Why Do Acupuncture?
Bob Clippingdale – If you think that doing this course will give you a list of points that are routinely effective to treat the vast myriad of diseases that we see daily in veterinary practice, think again! This course will introduce you to the basics of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and start you on a life changing course of learning.
Like any medical system there are many branches, acupuncture and moxabustion is just one form of treatment. The other branches are:
Food or diet therapy,Chinese Herbal Medicine,Chinese Medical Massage or Tui Na,and Qi Gong or nurturing life.
You will be exposed to a different philosophy of life, well removed from our Western Aristotelian view. You will be overwhelmed with Chinese words for concepts that cannot be adequately translated into English, the concepts of Yin and Yang, of Qi and many more. The Pin Yin words will confuse you, but excite you.
It is mind boggling at first, but it will open your practice of Veterinary Science to a whole new plateau. Once you have finished this course and implemented it into your daily practice, suddenly you will realise that you are using this knowledge in every case. Then you will want to explore the other branches especially Herbal medicine and maybe proceed to a Diploma of Veterinary Acupuncture.
Enjoy the journey! I certainly have and continue to do so!
Testimonials from 2016
I am due to complete my IVAS certification this month and would like to offer you my opinion and experience regarding the course.
I found the course to exceed my expectation in terms of the depth and breadth of knowledge covered by each of the lecturers and tutors. The course was intense in terms of the material we had to cover and filled with assessments which included quizzes, case logs, case reports and a final exam. This ensured that graduates really have the knowledge and gain experience prior to practicing acupuncture on client animals. The course is also only for veterinarians (as opposed to other courses) which have been out for a minimum of 2 years. I think this is a great idea as it assumes a sound level of veterinary practice.
My reasons for enrolling in this course given my extensive western medicine training, was solely based on the demands of equine clients. I was tired of hearing my clients go first to their chiropractor/ masseuse/ acupuncturist and only use me as a last resort. I felt that by being trained in acupuncture, this would satisfy their needs first and foremost. I looked around to see what courses were available and I did not want to simply do a weekend course where all you are taught are recipe formulations. My desire was to learn the basis for acupuncture and have a solid foundation of how and why this practice works. This course has definitely ticked those boxes and I was extremely satisfied with the detailed scientific evidence presented throughout.
I started off as a skeptic however and I still do question certain aspects of acupuncture BUT I now have a foundation and deep understanding of how this works and the evidence for this in the scientific literature. That is not to say that all the evidence exists. In veterinary medicine we often extrapolate from human medicine and our studies are often flawed due to small sample sizes and inadequacies in the experimental method – I think similar problems are encountered in experimental studies of acupuncture in animals. It is my aim once I get some experience under my belt to become more involved in such research studies.
The last point that really agreed with me is that throughout the course the lecturers stressed acupuncture is not a sole treatment. First and foremost our western medicine diagnosis is essential as are the diagnostics. Then its time to perform our eastern medicine clinical exam and determine our diagnosis – it is important that both are used together and can work hand in hand as has been done in China for hundreds of years.
Marta Wereszka BVMS MS DACVS | Registered Specialist in Equine Surgery
Testimonials from 2014 Graduates
Caroline McMullen – ACVA – IVAS graduate 2015 – It was with some hesitation that I enrolled in the ACVA IVAS course for 2014, but I’m so glad I ignored that self doubt and signed up. I didn’t have the pressures of being at the clinic for long hours, I was working 1 day per week as a racing industry veterinarian, but, I was a mum to 3 under 4 at the time. The challenge was whether I would have the energy or the neural switch on to learn a new science at the end of long days, and after a break from structured study for more than a decade. My motivation was to have a new direction to take in my professional life and post graduate study has for me been both challenging and rewarding.
So with the coursework behind us and the certification official, it’s on with phase B, forging a living out integrating TCM and acupuncture into a veterinary service to equine clients to enhance performance and wellbeing in their horses. I’ve decided to run with low level self promotion in the form of a business profile online, and of course word of mouth in the horsey world. The clients are trickling in, and so far my results have been generally rewarding to all involved. I’ve put myself out there with a couple of presentations at equine events, it always generates a good amount of interest. As my knowledge and confidence in TCM grows I’m hoping to practice more and in conjunction with local practices, but it’s a lifestyle that needs to work with my family commitments. I’m also continuing as a member of the AVAG and IVAS to support the industry bodies we all benefit from in continuing eduction and advocacy.
So many thanks to the ACVA for their book award, and to all those involved in the course for their collegiality, the MOC workshops really fostered a sense of belonging to a wonderful network of vets.
Testimonials from 2014 Graduates (First Online Course)
Elissa Marriott – I undertook the IVAS/Australian College of Veterinary Acupuncture course in 2012. Online lecture delivery was a perfect for me as it meant that I could attend lectures in my study while my children were asleep in their beds- no babysitter, and I could review lectures if necessary anytime during the term. It meant that I didn’t miss anything, I could review lectures until the concept was cemented in my mind and I learnt at my own pace.
The tutors were excellent at ensuring that I didn’t get left behind and the weekly quizzes ensured I kept up with my learning and didn’t feel too overwhelmed with all the new language, concepts and conditions. Online forums always meant that tutors/lecturers and students alike took part in interesting discussions and assisted learning opportunities.
