"It was the best decision I have ever made. That decision was to quit my job, move countries and study at the renowned college of acupuncture, the College of Integrated Chinese medicine (CICM).
I graduated from CICM in 2010 and now run a busy practice in the heart of Barcelona. I love what I do and I can’t imagine a profession more suited to me. I spend my day making people happy, which gives me so much job satisfaction.
All of my fellow classmates are still in practice either full or part -time since we graduated. I think that says a lot about the quality of the training we received during the course. We all continue to be passionate about acupuncture and can’t imagine doing another career now. The majority of us are even still in contact and continue to support each other and share knowledge and experience.
The course at CICM is comprehensive and thorough. It was not always an easy journey, but the enthusiasm, dedication and support of the teachers and staff of CICM made it a trip worth ".
Tania Spearman, graduated 2010
"My father was an acupuncturist so I was brought up with it around me and I had treatment early on. For me acupuncture answers a lot about peoples’ health problems and I know I’ll be able to use it to treat many conditions I meet on a daily basis.
Doing the course already seems to have had a big impact in my life and I'm sure it's only the beginning. The course is very well organised and relevant and the College has a great atmosphere, so I'm really excited! I was an electrician before I started studying acupuncture. It might not seem like it but there are overlaps between them. You look at a circuit, work out where the problem is coming from and then rectify it. The difference is with acupuncture I’ll help people to get better."
Jack Keeping, 1st year student
"Acupuncture appealed to me not just as a complete medical system but as a universal philosophy.
I could cite practical reasons for applying, but in truth I just felt at home as soon as I first walked through the door. And I am not alone in that, or in feeling privileged, or in sensing that I’ve, so to speak, struck gold."
Kate Thick, graduated 2006
"Having experienced amazing results from acupuncture, and after research into the nature of the training I was fairly confident that I wanted to study at the College, because of its reputation, and as a result of recommendations. Once I attended the open day I could not wait to start my studies. Looking back, my only regret is not starting the course earlier - I really cannot sing the praises of the College highly enough.
The College is a fantastic place to study and is clearly focused on the needs of students and patients – I still really look forward to returning for CPD.
I trained as an accountant and then ran a training company so everything on the syllabus was new to me. The study was daunting at times but the tutors were so inspirational and supportive. The course is extremely well structured and the practical nature of the course mean that from the outset you have a vision of what it will be like to be a practitioner.
Having qualified 4 months ago I found the transition into practice seamless. I made friends for life amongst my class-mates – we were a really diverse group in all respects except for our drive to become acupuncturists and support each other - this has remained after we have graduated and continue to develop our knowledge in this fascinating subject.
I shall always be eternally grateful to the College for providing such a great foundation. Every day when I get in the car to go to "work" and when I come home I feel so happy to have chosen this career and I often have to remind myself that this is work! "
Clare Venter Smith, graduated 2012
"I began my journey into acupuncture relatively late in life, attending CICM from November 2006 aged 52. From my first visit to the open day, I knew this was the beginning of a journey which would change my life. I also left that day knowing that this was the college for me.
Having left school in ’69 with no qualifications, most of my working life was spent in engineering in the Midlands. I was therefore required to sit an informal entrant’s exam before being accepted to study for my BSc in acupuncture. I chose to continue working full time and attend CICM for the weekend course. 3 years 8 months, lots of stress, sweat, tears and enjoyment later I became a fully qualified member of the acupuncture fraternity. The support and tuition I received from all of the staff at CICM was second to none.
I began my practice in March 2010 and in less than 18 months had achieved my target averaging 25 clients per week. Now almost 3 years on and aged 58 ½ my practice continues to thrive even in the midst of recession. I have the freedom to manage my diary to fit around family and enjoy seeing my 2 beautiful granddaughters grow up. Thank you to all the staff at CICM for making this possible."
Adrian Birch, graduated 2010
"I am a registered midwife. In 2002, my colleague Hilary Ashdown and I were sponsored by Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust to undertake a BSc (Hons) Degree in Acupuncture at CICM. Following graduation in 2006 I established a private clinical practice in Poole, also using acupuncture occasionally within the NHS hospital setting.
Hilary and I continued to believe that acupuncture could play a larger role in midwifery and in 2010-2011, we conducted a small service evaluation in Moxibustion for Breech Version and Induction of Labour with encouraging results.
