Natural Practitioner highlights some of the institutions and associations providing education and support for practitioners and patients for the betterment of integrative health.
National University of Natural Medicine
In 2016, National University of Natural Medicine (NUNM) changed its status from a college to a university when it added the School of Undergraduate Studies and its two accredited Bachelor of Science degrees—integrative health sciences and nutrition.
NUNM is the oldest accredited naturopathic medical school in North America and one of the leaders in natural medicine education and training.
“Nicknamed ‘The Mothership,’ our graduates have established some of our sister schools in the U.S., well-known naturopathic universities and colleges in their own right,” said Marilynn Considine, NUNM’s director of public relations and communications.
“NUNM has consistently raised the bar for the education and training we provide our students,” she added. One example includes the opportunities for students in the School of Graduate Studies and NUNM’s Helfgott Research Institute to assist investigators in research and development.
NUNM also receives generous funding from National Institutes of Health (NIH) grants, apart from and in collaboration with allopathic medical schools.
“Currently, these include a mindfulness-based stress reduction study for multiple sclerosis patients which our researchers are conducting through Oregon Health & Sciences University,” added Considine. Other research projects include studies on chronic disease conditions such as diabetes and cancer as well as nutrition, pain, among others.
NUNM is continuing to expand and further deepen its core programs like naturopathic and classical Chinese medicine while expanding program curricula in other areas that develop and enrich aspects of natural medicine modalities and principles.
In the past few years, NUNM has added Master of Science degrees in integrative medicine research, nutrition, global health, mental health, sports medicine and most recently, ayurveda. NUNM also now offers a Doctor of Science in oriental medicine.
NUNM is dedicated to helping their students succeed both academically and professionally. The university has a number of resources available to help students achieve that success including the NUMN Library, which contains one of the most significant collections on natural medicine in the United States. The Rare Book Room contains more than 2,000 original volumes, including books on herbal medicine from the 1600s, to the personal library of Dr. Benedict Lust, who is known as the father of naturopathic medicine.
Other resources include Centers for Academic Success and Career Services as well as a professional counseling staff, resources for families such as remote classrooms and a family room. Financial aid programs and work-study positions are also available.
National University of Health Sciences
Founded in 1906, National University of Health Sciences (NUHS) is a leader in the field of integrative medicine. With campuses in both Illinois and Florida, university programs include chiropractic medicine, naturopathic medicine, acupuncture, Oriental medicine, massage therapy and biomedical science. The University’s dual degree program allows students to earn multiple degrees in these disciplines.
National University was the first to offer hospital experience to chiropractic students, push for national accreditation of chiropractic colleges, and publish medically-indexed and peer reviewed scientific journals.
“National University has partnered with Ball State University (BSU) to allow students to complete both an undergraduate degree and doctor of chiropractic (DC) degree in seven academic years instead of eight,” shared Elizabeth Toth, communications coordinator at NUHS.
“The program, known as the Advanced Scholars Program, is a joint recruitment and dual admission effort that creates a coordinated curriculum specifically for exceptional students who have earned a 3.5 GPA or higher at BSU,” she continued.
NUHS has created similar programs at both Elmhurst College and South Dakota State University with other collaboration agreements underway.
Grand Opening of New Hydrotherapy Suite
Other new developments at NUHS included the grand opening of its new hydrotherapy suite in the Whole Health Center clinic on its Lombard, IL campus earlier this year.
“The suite includes many rooms for multiple types of hydrotherapy modalities offering constitutional treatments, Russian steams baths and peat immersion baths. These therapies are typically used with other natural treatments such as botanical medicine, nutritional improvements, or lifestyle changes,” said Toth.
Students are able to begin working in the hydrotherapy suite in their seventh trimester, before the normal clinical internship begins.
Inaugural Healthy Kids Event
This year, NUHS welcomed families with children of all ages to the Lombard campus for the inaugural Healthy Kids Open House event which included lectures in child psychology, brain health and healthy eating as well as interactive classes for children in yoga and tai-chi. NUHS plans to hold the event again next year with many of the same activities.
New Integrative Medicine Blog
NUHS has also launched a new blog entitled, “The Future of Integrative Health” that includes valuable resources for aspiring health care professionals in alternative medicine. The blog features the perspectives of current students as well as alumni, faculty and other experts.
