Photo: ACHS staff member Renee Long and ACHS Famous Alumni Inga Wieser
A Holistic Health Professional’s Powerful Story of Going Back to School
Eight years ago, I was homeschooling three children, including my oldest son, who is handicapped. My husband, a veteran from the Gulf War, is also 100% disabled. Amidst all this, I decided to go back to school and earn a new degree, an online Associate of Applied Science in Complementary Alternative Medicine (CAM).
Even though my family life made it challenging to go back to school, they were the reason I wanted to study CAM. Healthcare in the U.S. was becoming increasingly more expensive and complicated. I realized I needed to know more if I was going to take care of my family. What better way to support them than by studying Complementary and Alternative Medicine? On the plus side, since my husband was a veteran, the VA would help with the cost of tuition.
Choosing a School to Study Complementary Alternative Medicine
I researched and debated for two years on where to go. I had doubts that I should return to school at all. I had graduated from college 35 years ago! With such a large time gap, would I fit in with other holistic health students? I didn’t even own a laptop, and I’d had little online experience.
Some questions that came to mind:
- Would I be able to do the course work?
- Could I keep up with schoolwork and my busy life at the same time?
- Would my family suffer due to the time I put into my studies?
- Would my studies suffer due to the time and effort I needed to take care of my family?
- What would college be like after all this time?
As I reflected on how studying holistic health online would look in my everyday life, other questions began to emerge:
- Which online school should I choose?
- Which CAM program should I enroll in?
I made my decision: I would go back to school with ACHS and earn an Associate of Applied Science in Complementary Alternative Medicine with a specialization in Herbal Medicine.
Even though I already had a master’s and a bachelor’s degree, I decided to get the education I wanted, and not worry about what anyone else thought about going back for an associate’s degree.
Looking back with 20/20 hindsight vision, I chose correctly! My associate’s degree program at ACHS was filled with the practical information and instruction I needed to support and improve the health of my family. I learned to use the “weeds” and plants in my own garden as natural remedies. What a tremendous resource!
Learning to “Share the Health”
Along the way, I worked with alternative practitioners who felt I should “share the health.” With all the education I received, why not offer my services to my larger community and not just my family?
Photo by Inga Wieser: "My three Eagle Scouts"
Another soul-searching choice to make. I struggled with this decision even more than the choice to go back to school. Even before studying with ACHS, I had many people asking me for advice because of the research I did to help my son and husband.
Many other military families were coming to us due to the health problems their loved ones were facing. I could share what we had learned, but there were so many issues that the Gulf War vets were facing that my husband was not, so I didn’t have answers for them. But now that I was studying CAM, I knew how to look for answers.
Now that I’d learned so much by studying CAM online, I had a stream of people knocking at my door for help! Finally, I went into business (kicking and fighting), and opened a clinic to see clients.
Today, I’m extremely blessed by clients who seek my help. They, in turn, are always sharing what they’ve learned in their journey to optimal health with me, and this continues to expand my knowledge.
Growing a Thriving Wellness Career
My education led me to work with clients, which in turn led me to speak in homes to groups of women who want to know more about caring for their families.
Over the years of interacting with various practitioners at conferences, other schools, hospitals, and seminars, I’ve come to appreciate the superb education I received at ACHS. I truly believe the quality of education at ACHS exceeds other programs. I loved my school so much, I went on to complete an Associate of Applied Science in Complementary Alternative Medicine with an Aromatherapy Specialization, a Certificate in Wellness Consulting, and a Diploma in Aromatherapy Master Aromatherapist.
In my opinion, one of the main reasons ACHS stands out is the focus on anatomy and physiology. The A&P courses went into much greater depth of understanding the human body than anywhere else I’ve studied.
This deep understanding of the human body gives me an advantage few others have and makes me a much more skilled practitioner. One of my best friends, who is a physician, and I would chat about what I was learning at ACHS. She often commented that I was getting the first two years of medical school along with an alternative perspective. She was very impressed with the quality of education.
So if I had a time machine, would I do it all again? Definitely, yes!
Was it hard, and I did I want to give up along the way? Yes.
Was it worth it? Yes, more than I could have imagined.
Studying with ACHS is challenging. It’s a lot of work. But it is worthwhile to follow your passion. If you’re thinking about going back to school for complementary alternative medicine or holistic health, my advice is to stick with it and the rewards will flow. I wish you the best on your journey to pursue an education in the holistic health field.
If you're ready to get started in one of the amazing holistic health programs that I completed, request more information about classes here.
What inspires YOU to study holistic health? Share your story with me in the comments below.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I am a guest blogger and graduate of American College of Healthcare Sciences, 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.”
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.