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Natural Health Schools in Phoenix, AZ with Course and Program Info

Oct 10, 2018

The Phoenix area has very few colleges that offer natural health programs. Learn about the degree programs that are available, admission info and program requirements for three of these schools to make an informed education decision.

Phoenix Schools for Natural Health Studies

Natural health incorporates herbal medicines, acupuncture, naturopathy, Oriental medicine and massages to induce healing. Prospective students seeking natural health training programs have several school options from which to choose. This article profiles three institutions that are 20 minutes or less from Phoenix and the diverse programs they offer at several levels. There is also a table of information about the schools, including enrollment, tuition, the graduation rate and campus setting. A few facts about one more nearby school with natural health programs is at the end of the article.

  • The Southwest Institute of Healing Arts (SWIHA) is about 12 miles from Phoenix in Tempe. Its offerings include certificate programs in holistic nutrition and hypnotherapy as well as diploma programs in mind-body wellness and Western herbalism. It offers an associate's program in holistic health care - Western herbalism with holistic nutrition.
  • The Phoenix Institute of Herbal Medicine and Acupuncture (PIHMA) has two master's programs focusing on oriental medicine and acupuncture. It is about six miles from the city center.
  • Students seeking an advanced degree program may want to consider the Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine offered by the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine & Health Sciences (SCNM). This school is nearly 10 miles from downtown Phoenix.

Comparison of Schools

This table of information is designed to be helpful to individuals who are considering which school to attend. It offers important data in a format that allows for quick comparisons.

Southwest Institute of Healing Arts Phoenix Institute of Herbal Medicine and Acupuncture Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine & Health Sciences
School Type 2-year; private for-profit 4-year; private for-profit 4-year; private not-for-profit
Total Enrollment (2017)* 988 81 360
Campus Setting Midsize city Large city Midsize city
Annual Tuition & Fees (2017-2018) $18,997 (undergraduate)* $16,972 (graduate)* $140,915 (4-year program total cost); $141,455 (5-year program total cost)**
% of First-Year Students Receiving Any Form of Aid 89% (2016-2017)* N/A N/A
Retention Rate 82% for full-time students (2016-2017)* N/A N/A
Graduation Rate 27% (students who began in 2014-2015)* N/A N/A

Source: *NCES College Navigator, **Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine & Health Sciences

Southwest Institute of Healing Arts

The Southwest Institute of Healing Arts is a 2-year, private school that is a standing member of the Arizona Holistic Chamber of Commerce in addition to having achieved recognized accreditation by the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET). The Institute offers aspiring students a wide selection of natural health training programs at its campus location in Tempe.

Certificate of Excellence - Holistic Nutrition Specialist

The holistic nutrition specialist certificate program consists of 200 clock hours and 11.75 credit hours of focused instruction and training. Students will learn how proper nutrition can lead to improved health and overall wellness. Coursework includes comparative dietary systems, whole food cooking, nutritional assessment and coaching, supplements for optimum health and principles of transformational healing. Online courses are also available.

Certificate of Excellence - Hypnotherapy

The hypnotherapy certificate program provides prospective students with two program options. The 100-hour hypnotherapy certificate consists of introductory, intermediate and advanced courses that help prepare students for certification through the American Board of Hypnotherapy (ABH) or the National Association of Transpersonal Hypnotherapists (NATH). This program offers an online format option.

The 300-hour clinical hypnotherapy option includes coursework focusing on advanced hypnotherapy techniques, script writing, subconscious intervention, past life regression and life coaching. Electives cover topic areas that include medical imagery, stress management, neuro-linguistic programming and spirit releasement. Students that successfully complete this program are prepared to seek certification by the American Council of Hypnotist Examiners (ACHE).

Diploma - Master Massage Practitioner

Students that pursue the master massage practitioner program will complete 1000 clock hours of training and instruction that includes core coursework as well as a variety of electives and focused specialty areas. Required studies include physiology, kinesiology, anatomy, business practices for massage therapists, CPR certification, first aid and communication skills. As the program advances, students will take classes in Swedish massage, reflexology, deep tissue sculpting and myotherapy. Electives include aromatherapy, polarity, spa management and yoga.