Since April 2012, Hilary and I run a weekly NHS Moxibustion Clinic for Breech Version at St Mary's Maternity Unit, Poole. The objective is to reduce the number of caesarean sections booked for breech presentation babies and to date, the clinic is doing well.
I am delighted that my acupuncture training at CICM has provided the solid foundation to enable me to make a difference in the midwifery service within the NHS. "
Chani Turner, graduated 2006
"My enquiries as to where to study acupuncture lead me to this College. In 1995, with its reputation firmly established, it offered the unique opportunity to study both the Five Elements and TCM theoretical frameworks. I fell in love with the atmosphere of the place and the convenient central Reading location. Thus began three challenging years, characterized by inspiring teachers and colleagues. In particular the research modules near the end stimulated my curiosity.
It’s thirteen years now since I qualified. My commitment to acupuncture lead me to introduce it as a treatment option in a cancer centre. This created a research opportunity (it may be that I am the only research acupuncturist in the NHS), which in turn lead me to complete a PhD – one of the first given in the UK for research into clinical acupuncture. These experiences made me eligible for
a Department of Health research grant, allowing me to continue exploring the use of acupuncture to manage cancer-related health conditions.
The journey so far has been challenging and rewarding – one facilitated and nurtured by my training at this College.’"
Beverley de Valois, graduated 1999
"My BSc degree course at CICM has been everything I expected it to be, and so much more, so far. The building is spectacular for a start, has a positive, welcoming vibe and is simply a great place to learn.
Everyone I have encountered at the college is helpful, polite and accommodating to every students needs.
The tutors are incredibly knowledgeable and so passionate about what they are teaching it really makes us want to become the best physician we can be with their guidance.
I cant wait to continue on my studies with the rest of my classmates over the coming years, it’s going to be an experience I will never forget and will always draw from"
Laura Jones, 3rd year student
"CICM is a place where everyone feels welcomed and nurtured. The place emanates amazing energy: this is because the people who work here are very grounded, professional and above all highly inspirational.
I feel very supported in my studies and encouraged every step of the way; I am very proud that I have learnt so much in a year and a half, and very excited about my future days at the college.
I love learning and studying and I’m pleased that I found the college which can offer an abundance of knowledge, and experienced lecturers who are a real fountain of wisdom.
Although training to become an acupuncturist is completely different from being an EFL teacher, I am amazed at the progress that this College manages to achieve with their students and I feel very grateful that they are helping me in my new direction in life. "
Aleksandra Rebic, 3rd year student
"I joined CICM’s BSc. Hons course in Acupuncture expecting to learn how to put needles into people. I had no idea what an extraordinary journey I was about to begin!
Over three years, I’ve learnt a whole new way of thinking (in circles instead of straight lines), of perceiving the world (seeing how it interacts with itself, instead of its separate components), and how to understand people (what really makes them tick). It has also been exhilarating to combine ancient Chinese philosophy with the latest Western medical thinking. The benefits have permeated every aspect of my life – I work more effectively, I enjoy the natural world more, my relationships have flourished, and I can make better choices about my own healthcare.
Fortunately, I’ve also learned how to put needles into people. So, now I’m looking forward to seeing my very own patients become well as I put everything I’ve learned into those needles in the Teaching Clinic."
Sarah Attwell-Griffiths, graduated 2013
"As a mature student I really appreciated the opportunity CICM gave me to make a complete career change. I have never looked back. The training I received at CICM gave me the skills and confidence needed to run a busy full time acupuncture clinic for the past 5 years. My Bachelor of Science degree in Acupuncture has opened more doors than I could have ever imagined.
For the past 5 years, on a Friday morning, I have had the privilege of working as a voluntary acupuncturist at the Fountain Centre, a cancer charity based at the Royal Surrey Hospital in Guildford, helping to treat the symptoms of patients undergoing chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
Last year I took part in a nationwide trial called the ARIX trial with Brighton and Sussex Medical School , where radiotherapy patients were treated with acupuncture for dry mouth symptoms. For the past 3 years I have had the honour of introducing Acupuncture to the students on the Masters Degree Programme of Embryology at Oxford University.
