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Advanced Diploma of Nutritional Medicine

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What is nutritional medicine?

Food is now being recognised as an important healing force in the Western World.  In this respect, it is catching up with traditional health models, which have long since understood the importance of nutrition.  Even Hippocrates, considered the Father of Medicine, included Diet as one of three elements of treatment.

In the United States of America, the Surgeon General stated ‘fully two-thirds of all deaths are directly affected by improper diet, and poor eating habits play a large part in the nation’s most common killers – coronary heart disease, stroke, atherosclerosis, diabetes and some cancers.’

Why study nutritional medicine?

Nutritional medicine, as a field of study in this course, is underpinned by the belief that all living forms possess an innate ability for self-healing.  This ability, or vital force, operates in an intelligent, orderly fashion.

All natural approaches to health care are aimed at supporting and enhancing the body’s own ability to heal itself.

The term ‘innate’ refers to characteristics or qualities, which are present in an individual from birth- they are part of the essential nature of something, rather than something that is learned, or gained through experience.

Innate Healing therefore, refers to the natural inclination of the body to both resist disease, & heal one-self.

In Iconic Health Academy’s Nutritional Medicine courses, this traditional method (modality) is used to support an individual on their healing journey.

What will the Iconic Health Academy Advanced Diploma of Nutritional Medicine do for you?

Iconic Health Academy’s Advanced Diploma of Nutritional Medicine provides the graduate nutritionist with a rounded knowledge of nutritional medicine.

The qualification includes biological health sciences, such as anatomy and physiology, biochemistry, pharmacology and differential diagnosis, together with social sciences, and practice management.

Graduates at this level have broad knowledge and skills for highly skilled work. The main difference between and advanced diploma and bachelor level is the inclusion of critical thinking as a discipline (in a bachelor degree), which does make it easier for graduates to continue their studies as a post graduate student in higher education. For example, if you wish to continue on to research, it would be easier to make the adjustment from a bachelor qualification than an advanced diploma.

Both qualifications equip the graduate to:

  • analyse information to complete a range of activities
  • interpret and transmit solutions to unpredictable and sometimes complex problems
  • transmit information and skills to others

For these reasons, Iconic Health Academy’s Advanced Diplomas tend to be more practical and eclectic, whereas the Bachelor Degrees are more academic and evidence-based. There is a little less work to achieve an Advanced Diploma than a Bachelor Degree, with 28 modules in an Advanced Diploma and 36 modules in a Bachelor Degree, being a 77.77% workload by comparison.

At the end of the course, you will be able to demonstrate a broad range of knowledge and skills to be able to analyse a client’s health status, including current medical treatments. Based on this assessment, graduates can design and implement individualised treatment protocols for health management.

It is equally important for graduates to understand their limitations, and identify ‘red flags’ which would require referral to a medical practitioner, to diagnose any serious underlying conditions.

Upon completion of this course, graduate nutritionists will be equipped to practice autonomously in their own professional clinic or work within an established health care practice.

Professional Recognition

The educational material is designed in accordance with the UK Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF) Level 5, and the Australian Quality Framework (AQF) Level 6, specifically at Advanced Diploma level. Once you have completed your Advanced Diploma of Nutritional Medicine, you will receive a certificate of completion from Iconic Health Academy.

Graduates will be eligible to become professional members of the International Institute for Complementary Therapists, which is recognised in:

  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Europe
  • New Zealand
  • South Africa
  • United Kingdom
  • United States

Assessment

This course is assessed using self-paced Multiple Choice Questionnaires, which can be used as formative or summative assessment, and provide immediate feedback.  The questions are designed to assess what you have learnt, and challenge your ability to apply concepts, and analyse and evaluate information.

Each module has its own assessment plan, and some include written assignments, student form participation and online presentations. Students are also required to complete practical components, including webinars and supervised clinical elements.

Course Outline

The Iconic Health Academy Advanced Diploma of Nutritional Medicine is designed to be delivered over 3 years; it is offered in a full time format, which is delivered over 18 months, and a part time format, which is delivered over 36 months.

To ensure currency of information, students are required to complete their studies within 6 years.

