FAQs

Welcome to the Frequently Asked Questions page. This page is intended to provide answers to commonly asked questions and will continually be expanded and revised to include relevant information. The information on this page is not intended to replace the college’s policies and procedures and may at times, due to policy changes, contain outdated information.

Please click on the categories below to see the relevant questions, and click on the questions to see the corresponding answers.

Acupucture and Oriental Medicine

What is acupuncture?

Acupuncture is an ancient form of medicine that is part of the comprehensive medical system known as Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). The practice of acupuncture specifically involves the insertion of extremely thin metallic needles into the body at various points – known as acupuncture points or acupoints – of which there are hundreds. The acupuncture needle metaphorically acts as a key to open up a blockage, which may be physical or energetic (e.g. stress, sadness) in nature. The primary goal is releasing blockages to help the body restore health. Although acupuncture is not a panacea, virtually any recipient can benefit from the balancing effects provided by an acupuncture treatment.

What is Traditional Chinese Medicine?

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), also commonly referred to as Oriental Medicine, is a comprehensive and ancient medical system developed over many centuries in China and regularly employed there as part of the standard medical system. TCM includes many different therapies, including acupuncture, which is an ancient form of medicine that specifically involves the insertion of extremely thin metallic needles into the body at various points – known as acupuncture points or acupoints – of which there are hundreds. The acupuncture needle metaphorically acts as a key to open up a blockage, which may be physical or energetic (e.g. stress, sadness) in nature. Other therapies also comprise the practice of Traditional Chinese Medicine, and these include herbal medicine, Tui Na (therapeutic massage), cupping and Gua Sha (massage-related therapies using implements), nutrition, Tai Qi Chuan and Qi Gong (movement- and energy-based therapies), and moxibustion (the external application of the herb known as mugwort). The primary goal in TCM is to release blockages to help the body restore balance and thus health.

Why study acupuncture at Pacific Rim College?

Pacific Rim College is recognized as a leading school of acupuncture in Canada. The acupuncture training we provide meets or exceeds acupuncture certification standards throughout Canada and satisfies the acupuncture certification standards of many US states. Our acupuncture classes are taught by experienced and qualified acupuncturists, and many of our lecturers are world-renowned experts in the field of acupuncture. Having admitted students from more than 35 counties, we truly are an international college of Traditional Chinese Medicine. All our acupuncture students complete more than 2100 hours of on-site education, which includes more than 500 hours of acupuncture clinical practice.

Why study Traditional Chinese Medicine at Pacific Rim College?

Pacific Rim College is recognized as a leading college of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Canada. The acupuncture training and Chinese Medicine courses we provide are taught by experienced and qualified acupuncturists and practitioners and doctors of TCM. Many of our lecturers are world-renowned experts and authors in the field of Oriental Medicine. All programs within our School of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine meet or exceed acupuncture certification standards and Traditional Chinese Medicine certification standards throughout Canada and in many US states. Having admitted students from more than 35 counties, we truly are an international college of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Our students benefit from studying Chinese Medicine at our beautiful and historic campus in the heart of Victoria, British Columbia. Class sizes in all our herbal and acupuncture classes and Chinese Medicine clinics is monitored to maximize students’ learning of acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Do I need to be licensed to practice acupuncture?

In North America there are a number of different acupuncture certification standards that vary from state to state and province to province.

In British Columbia, one must meet the standards of the CTCMA to become a registered acupuncturist (this credential is equivalent to an acupuncture license in the United States) and thus to legally practice acupuncture throughout Canada. The CTCMA requires candidates to learn acupuncture at a recognized college of acupuncture and to subsequently earn an acupuncture diploma (an acupuncture degree is not currently available in Canada).

What is the difference in an acupuncture diploma and an acupuncture degree?

There are many schools and colleges that provide the opportunity to study Traditional Chinese Medicine (a system of medicine of which acupuncture is part). A college of Traditional Chinese Medicine (also commonly known as a college of Oriental Medicine) in the USA typically awards a Traditional Chinese Medicine degree (Oriental Medicine degree) of some sort, which may be known as a Master’s of Acupuncture or a Master’s of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. Currently any school of Chinese Medicine in Canada is only permitted to award a diploma of acupuncture. A program to program comparison may reveal virtually no differences between a diploma of Acupuncture program and a Master’s of Acupuncture degree program, but educational regulations vary between countries and thus affect the credentials a college of Chinese Medicine can award.