I am very excited about the increase in awareness of the benefits of Chinese Medicine and the escalating demand for acupuncture and I look forward to many more rewarding years in the profession. Thank you CICM. "
Gerry Beattie, graduated 2006
"I knew very early on in this acupuncture course that I was doing the right thing. It felt like coming home.
I had been a Western-trained herbalist for eight years at that stage, and adding the Chinese medical theory made so much sense. Understanding the connection between mind, body and spirit and the effects on specific organ systems has been so useful.
The course was a delight to attend. It is designed and taught to build one’s understanding to the point that when it came
to giving my first treatment I felt totally at ease and supported in the process.
After fifteen years of acupuncture practice I can now say that it has been the best career I could have chosen. I have a thriving multi-disciplinary clinic in a lovely East Sussex village which is a thoroughly rewarding experience.
Of course the learning never stops. Recently I have been conducting some fascinating research with the help of one of the many postgraduate courses offered by the College, and am excited about future developments."
Paul Hambly, graduated 1997
"I used to be involved
in international sport, and it was a knee injury that first highlighted to me the wonders of acupuncture. Fascination with how it worked, and why just treating my knee had produced such an effect on my overall wellbeing drove me to want to learn about Chinese medicine and I applied for a place on the College’s acupuncture degree course.
When I looked around during the open day, I got a great feeling of energy not only from the people I met, but also from the building itself. I felt there was a vibrant buzz to this College, which was really exciting and I knew then that I wanted to be a part of it.
I have been amazed how the lessons taught at the College have helped me to see the world in a very different and positive way. They have armed me with skills which are not only useful in the clinic, but which I use continuously in every day life.
This course is a massive commitment, but it will reward you in more ways than you can imagine!’"
Anna Bennett, graduated 2007
"I chose acupuncture, as it was a treatment I had experienced personally and felt worked for me ‘like magic’. I also had become extremely interested in the Chinese culture following a holiday tour around the Far East.
I enjoyed the acupuncture course, since
I was able to use my scientific background in environmental research whilst at the same time learning the fascinating Chinese approach to health and disease. Completing this course has been the best thing I’ve ever done... all this time after graduating I still love my job! The most amazing thing for me is that you can help to change lives, and still continue to learn new things every day.
Being an acupuncturist fits perfectly with having a family. I have two young children but my working hours are flexible so I am able to work two or three days a week."
Lorraine Canning, graduated 1998
"After being made redundant from my sales and marketing position in 2009 I decided I wanted a complete career change, and was introduced to Acupuncture. The open day at CICM provided me with enough insight to take the plunge and dedicate the next 3 years of my life to learning. I cannot lie, the first year was tough, with new concepts introduced that were difficult to understand.
However, at the beginning of the second year it all fell into place. I am now in my final year, about to go into clinic, and can honestly say studying acupuncture has been one of the best decisions I have made. I cannot wait to qualify and build my own practice. If you are looking for a total change, and a challenge to boot, then I cannot recommend the Acupuncture course at CICM enough!"
Zoe Stott, graduated 2013
"I am so happy that I studied at this College. It came recommended to me by several practitioners. The teaching is exceptional! All the tutors are very approachable and helpful. The principals of the College took so much care to get to know every student and keep up with how they are doing.
I also received support from my personal tutor and fantastic classmates.
I appreciated the integrated style of TCM and the Five Elements as being the most profound way to reach and help people. This was the best possible start to a long acupuncture career that I could possibly wish for. "
Bethan Morgan, graduated 2011
"As a scientist and businesswoman, it was important for me to find an accredited and reputable institution, having an authentic and holistic approach to all aspects of medicine. I have found much, much more than that at this College – I have found a brilliantly balanced course, incorporating Five Element and TCM acupuncture based on a solid foundation of an under- standing of conventional medicine.
Although the course requires a fair level of commitment, I feel privileged to have the advantage of brilliant teachers over a wide range of subjects. Last, but not least, the friendships I have made here with my classmates has cemented us in a way that is almost certain to be lifelong. What more can one hope for – a great course, competent teachers and accreditation that will carry one in the real world?"
Esther Hunter, graduated 2011
"The course has proved to be excellent, but also challenging at times, especially as English is not my first language and I am the mother of four children. It has been made possible for me to succeed in the course by virtue of the superb support I have received all along the way from my tutors.