Following this course, I have shifted my career to a predominately acupuncture and Chinese herbs (another course) and enjoy working with bio-medical colleagues to provide an integrative approach to medicine. Students are encouraged to start needling animals after the first semester, and I think this is a great way to introduce yourself and your clients to the benefits of this ancient medical art!
Fiona Mead – The IVAS acupuncture training was one of the most memorable and enjoyable experiences I have had to date in my veterinary career. It was a definite turning point in my life, one that I had intended to do for many years and by chance met someone who had done one of the earlier IVAS courses and reccommended it to me. The tutors and mentors were a supportive and approachable network both via email and in person at the workshops, with a vast experience base individually and collectively.
The on-line lecture structure was much easier to fit into the weekly schedule than driving to a seminar site. It was also great for revision and study purposes to be able to refer back to lectures as required. In many ways the on-line structure made it more relaxed and enjoyable to study/attend lectures, as it was in the comfort of my home environment. This structure also enabled more practical experience to be gleaned at the workshops as the lectures had had time to sink in and be more relevant to the cases presented.
Since completing the course I am now treating both equine and canine patients predominantly, with great results. The animals are visibly happier and freer moving and as the clients can see the improvements too, they are delighted with the predominantly drug free results. Some of my older canine patients are completely off their pain relief drugs and even more active than when they were on the drugs. It is very rewarding for me to work with happy owners and to see the positive impact acupuncture is having on the owner/patient relationships.
Many doors have opened since doing the course and my enthusiasm for treating animals holistically has been renewed with the success in treating animals with acupuncture, especially with some of the ‘miraculous’ results I have encountered. My recommendation to do the course would extend to any veterinarian interested in a more integrative approach to medicine, especially if they can remain open minded to a totally different interpretation of the body’s mechanism associated with TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine).
Olivia Chan – I waited a few years for the course to re-launch in Australia. As I studied, I found the course of intense, but manageable format and traveling schedule. The weekly tests and online lectures made an originally huge topic much more digestible. In addition, my tutor was very supportive, and classmates very helpful! We have become a great network and am still relying on my colleagues for advice! I am using acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine(TCM) concepts on almost every consult now. From my perspective, the TCM training provides a richer and different perspective on clinical problems.
Other Graduate Testimonials
Roslyn Atyeo – I thoroughly enjoyed the IVAS course. I am using what I have learnt regularly in practice and my only wish is to be more skilled at it! It has given me far more perspective and insight into general health and medicine, and given me alternatives to treat many cases that the options of Western medicine are limited for. It was wonderful to meet people who have similar interests, and to hear from the lecturers and tutors about their experiences and successes (or failures!) in the field. The practical sessions gave me far more confidence to approach my own cases, allowed me to build valuable friendships, and started me well on the way to finding a network of people to bounce ideas and experiences off. I very much enjoyed the regularity of an online lecture format and felt the delivery of the course was a really nice combination of self paced learning and hands on workshops. I would highly recommend it to anyone wishing to learn the art of Veterinary TCM.
Aileen Sandosham – ‘I work with thoroughbreds and while there were some initial skepticism among some clients about the effectiveness of acupuncture (compared to western drugs); nevertheless they were willing to give acupuncture a try. These same clients are now among my strongest supporters.
Also, in the beginning, many people were put off by the 20 mins it took for each acupuncture treatment; however these days, no one seems to complain anymore. As a result, acupuncture now accounts for at least 80% of my daily caseload.
Nothing is more satisfying than when clients come back and tell me how much improvement they have seen in their horses as a result of acupuncture.
Without a doubt, acupuncture has been the best skill I have acquired.’ –
Revitalise your Acupuncture!
If you are an IVAS certified graduate from one of the earlier courses and want to increase your acupuncture case volume, this is the on line course for you. It’s the perfect opportunity to revitalise your energy and kick start your enthusiasm to use more acupuncture and TCM. You can listen to the lectures from the comfort of your home as live weekly interactive webinars or at any convenient time for you within a 12 month period since they are recorded. The great news is that all 100 lectures come with a price tag of $1,100- fantastic value for your $.
I did the 1st IVAS course back in 1993 and reviewed the first IVAS AVAG acupuncture on-line lectures in 2012. This course has sure come a long way since the early days. In the intervening 20 year period it has been entirely rewritten and updated. The result is a wonderfully comprehensive and well structured course with a great balance of modern science and traditional acupuncture. The lecturers are all very experienced acupuncture/TCM veterinarians both home grown and international. Their enthusiasm and love for their subject is infectious and makes learning exciting and easy. Thoroughly prepared lectures come with well-illustrated diagrams and clinical cases. Whatever learning techniques best suit you, you will find plenty to whet your appetite on this course.
If you are a veterinarian that uses several natural therapy modalities including some acupuncture this course is also for you. TCM philosophy can be beautifully integrated into your other practice areas. While the words may be different, the basic philosophy remains the same, respect for and working with the body’s inherent ability to heal itself. Most importantly TCM is about healing you the healer while living in harmony with your environment. When you are centred and feeling well healing your furry patients comes so much easier.
Margaret O’Riordan MVB, VetMFHom, CVA(Acup), DipHom, Dip Herbs.
A list of past students is available from the office that are happy to be contacted by email or phone regarding their experience with the Australian IVAS Course. You are free to ask them anything e.g their past experience before the course, their expectations and experience during the course, outcomes since and how studying acupuncture has changed their practice. Please see our contact us page here