The Advanced Diploma of Nutritional Medicine is structured to include the following Modules, which may also contribute to other courses: 

SEMESTER 1
Code Title
AP1 Anatomy and Physiology 1
HSF Health Sciences, Foundations
MT Medical Terminology
NU1 Nutrition 1
NP Natural Health Philosophy
SEMESTER 2
AP2 Anatomy and Physiology 2
CF Chemistry, Foundations
NU2 Nutrition 2
FP Food Philosophy
PD Professional Development
SEMESTER 3
CS Clinical Studies
FW Food for Wellness
TS Tissue Salts
PA Pathology
SEMESTER 4
FS Food Health & Safety
AFM Applied Food as Medicine
PH Pharmacology
TFM Traditional Food as Medicine
SEMESTER 5
CP1 Clinical Practice 1 (Log Book)
BA Biodiversity & Sustainable Agriculture
DD1 Differential Diagnosis 1
NW Nutraceuticals for Wellness
TPNuM1 Treatment Protocols (NuM) 1
SEMESTER 6
CP2 Clinical Practice 2 (Log Book)
DD2 Differential Diagnosis 2
PM Practice Management 
RE Research Evaluation
TPNuM2 Treatment Protocols (NuM) 2

The full time course will be delivered online, two modules at a time. Two bridging courses are also included, Health Sciences, Foundations and Chemistry, Foundations, to set students up for success.  You will be required to pass each pair of modules, before advancing to the next.  Modules are delivered in the following pairs:

Health Sciences, Foundations Natural Health Philosophy
Medical Terminology Nutrition 1
Anatomy and Physiology 1 Professional Development
Chemistry, Foundations Food Philosophy
Anatomy and Physiology 2 Nutrition 2
Clinical Studies Tissue Salts
Food for Wellness Pathology
Food Health & Safety Pharmacology
Applied Food as Medicine Traditional Food as Medicine
Clinical Practice 1 (Log Book) Practice Management
Biodiversity & Sustainable Agriculture Nutraceuticals for Wellness
Differential Diagnosis 1 Treatment Protocols (NuM) 1
Clinical Practice 2 (Log Book) Research Evaluation
Differential Diagnosis 2 Treatment Protocols (NuM) 2


NB:
Students will also be required to complete a Senior First Aid Certificate, which is not offered by Iconic Health Academy, prior to commencing their supervised clinic elements.

The part time course will be delivered online, one module at a time.  Health Sciences, Foundations is included to set students up for success.  You will be required to pass each module, before advancing to the next module.  Modules are delivered in this order:

Natural Health Philosophy
Health Sciences, Foundations
Nutrition 1
Medical Terminology
Professional Development
Anatomy and Physiology 1
Food Philosophy
Chemistry, Foundations
Nutrition 2
Anatomy and Physiology 2
Tissue Salts
Clinical Studies
Food for Wellness
Pathology
Food Health & Safety
Pharmacology
Applied Food as Medicine
Traditional Food as Medicine
Practice Management
Clinical Practice 1 (Log Book)
Nutraceuticals for Wellness
Biodiversity & Sustainable Agriculture
Differential Diagnosis 1
Treatment Protocols (NuM) 1
Clinical Practice 2 (Log Book)
Research Evaluation
Differential Diagnosis 2
Treatment Protocols (NuM) 2

NB: Students will also be required to complete a Senior First Aid Certificate, which is not offered by Iconic Health Academy, prior to commencing their supervised clinic elements.

Anatomy and Physiology 1      

This module introduces students to the anatomical structure and physiological function of the human body, including the chemical, cellular and tissue levels of organisation. Students will also learn about the structure and specialised functions of the integumentary, musculoskeletal and gastrointestinal systems, as well as gaining a basic overview of human metabolism.

Anatomy and Physiology 2    

This module follows AP1, providing information on the structure and specialised functions of the lymphatic, immune, nervous, endocrine, cardiovascular, respiratory, urinary and reproductive systems. Key concepts associated with fluid, electrolyte and acid-base homeostasis are also introduced.