What is the difference in the Diploma of Acupuncture and the Diploma of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine?

The Diploma of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (DipAOM) includes all course requirements for the Diploma of Acupuncture and includes the study of Chinese Herbal Medicine. Graduates of the DipAOM will be poised to write the national registration exam to become a Registered Practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine (RTCMP), which permits them to prescribe Chinese Herbal remedies. Graduates of the Diploma of Acupuncture will be posted to write the national registration exam to become a Registered Acupuncturists (RAc) but not to prescribe Chinese Herbal remedies.

I am interested in the Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine program. Do I have to apply for admission into the program right away, or can I begin with the Diploma of Acupuncture and then transfer into the program?

The Diploma of Acupuncture is a 6 semester program that comprises the first 6 semesters of the Diploma of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (DipAOM) and the Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine (DTCM). Applicants can choose to begin their studies in either of these two programs and then apply for transfer into the DTCM.

Admission

Is there a deadline for submitting admission applications?

We accept applications on a rolling admissions basis and do not have deadlines for any of our programs. However, we do encourage applying at least 60 prior to the start date of your program. Many of our programs do fill up and late applicants might be deferred to the next semester of enrolment.

Holistic Doula

What is a Doula?

A Doula is a person who assists women before, during and after labour by providing emotional and physical support and information to both the labouring mother and her family. Emotional support may include encouragement, providing recommendations and assisting in decision-making. Physical support may include massage, nutritional guidance and postural recommendations.

Do I need to be registered/licensed to practice as a Doula?

In North America Doulas are not governed by any professional practitioner body. Numerous organizations provide certifications for Doulas, but none of these certifications are necessary for someone to serve as a Doula.

What is the current standard Doula Training in North America?

The industry standard in Doula Training usually consists of single or multiple seminars of a few days in length followed by some birthing experience. Common standards are a minimum 16-hour training for Birthing Doulas and a minimum 27-hour training for Postpartum Doulas, plus the reading of a handful of books and the completion of live birthing experience.

Why complete Pacific Rim College’s Holistic Doula Certificate Program?

The Holistic Doula Certificate Program breaks the industry standards and provides extensive hands-on, on-site training by leaders in their respective fields. This 270-hour Prenatal, Birth and Postpartum Doula program integrates philosophies of multiple medical modalities from various cultures to give students the most comprehensive Doula education in North America. Program leaders believe there is a deficiency in current industry training standards and thus have created this program to address these deficiencies. Pacific Rim College certified Holistic Doulas are equipped and poised to be highly sought after and respected Doulas.

Why was this program created?

This Holistic Doula Certificate was created to provide Doulas with exemplary knowledge and skills. Providing students with a strong education and practical foundation will translate into confident and competent Doulas when working with clients and building practices. No single component or discipline taught within the Holistic Doula Certificate is meant to be comprehensive or to lead to students becoming practitioners in that particular area. Instead, each component adds to the Doula’s competency and thus value to the labouring mother and her family. Program graduates will have a great breadth of foundational knowledge and skills to provide clients with better care and to refer them to additional resources and/or the appropriate health care provider.

What support is available to students?

All students are eligible to partake in the Doula Mentorship once they have completed all classroom requirements of the certificate program. In this complimentary program they meet regularly with Doula mentors and have phone support access. Examples of support provided throughout this program include looking at case studies of challenging births, Doula business support, and processing birth stories. The Doula Mentorship will help students establish a supportive Doula network as they embark on their new careers.

Holistic Nutrition

What is Holistic Nutrition?

Holistic nutrition is the practice of using food to maintain and restore health and vitality. Most if not all indigenous cultures have positioned diet as one of the key tenets of strengthening health and warding off illness. The primary goal of a holistic nutrition-based approach is not to diminish symptoms but instead to assess the body as a whole and make dietary modifications to create more balance and thus health.

Why earn Holistic Nutrition certification at Pacific Rim College?

