New York College of Health Professions and The Open Center, a Match Made in Chakra

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New collaboration offers courses in holistic care for nurses

By Sean Creamer

The New York College of Health Professions, which is chartered by the New York State Board of Regents, has been offering education in the fields of Western, holistic and integrative medicine for 30 years. After great success in their Long Island location in Syosset and two locations in New York City, the college will now collaborate with the world-famous Open Center to hold continuing education classes for even more students, starting Feb. 3.

For many years, the college only offered classes at its Syosset location but, according to Barbara Carver, vice president of marketing and communications for the College, the program began to attract students from Massachusetts and Connecticut, which prompted them to begin expanding into New York City.

"One of the fastest-growing occupations for nurses is holistic care, which would be utilized in assisted living conditions," Carver said.

The partnership between these two educators is a momentous occasion for both institutions because it exemplifies the growing acceptance of holistic practices in the Western spectrum of medicine.

"We are going to be working jointly with Open Center staff," Carver said.

Both organization have been working in the field for over 25 years, each teaching in differing styles.

The New York College of Health Professions welcomes both new and continuing education students and offers classes to members of the public who wish to enhance their knowledge of Eastern medicine. One of the most popular classes offered by the College is "The Science of Self-Improvement," where students learn how to assess their strengths and weaknesses versus their personal goals. This type of learning characterizes the outside-the-box style of education that the College offers.

The College was the first to give degrees in acupuncture and massage therapy, according to Carver. As holistic medicine begins to take hold in Western practices, the College has gained "a worldwide reputation for being at the top of the field," She said.

The College offers many of its programs to the public, such as massage therapy, healing arts and energy work and physical arts. These classes are all included in the curriculum of the continuing education major and serve to expand upon the culture behind the medicine, a facet of holistic care that is crucial to implementing it in a field dominated by Western medicine ideals.

Although the College offers many of its programs to the public, the focus of the curriculum can be found in its continuing education program, where registered nurses, doctors, physical therapists and chiropractors take classes in the aforementioned fields to be certified as holistic caregivers.

While the College has been accredited to award degrees in the field of holistic care in traditional college-style classes, The Open Center explores much more the spirituality of holistic care while still teaching the techniques of the trade.

The Open Center has been teaching the practices for over 28 years, bringing "over 500 programs of exceptional depth and integrity to audiences totaling more than 10,000 annually," according to The Open Center's website. Akin to the New York College of Health Professions, The Open Center offers classes in the many fields of holistic care, ranging from the physical to the spiritual side.

The Open Center focuses not only on teaching the practice of holistic medicine but on living it. This is a notion that the College shares as well, requiring that continuing education students take one class in yoga, tai-chi or reiki because "physical arts play an essential and vital role in the education of our holistic health practitioners [as they] grasp an understanding of the culture behind the medicine," according to the College's course description.

Now that these two programs have united, students will be able to take advantage of the best of both worlds, working toward accredited degrees from the New York College of Health Professions while taking advantage of the many spiritual classes offered by The Open Center.

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