NUHS has 78 full-time and 82 part-time faculty members, many of whom are actively working in or operating a private practice. NUHS faculty members are also active in spreading awareness about their fields and specialties and are often featured in magazines and other publications.
Faculty members are engaged in research, including a shoe orthotics and back pain study published in Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and a study on low back pain and spinal manipulation.
The graduate-level facilities at NUHS are state-of-the-art with a top of the line gross anatomy lab, biochemistry lab, well-stocked herbal dispensary and other clinics providing students the opportunity to collaborate in an integrative setting.
Student support services include academic advising, peer tutoring, flexible tracks, various student clubs, and more with an engaged alumni network providing further support and mentoring opportunities. Additionally, NUHS partners with numerous health facilities allowing for internship opportunities in chiropractic and naturopathic care, oriental medicine and acupuncture both before and after graduation.
Logan University has been grounded in chiropractic education since 1935 with the flagship Doctor of Chiropractic degree while continuing to enrich academic options offering other degrees in the health sciences.
Logan students can take advantage of clinical opportunities earlier in the student experience than any other chiropractic program. Under expert guidance of faculty clinicians, students are able to hone their skills in patient communication, critical thinking and diagnosis.
Pediatric chiropractic care is on the rise, and Logan is committed to being a leader in this area through patient care, student education and family engagement. This November, Logan University Health Centers will add pediatric chiropractic services under the supervision of Muriel Perillat, DC, MS, a professor and long-time clinician with a specialization in chiropractic pediatrics.
Logan is also advancing its partnership with the Institute of Sports Medicine in Havana, Cuba. Student rotations in Havana are expected to start in the spring of 2018.
New programs include the master of science in health informatics and the doctorate of health professions education. More new programs at both the graduate and undergraduate level are underway.
Several members of the faculty are examiners for awards and credentialing organizations, including The Council on Chiropractic Education, The Higher Learning Commission, States of Texas and Missouri Baldrige Award, Ohio Board of Regents and others.
Logan faculty members are published authors in a number of trade publications and peer-reviewed journals.
Logan’s team of success coaches and transition coordinators help students succeed by providing counseling services, mentoring and tutoring assistance.
American College of Healthcare Sciences
American College of Healthcare Sciences (ACHS) has been educating holistic health professionals since it was founded in Auckland, New Zealand in 1978. ACHS now has students and graduates in more than 80 countries around the world.
ACHS is one of the few accredited holistic health colleges that offers fully online graduate and undergraduate degrees, diplomas, career-training certificates, and continuing education courses in fields such aromatherapy, wellness coaching, herbal medicine and holistic nutrition.
ACHS recently expanded financial aid opportunities as of the fall 2017 semester. Qualifying students in most programs can now use federal resources such as the Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Opportunity Grant (FSEOG), Federal Direct Loans and Federal Direct PLUS Loans to support their educational goals.
In August 2017, ACHS partnered with the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork (NCBTMB) to introduce the first Spa Management Specialty Certificate Program. “We developed ACHS’s Holistic Spa Management program to fill an industry demand,” ACHS President and Founder Dorene Petersen said in a press release. The ACHS Holistic Spa Management Certificate Program provides participating massage therapists with a credential in just 15 weeks.
ACHS launched another new program in August 2017—a new Certificate in Integrative Health and Fitness Training. The certificate program prepares students to work in the fitness industry—including athletic clubs and sports medicine facilities.
As an institution that specializes in online education, students benefit from the expert guidance of faculty members from a variety of locations.
From practicing educators, physicians, chiropractors, acupuncturists holistic nutritionists and more, the faculty comes from diverse backgrounds. Members of the faculty have extensive teaching experience and have years of practical experience in their fields.
An extensive virtual library is available 24/7 through every online ACHS course and from within the ACHS Student Center. This library provides students with access to open access journals and subscription databases, study tools and more.
Supplemental writing support is available through the ACHS Student Center. Students are able to ask questions about a current assignment and/or writing in general through the Ask an English Professor asynchronous discussion board in the Student Center or by directly emailing the writing faculty.
ACHS provides international students with many resources to support their studies and success, including 24/7 access to the online classroom, dedicated admissions and student advisors, and low-fee wire transfer payment options.
ACHS is committed to its military students at home and abroad and participates in the U.S. Army’s GoArmyEd program and other military tuition assistance programs. ACHS also accepts Veteran’s Education Benefits for qualifying students enrolled in eligible programs.
