Why Choose ACOS?
Choosing a school is one of the most important decisions on the path of becoming a TCM healer. We founded ACOS in 1996 as the preeminent school for the development of TCM doctors in North America. The enduring success of our alumni, who now practice in many parts of the world, gives us the confidence to say that we continue to produce doctors with the highest capacity for healing on the continent. Our goal for this website is to give you the information you need to determine if an ACOS education is consistent with your path, both as a student and as a future professional. Once you have reviewed this site, please feel free to contact the Academy with any questions you may have.
Thank you for considering ACOS.
Warren Fischer, Dr. TCM
ACOS Founder and Academic Dean
The ACOS Difference
In order to determine the components integral to a curriculum in TCM studies, it is necessary to keep in mind the desired end result. This is not simply to be a well-rounded TCM doctor, but a healer -one who assists in making whole. TCM provides the framework for ACOS’ holistic approach to developing the highest caliber healers.
TCM is ancient medicine. Through its long evolution, TCM has developed many different approaches to health and the treatment of disease, including acupuncture, herbal medicine, Tui Na massage, qi-gong, exercise therapy and diet therapy. Competent TCM doctors must have a correspondingly extensive amount of knowledge. The programs at ACOS provide the most intensive curriculum in TCM in North America. Our programs include all components of traditional Chinese medicine, and students typically undertake 20% to 40% more instruction time than at other institutions.
TCM is a self-reflective medicine. This requires that TCM doctors not only have knowledge of physiology and pathology, but also of the influences of diet, exercise, work, emotional state, social interaction, and the myriad other factors affecting human health. In the authoritative classical source of TCM, the Yellow Emperor’s Internal Canon, as a main characteristic of the highest-level physician, the Yellow Emperor describes our motto in Chinese “yi wo zhi bi”; through oneself know others. It is only through the process of introspection, self-exploration and self-cultivation that the subtle aspects of health and disease can be perceived and that true compassion can be realized. ACOS students embrace the challenges of this inner journey, integrated within and facilitated by our programs.
TCM is practical medicine. Founded on Daoist and pre-Daoist philosophies, TCM has always been more practical than mystical. Our programs include extensive hands-on instruction aimed at developing essential clinical skills and abilities. Students integrate intellectual knowledge and intuitive sensing with practical training.
TCM is traditional medicine. The Chinese sense of tradition entails Qi, which is to say that a tradition is passed from person to person, and not from an inanimate book. ACOS ensures transmission of the tradition of TCM through small class size and exceptional instructors. This allows the wealth of knowledge and practical expertise of our instructors to be transferred to students one-on-one. Students enjoy personal and supportive interaction with all of their instructors, in a mentorship style.
TCM is natural medicine. TCM has its roots in the cycles of nature - true health is a state of harmony between the natural cycles of the environment and those within the self, on physical, emotional and spiritual levels. ACOS’ location in Nelson, nestled in the Selkirk Mountains on the edge of pristine Kootenay Lake, allows our students intimate contact with the five seasons and the Yin-yang of nature. Students have the benefits of clean water, fresh air, lush forests and contact with nature on skis, by boat, bike or on foot.
In summary, the ACOS educational experience encompasses all the components necessary to produce high-caliber TCM doctors and effective healers. Acquiring an ACOS education may cost slightly more and require a high level of diligence and commitment on the part of a student, but the end result far out-weighs the initial investment. Our graduates are head-and-shoulders above others in the field with respect to their skills as TCM doctors.
Please enjoy the rest of our website, which provides detailed information about our extensive programs, our comprehensive school facilities, and what life is like studying at ACOS. We welcome contact from prospective students at any time in your journey of selecting a school. We look forward to discussing your choice to develop the healer within through an ACOS education.