are listed below.

Professional Organizations

Interviews

Interview with Bruce Dublin, Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine

What is your current profession?
I practice acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine. I work in Maale Adumim for a Kupah and work privately in a physical therapy office as well as on my own.

Does it make any difference whether you studied in Israel or abroad?
You can study here or abroad, as long as the school has a good reputation and the course of study is a minimum of 3-4 years.

What are the benefits of working in your field?
For me it’s a great profession, because I enjoy what I do. Also, when you work privately, you can determine what conditions suit you best. This was especially important in the beginning when my Hebrew was pretty weak.

What recommendations can you offer Olim who are looking to work in this field?
Try to keep expenses down by renting space in another office. It is also important that you don’t come to Israel thinking that you can only practice alternative medicine, especially in the beginning. Be prepared to work outside of your field while you are building up your practice. Be flexible! Remember that it’s a privilege to live in Israel, no matter what you do.

Try to work through a Kupah (health plan). It doesn’t pay as well as private patients do, but the volume is better, plus you get more exposure. In general I feel that Israelis are relatively receptive to acupuncture and herbal medicine.

Any advice for students looking to go into your field?
Get a good education and gain as much experience as possible.

How do you feel about working and living here in Israel?
I’m living the dream! What more can I say?

A special thank you to Bruce for participating in this interview. You can reach Bruce for further information at brucewdublin@gmail.com.

Interview with Vera Resnick, Classical Homeopathy and Bach Flower Remedies

Please provide us with a brief description of your field.
I work mainly with Classical Homeopathy and Bach Flower remedies, although I’m also a qualified reflexologist, Reiki Master and aromatherapist. Some methods require weekly sessions while others require follow-up every four to six weeks.

What is your current position?
I practice privately, but most alternative treatments are also available through the health funds.

How did you get your practice started?
Trial and error. I networked with many people in the general health field. Sometimes giving free lectures about your area of expertise can help. I have also posted on Janglo and have used other free websites and social media. Of the paid advertising I’ve done, the advert on Janglo was definitely the most worthwhile for the Anglo-Saxon niche.

What training is necessary to enter your field?
I work in many areas, so I’ve gone through a lot of training. Classical Homeopathy requires a four-year course, including practicum. Reflexology requires two years for “bachir” (advanced) qualification – also including practicum. Each area of activity requires different levels of training.

Alternative medicine is going through a regulation process in Israel, although at present it’s not regulated. In most cases the required levels of training are determined by the professional associations.

Does it make any difference whether you studied in Israel or abroad?
Patients choose to come back based on how much they get out of the sessions. Although the question of where you trained may be important when they initially decide to come to you, the most important thing to most patients and clients is whether you can obtain results.

If you train abroad, it’s worthwhile to speak to people who trained locally, as they can advise you about local resources for your field such as homeopathic pharmacies, acupuncture supplies etc.

What are the benefits of working in this field?
The benefit of working with alternative medicine is that when you help someone, you know you’re resolving something for them in the most beneficial way possible. In many cases people come to an alternative practitioner only after they have not found any help from conventional medicine, and this can provide a lot of satisfaction.

From discussions with people from other countries, I’ve learned that more people are open to alternative medicine in Israel than in many other places. It’s a growing field and every year there is growing interest in what we do.

What is the salary range?
It varies depending on how many patients you see. Many people also supplement their income by teaching classes. You can teach groups privately, through matnasim (local community centers), or apply to the schools’ teaching courses in the field. In Jerusalem specifically there is a demand for courses in English.

What is the professional organization (if any) in your field? How can they be contacted and what do they do?
You should be in touch with professional agudot (associations) related to your field. There are different agudot for every field. You can find most of them online, or in the phone book.

What recommendations can you offer Olim looking to work in this field?
Be sure to network generally and not just with people in your field. A lot of the work is based on who you are as a person. Often, when people get to know you on a personal level, they are more likely to recommend you than a highly qualified and well advertised individual who they do not know personally. This is especially true of alternative medicine, where word-of-mouth recommendations are the most common.

Any advice for students considering your field?
You need to think about what you prefer: working with people hands on, prescribing or energy work. I would recommend that you take short courses to try out different areas and methods, and speak to a lot of people who work in the fields you’re interested in.

How do you feel about working and living here in Israel?
I love being here — It’s the only place to be!

A special thank you to Vera for participating in this interview. You can reach Vera for further information at vera.homeopath@gmail.com.

Interview with Beth Prebor, former midwife and practitioner of Chinese medicine

What is your current profession?
I am a practitioner of Chinese medicine. I am licensed in Chinese acupuncture, Chinese herbs and Tui Na. I specialize in women’s health; I am a former midwife and am currently taking women’s health classes. I am trying to educate the community on how Chinese medicine can help women. I recently started up my own company and have a home office in Gush Etzion and a Jerusalem office. I just finished school a year ago. My ultimate goal in my profession is to bring acupuncture into hospitals, specifically IDF units.

How do you go about establishing your business?
For now, I am relying mostly on word of mouth. I talk to people everywhere and my clients also spread the word. I’ve also done some public speaking and plan on doing more in the future. Additionally, I am working on publicizing my company through social media venues.

What training is necessary to enter your field?
I trained in Israel at Reidman College. Unlike America, Israel does not offer official credentials in alternative medicine. What you can do is take an exam from the IATCM and thereby become a member. It is not a legal organization, so I do not have credentials, per se, but it doesn’t make much of a difference here in terms of attracting more clients.

What are the benefits of working in this field?
It is an amazing, satisfying field because I help bring people more in to balance with their bodies. People come to me in pain and I help them fully rid the pain forever. The herbal medicine I use also makes these people more comfortable and healthy. I feel like I’m helping people in a real way. Most people that come to me come because doctors can’t help them. An advantage in this field is that I have normal hours that I establish myself.

What is the salary range?
If you work for kupah it is not a lot. The average amount per treatment is between 120-250 NIS. An average monthly salary is 12-15000 NIS. Obviously, if you work more than one room at a time you earn more. There is also community based acupuncture. I know a woman who sees everyone in one big room and charges 90 NIS, but she sees 20 patients in a day. Basically you need to factor everything in. It’s not the biggest money maker, but my teachers are able to support their families on it.

What advice can you share with Olim chadashim?
Know that practicing in Israel is different than in America. People charge more in America for treatments. I find that dealing with the herbs in Israel is harder; they are harder to come by here. Bring as much equipment and books as you can with you. Though everything is available here, it costs more.

How do you feel living and working here?
I love where I live and I love what I do! At the beginning it’s hard, don’t get me wrong, yet ten years down the line I am so happy where I am now and it’s worth it!

A special thank you to Beth for participating in this interview. You can reach Beth for further information at bethprebor@gmail.com.

2017-03-15T13:40:26+00:00 Medicine & Health|