Integrative Medicine, Complementary Alternative Medicine and Health Round-up February 2012 featuring the topics of:   Policy, Research, Integerative Centers, Integrative healthcare professions, academic medicine and health, healthcare media updates, CAM research, practice and people.

Update from holistic nursing leaders Susan Luck and Barbara Dossey on the nurse coach certification process

Holistic nursing leader Susan Luck, RN, MS, HNC, CCN recently sent an update from her colleague Barbara Dossey, PhD, RN, BC-HN, FAAN on the efforts to establish, via the American Holistic Nurses Certification Corporation (AHNCC), a nurse coaching certification. Says Luck: “It captures the work that has gone into this and the potential to greatly impact our nation’s health with over 3 million nurses in the U.S. working in all settings within all communities.” Luck notes that the nurses leading this effort have also created the International Nurse Coach Association “to bring nurse coaches together local to global, to network, support one another and share our work and stories.” She adds that “in the Nightingale spirit, we are also committed to change through advocacy and in supporting health policy initiatives that focus on health and the environment.” Here is Dossey’s report:

“The following provides the reader with a brief overview of the Nurse Coach Certification Process offered by the American Holistic Nurses Certification Corporation (AHNCC).

“Over the last two years the American Holistic Nurses Certification Corporation (AHNCC) has followed the development of the health and wellness coaching movement and the increased interest in the nurse coach role as reported in the literature and in various healthcare areas. This also included a series of conversations with a cohort of holistic nurse leaders, including Linda Bark, Barbara Dossey, Darlene Hess, Susan Luck, Bonney Schaub, and Mary Elaine Southard.

“After lengthy discussions, extensive reading, and consideration of the implications for nursing, the topic was added to the AHNCC Board Meeting Agenda in February 2010. The AHNCC Board decided that the role of Nurse Coaching was important to the Profession of Nursing, and should be proactively addressed. That is, Nursing should hold its space with this role so to ensure that Nursing is included in the consortium of healthcare providers that are supported in the delivery of care based on a health coach model.

“AHNCC also determined to move forward with a needs assessment to determine if there was interest in a national certification program for nurses who wished to carryout the Nurse Coach Role. See details at

“AHNCC contacted the cohort of nurse leaders described above, identified as the Professional Nurse Coach Workgroup (PNCW). AHNCC and the PNCW discussed options for moving forward with a Needs Assessment and a National Certification Program if indicated by the Needs Assessment. Together, an alliance was formed with the intent of holding and promoting the Role of Professional Nurse Coaching. 

“AHNCC needs assessment was launched in March 2011. For more details see The findings indicated that there is an interest in a National Certification Program in the Role of Professional Nurse Coach.

“The PNCW is in the final international review process on the draft Professional Nurse Coach Role: Defining the Scope of Practice and Competencies (2012).This document has identified competencies relevant to the role of Nurse Coach. The AHNCC is now having these competencies reviewed by expert panels that will be revised accordingly to the experts’ review. Following completion of the competencies, a Role-Delineation Study (RDS) will be undertaken, under the guidance of the Professional Testing Corporation.

“Specifics regarding required AHNCC criteria, the certification process, related literature, and other factors will be provided in early 2012. Helen Erickson, AHNCC Board Chair welcomes questions and comments contact AHNCC at”

Comment: Coaching, as mentors have taught me, is not precisely “educating.” Nor is it “counseling.” It is an art-form of its own. In an era wracked by diseases that baffle many who have been educated and counseled to better habits, I wonder that these new soft technologies are not front-and-center for all integrative clinicians and healers who like to see themselves as change agents for people’s lifestyle choices. That said, a part of me wishes this nursing group would have chosen to work within the fold of the broader, multidisciplinary initiative to establish coaching standards kicked off in late September 2010 and reported here. The idea of standards that bridge disciplines has an appeal in a time when we have increased awareness of the way guild boundaries harm patient care. Yet creating a formal method for certification inside an army of 3-million nurses is undeniably a great step toward health.


Report finds homebirth is making a comeback 

A January 26, 2012 report from the National Center for Health Statistics led the Certified Professional Midwives to declare in an e-message that “Homebirth is on the Rise!” Homebirth, on a 14 year decline, increased 29% to 1-in-90 births.  Roughly 90% of the increase was among non-Hispanic white women. Differences based on race adnd ethnicity have increased over time. Montana has the highest frequency, at 2.6% with Louisiana and Washington, D.C. the lowest, at 0.2%. The National Association for Certified Professional Midwives also shared a video of testimony from US Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA) in which she heralds the outcomes of a November 2011 midwifery summit.  NACPM holds its first annual meeting  March 11-13, 2012 in Virginia.


Acupuncture accrediting body calls for public comment on standards for new “First Professional Doctorate” 

The Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine is has opened a comment period on its standards for creating a “first professional doctorate” (FPD) for the acupuncture and Oriental medicine field.  Since the creation of the ACAOM in the 1980s, the focus of the agency has been on accreditation standards for Masters’ level education. Over the past decade, a small but growing subset of schools have commenced clinical programs that offer a Doctorate in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (DAOM). Meantime, the profession has debated the increase in standard to bring the core education to the doctoral level. This is the second round of public comments issue by ACAOM following a controversial first round. Comments are urged by all members of the public. Click here for information.

Super Bowl: Chiropractors Help Patriots, Giants (and 30 other teams) “Prepare for Battle”

The Foundation for Chiropractic Progress (F4CP), a marketing arm of the chiropractic profession, used the occasion of Super Bowl XLVI to tout the role of chiropractors in keeping professional football players on the field and playing. The February 1, 2012 release features comments from Michael Miller, DC of the Patriots and Robert DeStefano, DC of the Giants. States Miller: “Most of our players will get adjusted prior to games to adequately prepare their bodies for battle. Several times during the playoffs, incidents occurred that required chiropractic care and, subsequent to sideline treatment, players were able to return to action the following play. We expect to have the same efficiency going into and during the Super Bowl.” The article stresses the multidisciplinary manner in which the chiropractors work. The Professional Football Chiropractic Society links these clinicians from the 32 teams.

Comment: My fantasy is this: one of the academic bloggers who spends his free moments railing against chiropractic, CAM and integrative medicine bellies up to one of these inside linebackers freshly off the adjusting table and girded for battle. The anti-CAM blogger shows the courage of his or her (usually his) convictions and says: What you just did is a waste. It’s all in your head. It’s of no real use. Why waste your time on it? I think I just heard the sound of a body slammed against a locker.