Applied Food as Medicine    

This module follows on from Food for Wellness, building on the therapeutic potential of food and providing students with a sound knowledge base necessary to implement healthy whole food into everyday life. It incorporates both theoretical and practical aspects of whole food cooking, including special diets, menu planning, and food safety and hygiene considerations.

Biodiversity & Sustainable Agriculture   

This module explores the environmental and health impacts of modern agricultural practices, as well as the benefits of biodiversity and sustainable agriculture to human health and society at large. Various sustainable farming designs, including organic and biodynamic practices, permaculture and aquaculture will be discussed.

Chemistry, Foundations    

This module introduces basic chemistry and organic chemistry principles, and relates biochemical structure to the function of substances within the body. It will provide an introduction to biochemical processes and metabolic pathways of macronutrients and energy production.

Clinical Practice 1             

This is the first of two modules which are managed via a student log book, which includes checklists designed to give students practical experience within a real or simulated operational clinical practice setting. CP1 students will progress through reception duties, clinic dispensary duties.  Students will  observe other consulting practitioners and/or students. They may also undertake mock consultations with peers. They will assist in developing treatment protocols to client needs with respect to current evidence. Students will also explore how to write effective referral letters, as well as critically analyse claims of therapeutic actions of natural therapies. By the end of this module, students will start to engage in health consultations with clients, to propose his/her own treatment protocols. Under direct supervision, students will prescribe appropriate therapies and educate their clients with regard to natural medicine philosophy and evidence-based practice. They will learn to recognise limits of competency and identify when referrals to other health practitioners are appropriate.

Clinical Practice 2          

This is the second of two modules which are managed via a student log book, which includes checklists designed to give students practical experience within a real or simulated operational clinical practice setting. CP2 students may continue to undertake mock consultations with peers. They will assist in developing treatment protocols and applying knowledge of appropriate modalities to client needs with respect to current evidence. Under direct supervision, students will prescribe appropriate therapies and educate their clients with regard to natural medicine philosophy and evidence-based practice. They will learn to recognise limits of competency and identify when referrals to other health practitioners are appropriate.

Clinical Studies 

The Clinical Studies module will teach students case-taking and diagnostic skills in order to carry out a thorough health assessment. A range of diagnostic and examination techniques pertaining to all systems of the body will be discussed.

Differential Diagnosis 1 

This module integrates the knowledge gained in the previous biological science modules to provide students with an understanding of the different signs and symptoms of common health conditions. Based on their clinical findings, students will learn to understand likely underlying pathology and prognoses, and decide on appropriate further investigations and referrals. This module will cover differential diagnosis of gastrointestinal, hepatic, metabolic, integumentary, immune, respiratory and urinary tract disorders.

Differential Diagnosis 2 

This module follows DD1, to provide students with an understanding of the different signs and symptoms of common health conditions. This module will cover differential diagnosis of musculoskeletal, nervous, mental health, cardiovascular, endocrine and reproductive disorders.

Food for Wellness          

In this module, students will explore the evidence for the therapeutic benefits and health outcomes of a balanced whole food diet. Food culture is explored across various ethnic groups and religions, and topics including traditional dietary paradigms, modern food production and genetic modification will also be discussed. Most sessions include insights into specific beneficial foods.

Food Health & Safety    

Exploring food regulation, labelling and transportation, this module also encompasses genetic modification, industrial food processing, food adulteration and the use of additives in the context of food health and safety.

Food Philosophy    

Exploring the history of food and economic and environmental issues from a global perspective, this module looks at differences in food choices, preparation and sources across cultures, religions, families and individuals. We also explore food ethics; analyse the evidence for the impact of food choices on mind, body and spirit; and discuss how traditional diets can improve the health and wellbeing of individuals.

Health Sciences, Foundations    

HSF is a self-paced learning module for students without prior human biology studies. It introduces the structure and function of the human body and the major body systems, together with an introduction to pathology, microbiology and pharmacology.

Medical Terminology     

Specifically designed to teach students to effectively and efficiently communicate with other health professionals, this module analyses the structure of medical terms, diagnostic tests and referrals.

Natural Health Philosophy     

Exploring the cultural origins, philosophies and historical development of modern day natural therapies, this module will outline the philosophical foundations of natural medicine and provide an overview of various modalities. Theories and applications of specific natural therapies are compared with each other and biomedical practice.