American Association of Homeopathic Pharmacists (AAHP)
Founded in 1923, the American Association of Homeopathic Pharmacists (AAHP) is the trade organization of the American homeopathic industry. AAHP’s not-for-profit alliance of homeopathic manufacturers, marketers and pharmacists/individuals represents the main body of manufacturing and distributing companies in the United States.
Members are primarily homeopathic manufacturers and marketers and dues are based on the company’s revenues. There is not a student-specific level of membership, however individuals can join at the Associate Membership level for a $120 annual fee. This membership is open to people who possess an interest in homeopathy as it relates to manufacturing, distribution, marketing or selling homeopathic drug products.
Since 2015, when the FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) and FTC (Federal Trade Commission) reviewed the regulatory framework of the homeopathic industry to ensure the 25-year old policies were working, the AAHP’s focus has been and will remain to be on presenting a unified voice for the industry to regulators and legislators alike.
Benefits include educational webinars, expert speakers at the semiannual meetings and a monthly e-newsletter, technical, in-depth information on regulatory and legislative changes, manufacturing, best practices in labeling and more. Additional information on member benefits can be found here: www.aahp.info/membership/benefits.
Progressive Medical Center
“Progressive Medical and Dunwoody Labs is one of the only joint clinics with laboratory affiliations to support the development of scientific studies as well as to provide hands-on patient care,” said Cheryl K. Burdette, ND.
Progressive Medical has been operational for the last 20 years, and highlights some of the lead modalities in integrative care combining many disciplines under one roof, including chiropractic, acupuncture, dietitians, MDs, DOs and NDs to deliver a fully integrated approach.
“The educational endeavors of Progressive Medical Centers and Dunwoody Labs is experiencing tremendous growth,” Dr. Burdette stated. “This growth is in a large part due to innovative testing that looks at a unique composition of immune reaction secondary to foods as well as developing profiles that look at direct markers of leaky gut that are done by no other labs in the country. By being able to look at foods that are an irritant to the gut, as well as markers of gut permeability, a specific assessment of gut-based inflammation can be made. This allows the clinician to monitor progress of gut based therapies, and understand when a patient will be to the point of being less symptomatic secondary to inflammation that was started in the gut.”
Dr. Burdette added that in addition to having some unique biomarkers, Dunwoody is acting in concert with Progressive Medical Centers to build clinician education programs that are rich in scientific design and an integrative approach.
Dr. Burdette is intimately involved in education in integrative and naturopathic medicine. She has also taught for both allopathic and naturopathic medical programs and has an active role in educating clinicians both at Progressive Medical and through Dunwoody Labs.
Gez Agolli, MD, PhD, ND founded Progressive Medical, the clinic where naturopathic physician residents practice. Progressive Medical is the largest integrative clinic in the Southeast and works in concert with Dunwoody Labs to develop research projects in the area of integrative medicine. Dr. Agolli’s vision is to provide the highest level of integrative care and the strongest education to help shift the paradigm of medicine.
American Association of Naturopathic Physicians
Founded in 1985, the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP) is the national professional society representing licensed naturopathic doctors.
It is a one-stop shop for helping NDs achieve success, helping move along important advocacy issues, along with helping states become licensed. AANP offers members cost-savings on valuable services and provides resources that help NDs in their practice.
The AANP offers webinars and continued education (CE) opportunities to help further NDs’ careers, professional toolkits that save hours of research and time and cost savings on valuable programs and services for their practice.
The AANP and the Institute for Natural Medicine (INM) have partnered to launch a new service for NDs and their patients. “Naturopathic Medicine: 100 Frequently Asked Questions” is a series of topic-specific facts and answers covering everything consumers need to know about naturopathic doctors and naturopathic medicine. This FAQ series will help educate and inform prospective patients, ND students and consumers, and build awareness and credibility for the profession.
Recently, the AANP has expanded its member benefits to include NDAccess Web Service, a leading web hosting and website design solutions company. NDAccess provides naturopathic physicians with web hosting services as well as user-friendly content management systems (CMS) to create elegantly designed websites at an affordable price with significant discounts available to AANP Members.
Another new service to AANP members is Medicine Talk Pro’s Content Marketing Solutions. AANP members can save time and money while recruiting and retaining patients.
The AANP monthly webinar series is a popular benefit for students, allowing them access to valuable information on topics ranging from practice development to the newest advancements in their field. AANP also offers both students and members an 80 percent discount at Office Depot stores.