DEAC Awards 2022: Michael Ford is our Outstanding Graduate!

michael ford deac outstanding graduate

Michael Ford is a graduate of several certificate and diploma programs, as well as, our Associate of Applied Science in Complementary Alternative Medicine, Master of Science in Herbal Medicine, Master of Science in Aromatherapy and Master of Science in Integrative Health Sciences. Herbal medicine was his first step into the world of holistic health in the mid-90s with an herbalism apprenticeship, so it’s something he always came back to. The idea of plants as medicine captivated him as a child. He always knew he would end up in the healthcare industry, but he also knew it would be nothing traditional.

Michael was recently nominated and selected to represent ACHS as the DEAC 2022 Outstanding Graduate. He stated, “the success I’ve enjoyed is certainly related to all of the programs I have completed through ACHS.”

Choosing ACHS

After a lot of self-teaching with herbal medicine and aromatherapy, Michael came across ACHS through the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy. In 2005, he enrolled in the Diploma in Aromatherapy program. After moving twice, he attended school for skincare while also completing his initial program at ACHS. He was so eager to learn more and kept a watchful eye on ACHS hoping for degree programs so he returned in 2013 to complete the remainder of his degrees with ACHS, as mentioned above.

His Commitment to Holistic Health

Michael’s business is a sole proprietorship that has transitioned over the years from a massage therapy and skincare practices evolving into holistic wellness. Louisiana has Safe Harbor Practitioner Exemption laws which allow him to lawfully practice as an herbalist and aromatherapist. As he obtained his knowledge through his studies, his aromatherapy treatments began to replace massage therapy and herbal consultations became standard services instead of passive suggestions added to a massage service.

He likes to think that, “I have contributed to the field of herbal medicine by showing legitimacy and efficacy to my local allopathic medical community.” He partners with a local chiropractor who does not staff a massage therapist, allowing him to offer treatments for their patients while educating and empowering them on a range of topics from immune support, simple herbal home remedies, and the safe use of essential oils. Friends, family, and clients who work in traditional medical fields seem to appreciate the depth of study these degrees have, and he believes that having the ability to talk on their level creates an awareness that integrative health, whether it be aromatherapy, herbal medicine, or nutrition, has become an evidence-based industry and not a fad. 

Michael also enjoys taking herb walks with friends and identifying useful local plants. He has also been asked by a physician friend to participate in a health fair for their local renaissance festival performers. My thought is that, “ I can offer simple suggestions of staying well while on the go with nutrition, supplements, simple herbal preparations that could be obtained relatively inexpensively and have simple storage requirements, like herbal capsules and tinctures.” 

By Amy Swinehart, Director of Alumni and Career Services Disclosure of Material Connection: I am the social media & PR specialist for the American College of Healthcare Sciences, the institution publishing this blog. However, all opinions are my own. This blog may contain affiliate links. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent disease. This article has not been reviewed by the FDA. Always consult with your primary care physician or naturopathic doctor before making any significant changes to your health and wellness routine.

About American College of Healthcare Sciences

American College, founded in 1978, is a fully online accredited institute of higher education specializing in holistic health. Based in Portland, OR; our goal is to make research-driven and science-based holistic health education taught by industry-leading experts accessible to anyone anywhere while still giving students a hands-on experiential learning experience like a traditional college and a strong sense of community, school pride, and student bond.

This commitment to our students and graduates is reflected in our survey results that 98% of our students would recommend ACHS to a friend or family member.

We believe education is the most powerful tool for changing an individual and the world around us.

When a person enrolls at ACHS, it is vitally important that they graduate with the tools they need to forge their own holistic and sustainable missions, build up their communities confidently and change the face of healthcare with knowledge.