3 Top Professional Wellness Organizations You Need to Know About
There are a lot of wellness organizations out there. But, doing a blind search on the internet can be overwhelming. Are all official organizations credible? Is a website that also sells products okay to get involved with?
These are just a few of the questions we’ve heard from the health and wellness community. And the answer to all of them is: it depends.
There are a few key things you can look for to help identify a top (i.e., credible) health and wellness organization:
- The website looks professional (e.g., information-rich, clear contact information)
- The membership requirements are easy to locate and clearly outlined
- There is thorough “Who We Are” or “About” information publicly available and the organization’s leadership has professional qualifications (e.g., degrees, trainings, apprenticeships, publications, speaking engagements)
- Community interaction is encouraged (e.g., forums, up-to-date social media, events)
Here are 3 top wellness organizations—practitioners to product manufactures to personal well-being enthusiasts—you should know about (in no specific order):
American Herbalists Guild (AHG)
The American Herbalists Guild (AHG) is a nonprofit, educational organization serving the herbal medicine community. AHG has been around since 1989 and works to “promote a high level of professionalism and education in the study and practice of therapeutic herbalism.”
To support this goal, AHG offers herbalists the following opportunities (among others):
- An annual herbal medicine symposium
- A biannual, peer-reviewed publication, the Journal of the American Herbalists Guild, for students, practitioners, and teachers
- The opportunity to become a Registered Herbalist with AHG and to use the “RH” designation
- Student memberships and participation opportunities in regional chapters
Also, ACHS Master Herbalist graduates are eligible for professional membership once they have met the AHG clinical requirement, available through the AHG mentorship program.
National Association of Nutrition Professionals (NANP)
The National Association of Nutrition Professionals (NANP) is a nonprofit professional business league serving holistic nutrition professionals and the holistic nutrition community. Originally founded in 1985 as the Society of Certified Nutritionists, NANP is dedicated to “furthering the cause, education, and standards of the holistic nutrition industry.”
To support this goal, NANP offers holistic nutritionists the following opportunities (among others):
- A list of recommended educational programs (including ACHS) that meet NANP’s Educational Standards for nutrition consultants and natural chefs
- Professional, Student, and Associate membership opportunities
- An annual holistic nutrition conference and expo
- The opportunity to become Board Certified in Holistic Nutrition® (learn more here)
- A holistic nutrition career center
Also, as an NANP school, all ACHS courses count as Category I continuing education credits for the 10 required hours of CE required each year for NANP nutrition professionals.
Natural Products Association (NPA)
The Natural Products Association (NPA) is a nonprofit advocacy organization for consumers, retailers, and suppliers. Founded in 1936, NPA is actually the oldest association of its kind and is committed to advocating “for the rights of consumers to have access to products that will maintain and improve their health, and for the rights of retailers and suppliers to sell these products.”
To support this goal, NPA offers the natural products community the following opportunities (among others):
- Industry specific membership options with a clear Code of Ethics
- Advocacy information at the federal, state, international, and grassroots level
- NPA webinars and regulatory and industry seminars
- Good manufacturing practices (GMP) certification for the dietary supplement industry
Also, ACHS is a member of NPA and currently offers NPA members a discount on the college’s continuing education courses. (Contact the college admissions department for more information.)
Whether you’re ready to go back to school for holistic health coaching, have recently graduated with a masters degree in integrative medicine, or simply want to wade into a thriving wellness community, these three organizations are a great place to start.
This article is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent disease. This article has not been reviewed by the FDA. Always consult with your primary care physician or naturopathic doctor before making any significant changes to your health and wellness routine.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I am the Dean of English, Communications Manager, and Press Coordinator for American College of Healthcare Sciences (ACHS), the Institution that publishes this blog. However, all opinions are my own. This blog may contain affiliate links. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”