There’s a Chinese proverb that says: ‘studying is like sailing against the current: a boat must forge ahead or it will be swept downstream’.

If you’re a qualified acupuncturist and feel like you’re treading water, that you want to offer your patients something different, or simply want to learn more and stand out from the crowd – then studying ‘Herbs’ at the Northern College of Acupuncture (NCA) is the perfect way to progress your career.

We know how busy life can be for practitioners, so our MSc course in Chinese Herbal Medicine strives to combine study with a recognition of work-life balance.  This postgraduate qualification is a two-year, part-time, weekend course leading to registration to practice; with the option to research and write a dissertation. The course blends classroom teaching and practice in the NCA’s clinic, with e-learning, to ensure minimal disruption to your outside activities.

Judy Blair (pictured), who graduated in 2009 and has since worked in the UK and abroad, says:

“I decided to study Chinese Herbal Medicine to deepen my knowledge and understanding, and to give me another modality to use in my practice to complement the acupuncture and physical therapies I already use.

“Having looked at other courses on offer, because I thought it would be good to broaden my experience, I chose to return to the NCA on the recommendation of some highly regarded teachers and herbalists. I wasn’t disappointed, the course was challenging, but fulfilling.

“Studying herbs has already deepened my understanding of Chinese medicine and enables me to look at cases from differing viewpoints. Being able to prescribe herbs gives me extra tools to use in my practice.”

Matthew Symmonds , from Harrogate, originally started studying acupuncture at Middlesex University but finished his learning in York, qualifying in 2016: “At Middlesex, I was on the TCM Course which combined herbs and acupuncture as one degree, but I found learning both was proving very hard to manage.  When I moved to the NCA to complete my studies, I knew I’d carry on and study herbs as it was always my plan to be able to offer both acupuncture and herbal medicine together.

“I’m loving the course.  The use of both online e-learning, and then one weekend a month at the College is really helping me keep the balance between work, study, and life. Being back is like going back to your roots, everyone is really friendly and supportive.  I would almost say it’s like being in a family at the NCA!”

Of course, you don’t have to be a former student to study herbs at the NCA.  Ruth Reffell graduated from the London College of Traditional Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine in 2010, and has been practising in various settings since.

“I decided to study herbs as I believe it will be very useful for my fertility patients, and it’s also a good opportunity to deepen my understanding and practice of Chinese medicine,” explained Ruth.

“I chose the NCA as it offers the most comprehensive and thorough training currently available in the country, and I also liked the College and staff after visiting. I travel from London for course weekends and then stay over for clinic day on Mondays. College has organised this for me to minimise my number of journeys, which is much appreciated.

“The teaching at the NCA is first class; the staff are inspiring and very supportive. The small group size also enables tutors to be closely aware of individual circumstances, which adds immeasurably to the experience. The variety of assignments enrich the learning experience, and the shared learning with peers is fun, stimulating, and helps to reinforce knowledge and understanding.

“I believe that Chinese herbal medicine will be a wonderful addition to my acupuncture practice. As herbs provides a ‘continuous’ treatment, I feel I’ll be able to treat patients more effectively and achieve results more quickly than with acupuncture alone.”

Course Director, Eileen Gibbon, says: “Our herbs course broadens students’ knowledge of Chinese Herbal Medicine and, ultimately, gives them more tools in their toolbox for when they are working with patients.  I would encourage anyone interested in finding out more to come and meet the team and hear lots more at our introductory event on Saturday 16th February.”

For more information, or if you have questions, please contact Denise on 01904 343309.

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