This is not just an academic course, but also one that enables the student to become a more rounded person. I would highly recommend CICM to anyone who wishes to study Chinese medicine."
Suzi Benford, graduated 2013
"I came from a business background with no medical or healing experience whatsoever, so if I'm honest I was concerned that I'd got into something way out of my comfort zone. I was surprised to hear listening to all of my fellow classmates on day 1, that the majority of the class were in exactly the same position, so I felt immediate relief.
From thereon, I cannot speak highly enough of the level of teaching and support from all the college staff and from the amazing bond that you gain from your fellow classmates.
You cannot hide from the fact that learning something of this magnitude from scratch is a colossal task, but it is possible and the results at the end make everything worthwhile. I'm now practicing full time, I love acupuncture and everything that comes with it. I'm the master of my own time and my own life and I feel very fortunate to be in this position."
Gerard Ferguson, graduated 2011
"I had always had an interest in acupuncture as I started having treatment at the age of ten. I chose to study at this College because it provides one of the broadest trainings in acupuncture focusing on the two major styles that are taught in this country. I had found my education up to that point quite uninspiring. This College changed this totally, as there was a great deal of thought put into how individuals learn, and the best ways to support each student through a genuinely inspiring and rewarding course. I have been practising for fifteen years now and acupuncture continues to inspire and nourish many aspects of my life. Chinese medicine is like a journey of a thousand miles and this College is a great place to take the first step. "
Keith Simpson, graduated 1997
"I am thoroughly enjoying studying at CICM – the teaching is excellent, the administration is efficient and approachable, and the College fosters a sense of enthusiasm and wonderment about Chinese Medicine and its practice. The size of the College, compared to a large university site, is an important factor in all these respects because it fosters relationships and a student-centred approach. Not only do we get to know our fellow students but if I have a problem or a question I know which lecturer or staff member to ask AND they quickly provide an individualised reply.
The syllabus includes both theory and skills and because it has been constructed over the years it really hangs together well. Our lecturers usually know what stage we are at with each module so that each session fits the jigsaw of learning together in an understandable fashion.
This is not to say that everything is perfect of course, sometimes we are short of space or I disagree with the emphasis placed on one subject compared to another – but such temporary disappointments are inevitable and minor. The most important benefits for me have been teachers who are clear about the essential information, encourage me to read more in CICM’s excellent library, and illustrate their sessions with insights from their own practice. This brings Chinese medicine and acupuncture to life and feeds a growing desire to refine my acupuncture skills and become a fully fledged practitioner."
Charlotte Paterson, 3rd year student
"I was signed up to train at another acupuncture college, when a friend insisted I went along to an Open Day at CICM, and I am so glad I did!
The college suited me perfectly; I felt supported at every stage of my journey and left with a solid foundation to practice. Most importantly, as a graduate, I still feel that I can contact the college with any niggling worries I might have on any areas of my practice.
CICM is like a big family; when you leave home you always feel welcome to come back."
Sally Hammerson, graduated 2011
"After graduating in 2004, I worked for a period in the Gateway Clinic at Lambeth Hospital and the drug detox clinic at Bethlem Royal Hospital whilst establishing my own practice. I am currently running two private practices as well as multi-bed clinics in Brighton and Lewes. Working in these busy clinics has allowed me to appreciate more clearly how thorough my course was, and how effective the tutors were in ensuring that we became highly competent practitioners. I returned to the college after graduating to study for my diploma in Chinese herbs. The fact that I can meld my use of acupuncture with herbs is one of the many benefits that I gained from studying at CICM ."
Hye-Eun Hills, graduated 2004
" I have just completed the 2012 Diploma in Tuina at CICM. I found it to be a well constructed course that leaves you feeling confident in your abilities.
The knowledge gained includes teaching that can be applied equally as well to your acupuncture as to your developing Tuina skills.
The course is delivered by an excellent team of instructors. Each brings their own insight and experience to build around the core of the course.