Pacific Rim College is recognized as one of the best holistic nutrition schools in North America. With 2115 total hours, 360 of which are clinical practice, our Diploma of Holistic Nutrition (a degree in holistic nutrition is not available in Canada) is the most comprehensive on-site program in North America. It integrates theories and practices of Ayurveda, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Western Herbal Medicine and Western Medicine to provide students with unique perspectives on how to assess and treat clients. Our Holistic Nutrition Certificate is a 270-hour program for those interested in building personal knowledge rather than gaining practitioner skills. Our courses are taught by physicians, naturopathic doctors, doctors of Traditional Chinese Medicine, osteopaths and more, some of whom are world-renowned experts and authors in the field of Holistic Nutrition. Our students benefit from studying holistic nutrition at our beautiful and historic campus in the heart of Victoria, British Columbia.

Do I need to be licensed to practice Holistic Nutrition?

In Canada there is currently no regulation of the practice of Holistic Nutrition, although some credentialing bodies do exist. The Diploma of Holistic Nutrition at PRC is recognized by the National Association of Nutrition Professionals, the Canadian Association of Natural Nutritional Practitioners, the Canadian Health Coach Alliance, and the Canadian Association for Integrative Nutrition. Graduates are eligible for practitioner designations from all of these respected organizations.

How do I earn a Holistic Nutrition degree?

There are a number of schools for holistic nutrition in Canada, but none offer holistic nutrition degrees. Educational regulations vary between countries and thus affect the credentials a college of holistic nutrition can award. Pacific Rim College offers a comprehensive 3-year Diploma of Holistic Nutrition and a 4-month Holistic Nutrition Certificate.

Permaculture Design

What is permaculture?

Permaculture has many definitions but is primarily a philosophy of agricultural and social design intended to create regenerative living systems. Permaculture holds at its very core a philosophy of working with, rather than against, nature. Toby Hemenway, permaculture expert, teacher, author and designer, describes the goal of permaculture as “meeting human needs while preserving and increasing ecosystem health”.

What is a resilient ecosystem?

An ecosystem is considered to be resilient when it can recover from disturbances, both human and non-human. Seeking ways to create and sustain more resilient ecosystems and community systems is an integral part of this program.

Why complete Pacific Rim College’s Permaculture Design and Resilient Ecosystems Diploma program?

The Permaculture Design and Resilient Ecosystems program is the first of this caliber and scope in the world. Graduates will be poised to be leaders in the permaculture realm and can seek employment as permaculture designers, in greenhouse/nursery management, in a horticulture and/or sustainable agriculture business, in herbal medicine production and processing, as a natural building apprentice, and in sustainable community development.

Phytotherapy (Western Herbal Medicine)

What is Phytotherapy?

Phytotherapy (also referred to as Western Herbal Medicine) is the use of plant-based remedies typically native to Europe and North America to help maintain and restore health.

Why study herbal medicine courses at Pacific Rim College?

Pacific Rim College is recognized as a leading school of herbal medicine in the world. Our Diploma of Phytotherapy is one of the most comprehensive programs available and includes more than 500 hours of herbology clinical training. Our Community Herbalist Certificate is a 270-hour program for those interested in studying herbal courses for building personal knowledge rather than gaining practitioner skills. All our herbology courses are taught by highly qualified and respected herbalists, some of whom are world-renowned experts and authors in the field of herbal medicine. Our students benefit from studying herbal medicine at our beautiful and historic campus, which includes an impressive herbal dispensary stocked with hundreds of organic and wild-crafted herbs, and is located in the heart of Victoria, British Columbia. With our comprehensive herbalist coursework, biomedical studies and extensive professional development courses, we help each graduate to build a successful herbalist career.

Do I need to be licensed to practice Western Herbal Medicine?

In Canada there is currently no regulation and thus no herbalist certification that is required for someone to practice Western Herbal Medicine. Various credentialing bodies do exist and graduates of PRC’s Diploma of Phytotherapy are eligible for membership into the Canadian Herbalist’s Association of British Columbia (CHA of BC), the American Herbalists Guild (AHG), and the Ontario Herbalist Association (OHA).

What is the difference in a herbology diploma and a herbology degree?

Educational regulations vary between countries and thus affect the credentials a herbalist school can award. Although some schools of herbal medicine in the United States and Europe can offer a degree of herbal medicine or another herbalist degree of sorts, colleges in Canada only offer diplomas and herbology certification (e.g. master herbalist certification, community herbalist certification). Pacific Rim College offers a comprehensive 3-year Diploma of Phytotherapy and a 4-month Community Herbalist Certificate.