Diploma - Mind-Body Wellness Practitioner

The mind-body wellness practitioner program offers students several option tracks depending on areas of interest. Basic program core requirements consist of 163 clock hours in areas of hypnotherapy, life coaching, holistic foundations, public speaking, writing for publication, business development and entrepreneurial support.

Students can pursue option tracks in the areas of holistic nutrition, life coaching and hypnotherapy, spiritual studies, yoga teacher training or polarity. Each option requires the completion of 437 clock hours of core program coursework and offers several elective courses.

Diploma - Western Herbalism

The 700-hour Western herbalism diploma includes 35.25 credits of core foundation coursework that provides instruction and training in botany, herbal bioarts clinic preparations, herbal flowers, sowing, germination, growth, harvest, pathology, physiology, nutrition - holistic foundations, life coaching and business development.

Students can choose from several electives such as homeopathic remedies, formulary practicum, manufacturing and remedy production and herbal specialties. The program teaches students about the art of plant science and how herbal products can be used for holistic medicinal purposes.

Additional diploma programs are available in areas that include professional massage and yoga instruction.

Associate of Occupational Studies in Holistic Health Care - Western Herbalism with Holistic Nutrition

This 2-year associate's degree program trains students to become knowledgeable and skilled in the holistic usage of herbs and proper nutrition to promote overall health and wellness. The program consists of 60 total credits and encompasses core foundation courses as well as studies focusing on Western herbalism and holistic nutrition.

Students must complete 15.25 credits of general education coursework that includes classes in basic finance, English composition, public speaking, stress management, writing for publication and life coaching. Herbal electives include aromatherapy, homeopathic remedies, herbal specialties and a formulary practicum.

The Associate of Occupational Studies in Holistic Health Care offers students additional choices for focused track concentrations that include advanced bodyworker practitioner, mind-body transformational psychology, professional massage practitioner and Western herbalism.

Phoenix Institute of Herbal Medicine and Acupuncture

The Phoenix Institute of Herbal Medicine and Acupuncture is a 4-year, private school whose academic programs have achieved recognized accreditation through the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (ACAOM). The school offers two graduate-level degree programs for prospective students seeking careers in the fields of acupuncture and Oriental medicine.

Master of Science in Acupuncture

The master's degree program trains students in acupuncture as well as other natural health specialties such as cupping, moxibustion, Tui Na (body manipulation therapy) and oriental nutritional counseling. The curriculum takes about four years to complete and 900 hours of clinical internship are required for the degree, which takes place during the latter half of the program. Degree holders are prepared to take the certification exam of the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM).

Master of Science in Oriental Medicine

The Oriental medicine degree program combines the training from the acupuncture program with the study of Chinese herbs and formulas. Students learn the practical and clinical uses of herbs and patent formulas and how to diagnose and treat a variety of conditions. The course of study includes 200 hours of clinical practice in which herbal formulas are prepared for patients. Students who complete the program are eligible to take the NCCAOM certification exam for acupuncture and Chinese herbology.

Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine & Health Sciences

Students seeking natural health training programs in Arizona can enroll in an advanced, graduate-level training program at the college, which offers a naturopathic family medicine residency program in addition to its doctoral program.

Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine

The 4-year professional-level naturopathic doctor degree program provides natural health training to students who wish to become primary-care providers focusing on natural therapeutics. The first two years cover basic science, such as anatomy and physiology, while introducing students to naturopathic concepts. The last two years are devoted to naturopathic clinical methods, and students have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in clinical settings at the school's medical center and local community clinics.

Other School Options

Aspiring students seeking career training programs in the area of natural health may want to consider the certificate of completion in teaching, healing, meditation and stress management offered by Paradise Valley Community College. Core coursework within the program includes healthful living, meditation and wellness, Qi Gong, Tai Chi, Yoga, sociology of health and illness and a practicum. The college is a 2-year, public school with a convenient campus located in Phoenix.

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