It has also been a pleasure being back at the College, seeing faces old and new. If you are looking for a more hands on approach for your practice, and one I have found my clients really enjoy, I couldn't recommend it enough. "
Mark Shepherd, graduated 2007
"Having spent the first part of my career in commercial and medical roles in the pharmaceutical industry, I knew I wanted to work in healthcare, but with a more direct patient focus. Acupuncture attracted me due to the evidence base, but it wasn’t until I came to CICM that I really appreciated the depth and breadth of this ancient healing system. CICM is so much more than just a training college or educational establishment, even though it does all this with excellence. What sets it apart for me is the sense of family, of belonging and the genuine pastoral support. Simply put, studying at CICM has changed my life, and for the better. It has given me a deeper perspective on my own health and that of my family as well as a new and fulfilling career.
I am truly thankful for the opportunity my training at CICM has given me, which gives me the confidence to go out and serve my patients. I also know I am on a life-long journey of learning. CICM sowed this seed and continues to nurture its growth, through networks, CPD and now the Tui Na diploma. So, having now graduated from CICM, I can’t see myself ever actually leaving!"
Alison Savory, graduated 2012
"Going to CICM to study acupuncture is the best thing I've ever done. I couldn't have chosen a better college either, infact I didn't even look at any other colleges because CICM had such an excellent reputation; a reputation that I'd heard about from a number of acupuncturists whom I greatly respected.
I really have no complaints about CICM, I think the way they deliver the course is very carefully thought out and carries you through the process of understanding the Traditional Chinese perception of health as opposed to the Western perception of health, the two views are very different and for some it can be hard to make this transition but CICM holds your hand throughout the process.
There is always support available from the CICM staff to help with any queries you may have and any difficulties you encounter during the course. It's an intense degree but it results in you being a very well qualified acupuncturist, capable of dealing with the very wide variety of cases you'll encounter in your acupuncture practice. Since I qualified I've been fortunate enough to have a very busy practice and I continue to be amazed at the effectiveness of Acupuncture, it's a joy to practise it."
Anna Jolly, graduated 2010
"I don't believe that you'll find a more inspiring Acupuncture College in the UK. The combination of theory and practical is delivered in a supportive and inspiring way by passionate tutors and lecturers, all of whom run their own Acupuncture businesses.
My story is similar to many who take this course, I came to acupuncture for treatment following frustration with western medicine and was blown over not only by how much it helped my main complaint but the ripple effect it had on my overall wellbeing. If I could do to others what had happened to me, that would be a life well worth living I thought.
I have a corporate background and as such have never studied science or alternative therapies. The course is challenging, but you are encouraged and supported throughout by the high quality teaching staff. You meet real patients from day one and each of their stories are uniquely inspiring and motivating.
What also appealed to me about CICM was that the course content was integrated. Having both Five Element and TCM in your toolkit means you have a whole lot more tools in your toolbox when you graduate and you're therefore able to hit the ground running both in your business and with your patients. And for that reason, I am very grateful that I chose this college over others."
Jenifer Potter, graduated 2013
"I'd like to recommend CICM as an acupuncture training institution.
I was very happy during my studies because all the teachers are very friendly, professional and supportive.
The curriculum is very well organised and the library is brilliant. I am particularly grateful for the point location practical course. I believe CICM graduates have one of the best trainings in the UK."
Ariel Li Ting Tsai, graduated 2010
"CICM stands out in the small field of specialist colleges in the UK offering undergraduate training in Chinese medicine and acupuncture.
The integrated style of practice that embraces both 5 Element and TCM is unique. Moreover, the college has a very well established broader scope of training opportunities, which include the Chinese herbal medicine course, other specifics like Tui Na massage and the ongoing annual programme of high quality seminars to help practitioners develop themselves once they qualify.
The decision to embark upon a degree course in Chinese medicine is not a trivial one. There is undoubtedly a lot of academic work to achieve a degree qualification but the course is liberally structured with practical sessions and other events that help to keep the student clearly focused on the clinical relevance of what they are doing and how it will all help them once they qualify.
The course equipped me extremely well to embark upon this new career, both in terms of the skills and experience to treat patients safely as a general practitioner, but also the confidence to pursue special areas of interest such us obstetrics and gynaecology using Chinese medicine.
I recommend to anybody that expresses an interest in this growing field that they examine closely what CICM has to offer."
Norman Savigar graduated 2009
"My time studying at the College of Integrated Chinese Medicine can best be described as life-changing. Having previously completed a degree in Marine Biology, I had some ideas about what standards to expect from higher education.
