Friday, July 31, 2009

The American Institute of Alternative Medicine | AIAM

About The American Institute of Alternative Medicine (AIAM)

The American Institute of Alternative Medicine (AIAM), formerly Massage Away, Inc. School of Therapy, was founded in September 1994. The school was an outgrowth of Massage Away, Inc., central Ohio’s largest therapeutic clinic that started in 1990. The therapeutic massage clinic’s consistent growth, overwhelming customer demands for their services, and the inability to find quality massage therapists led to the creation of Massage Away, Inc. School of Therapy.

The Licensed Massage Therapy Program opened with 14 students, and has since graduated over 700 students, with approximately 200 students currently enrolled in the basic program. The Tui Na Program opened in 2002 with 2 students and has graduated 4 students. There are 4 Tui Na students currently enrolled. The Professional Master's Level Acupuncture Program opened in 2002 with 11 students and has graduated its first class of seven students. There are 22 students currently enrolled.

In December 1997, American Institute of Alternative Medicine purchased and moved into their new building in North Columbus and 12,000 square feet were added in 2000. Their facility includes six lecture/labs, a spa training room, a student clinic with 12 treatment rooms, a retail area selling student books, supplies and therapeutic products, a library, kitchen, student and instructor lounges and administrative offices. They have a committed staff of 45.

In 2000, the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT) accredited the school. AIAM was also approved for financial aid with the U. S. Department of Education and for the training of veterans, eligible dependents, reservists and the Ohio National Guard.

The new millennium brought in a new interest and direction for the school. In February 2001, owners Helen Yee and Diane Sater, along with instructor Lou Peters, participated in an extensive study trip to China where they studied Traditional Chinese Medicine and Tui Na at Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine. This educational experience confirmed the need to expand the program offerings to include both eastern and western philosophies.

In April 200l, David Wang was hired to develop the acupuncture program curriculum. His 20 years of experience in TCM, along with his extensive experience teaching and practicing western and Chinese medicine in China provided the acupuncture program's sound foundation. A Tui Na program was developed in 2001 providing students the option of learning an eastern form of bodywork. Both programs opened to students in 2002.

The school made history in July 2001, when AIAM was honored with a visit by Dr. Haizhou Xie, renowned Traditional Chinese Medical doctor. In China, Dr. Xie is hailed as a National Living Treasure. Dr. Wang is a protégé of Dr. Xie. Dr. Xie was bestowed the Honorary Presidency of the school at a reception attended by physicians, practicing acupuncturists and students. A China tour and China study tour is led by AIAM each year.

American Institute of Alternative Medicine’s name was officially changed to the American Institute of Alternative Medicine (AIAM) in 2002. AIAM better reflects their mission. In addition, a Board of Directors was elected.

In August 2007, AIAM's Professional Master's Level Acupuncture Program was recognized with five years of accreditation by the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (ACAOM). ACAOM is the US Department of Education recognized accrediting agency for the approval of programs preparing acupuncture and Oriental medicine practitioners.

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