Nutraceuticals for Wellness       

This module is designed to teach you the basis of nutritional supplementation for wellness. You will learn about a wide range of nutritional supplements, including vitamins, minerals, amino acids, essential fatty acids, enzymes, probiotics and antioxidants. We will cover food sources, deficiency symptoms, therapeutic uses, and cautions and contraindications. By the end of this course, you will have an in-depth knowledge of when and how to safely recommend nutritional supplements.

Nutrition 1         

This module provides a broad overview of nutrition, including an introduction to macro- and micro-nutrients, energy requirements, exogenous factors affecting nutrition, and dietary guidelines. The student will learn how to perform a basic nutritional assessment, and to plan and implement dietary modifications based on healthy eating guidelines. We will also look at nutrition in respect to different life stages, weight management and food reactions.

Nutrition 2        

Expanding on NU1, Nutrition 2 provides students with an in-depth look into specific micro- and macro-nutrients, including their food sources, physiological function, metabolism, and deficiency and excess symptoms. Students will explore therapeutic applications of nutrients and rationales for supplementation, as well as gaining an understanding of current TGA regulations.

Pathology       

Integrating knowledge of anatomy and physiology, students will learn to apply knowledge of pathological processes to clinical outcomes. Diseases states are identified and discussed in terms of their effects on cell structure and function, as well as their underlying risk factors. Appropriate pathological tests and the interpretation of their results are also discussed.

Pharmacology  

Pharmacological principles of pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics and pharmacogenetics are applied to define drug actions and interactions. Students will learn to classify drugs according to mechanisms of action and reflect upon the legal and ethical responsibilities of practitioners and the media.

Practice Management  

This module will develop awareness of the necessary factors involved in operating a complementary medicine practice, including financial considerations, taxation requirements, record keeping, legal issues, implementation of systems, policies & procedures, and statutory & regulatory requirements. Students will create a business plan, formulate marketing strategies and materials for use in practice, and learn the basics of managing human resources.

Professional Development      

In this module, we will explore techniques for effective communication, including the use of micro-skills, to enable students to develop oral and written communication skills to enhance the therapeutic encounter. We will also discuss self-esteem, self-concept, self-presentation and social psychology, as well as professional boundaries and legal and ethical considerations.

Research Evaluation      

In this module, students will learn to develop their academic writing skills and apply knowledge of research methodology to the critique of research papers. This module will help students to differentiate between treatment options with a strong evidence base and those without, reflecting upon and critically evaluating their own work.

Tissue Salts        

After introducing the historical development of tissue salts and mineral therapy, we discuss their benefits, roles and limitations within the field of nutritional healing.  Students will learn to identify mineral deficiencies and needs, and the main actions and indications of each of the twelve tissue salts are described in depth.  Using case studies, the principles and methods for managing acute and chronic conditions in patients of differing age and physiological states using tissue salt and mineral therapy is determined with respect to current evidence.

Traditional Food as Medicine     

This module will explore the food selection and eating practices of selected cultures around the world and discuss how factors such as geographical location influence these practices. The utilisation of food as medicine by different cultures will be analysed and integrated into modern nutritional therapy practice.

Treatment Protocols (NuM) 1   

This module integrates the knowledge gained in previous modules to enable students to critically analyse clinical cases from a holistic perspective, and develop evidence-based nutritional medicine treatment protocols for gastro-intestinal, hepatic, integumentary, immune, respiratory, urinary tract and metabolic conditions. Treatment protocols will be critically evaluated and management plans adapted for follow up cases. Students will also learn to recognise red flags and decide on appropriate referrals.

Treatment Protocols (NuM) 2   

This module integrates the knowledge gained in previous modules to enable students to critically analyse clinical cases from a holistic perspective, and develop evidence-based nutritional medicine treatment protocols for musculoskeletal, nervous, mental health, cardiovascular, endocrine and reproductive conditions. Treatment protocols will be critically evaluated and management plans adapted for follow up cases. Students will also learn to recognise red flags and decide on appropriate referrals.

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