I was pleased to find that the College not only met those standards, but actually surpassed them. The course was academically rigorous, with the detailed, well constructed syllabus you would expect from a high-quality degree-level course. However, the teaching went much deeper than just academic learning. Through their support, enthusiasm and passion for the subject, the teaching staff helped to unfold the true skill and artistry that underpin Chinese Medicine.
They were also able to nurture these qualities in their students, such that when I graduated from the course, I not only had the professional skills, confidence and competence to treat patients effectively, but had also developed as a person, beginning a process of self-cultivation that will last a lifetime."
Rob Veater, Graduated 2011
"When I started at CICM in 2008 I wondered how on earth I would be prepared to go out into the world to treat people. Since graduating, I have realised how fantastic the course is for preparing a practitioner for that day. The scaffolding structure, where you build on strong foundations, is a fabulous way to learn Chinese Medicine. I still feel supported as I am still in contact with many of my class so we can use each others experiences to build our own. Not only that, CICM also offer amazing CPD opportunities so you can grow as a practitioner. I am so pleased to have been part of CICM!"
Emma Rickards-Tilley, graduated 2008
"I was very unsure about which course to study and today I am even unsure quite how I first arrived at the appointment of open day at CICM in June 2012 but I do remember that that day, walking into that building already made me feel like light was entering my life. I knew after meeting and listening to the lecturers that this was a safe and supportive place for learning and I was inspired. I immediately read all there was to know about the college and what it took to take on a three year degree and enrolled. I have not looked back since
I have been amazed at the passion by which everyone at CICM dedicates to this practice and in teaching others. Every day which I have attended since, has touched me and inspires me to become more like them. Patiently and diligently and professionally and even effortlessly doing what they love. I find great support from my teachers as well as my fellow students. This is ultimately why I chose to study acupuncture, to help people but I was not expecting first, to be helped. The course is so well put together. At first one can be so daunted to start a new endeavor as a degree but somehow it all falls so nicely in place, step by step, it all makes perfect sense.
Thank you so much"
Lorraine van Wyk, 1st year student
"Put simply this course is extraordinary. It's a good mixture of practical and academic learning, but what really shines through is the passion for Chinese Medicine that is at the heart of the college and shared by everyone who works there. This makes for an inspirational environment where you are taught by people who have a wealth of experience and truly care that you develop personally and professionally.
The course is challenging, fascinating and life changing. It is now 18 months since I have graduated. I am working as an acupuncturist at a local clinic and from home. The college gave me the skills and confidence to enable me to do this."
Mandy Barter, graduated 2011
"I have to say that my experience of studying at the college of integrated Chinese medicine was truly outstanding and an amazing experience, it has given me the necessary tools and skills to practice this effective and ancient healing art form.
And for this I am truly thankful and grateful to the school and especially the teachers who where extremely supportive and encouraging, they taught with passion, dedication, detail and sensitivity and are still supporting us, if needed even after we have qualified.
As a student studying there I was able to learn all aspects of Chinese medicine, and also had the opportunity to develop and grow in our internal awareness, which lead to a deeper understanding of ourselves and in turn for our patients. I am so thankful to have been taught the five element system of practice which I find to be deeply life changing for my patients.
The training can be hard and rigorous at times but looking back I can see how beneficial this has been, through there system they are able to produce outstanding, knowledgeable, full rounded , capable, and confident practitioners.
And if you are looking to study here then I suggest you go to an open evening and experience it for your self, there is no better place to go!"
Martine Niven, graduated 2011
"When I turned 26, I felt that it was time to realize my dream and I started to study acupuncture back home in Sweden. I loved it! After graduation, I felt that it was not enough. I needed more practise. Acupuncture is still quite alternative in Sweden and you cannot get a degree such as BSc (Hons) like here in the UK.
My Swedish teacher recommended me CICM and I decided to get in touch with the College. They were so friendly and helpful from the first time I spoke to them! I did the first year examination and could then start the second year straight away. I will soon start the third year and it is all very exciting!
This is an absolutely wonderful college. Everyone is so friendly, helpful and enthusiastic.
There is always someone to ask if you need help with anything. The teachers are amazing, and they also have voluntary point location classes and support groups where you can get more practise which are really good. I do not regret it for a second coming to Reading to become a student at CICM! I can highly recommend this college to anyone that asks me!"
Thérése Rodhammar 3rd year student