A: The Academy of Lymphatic Studies (ACOLS) was the first school in the U.S. to offer research-based certification in Manual Lymph Drainage and Complete Decongestive Therapy according to the European curriculum. We are dedicated and passionate about lymphedema education and treatment. We have been in business since 1994 and we pride ourselves on offering the highest quality education and best customer service to our students.
Our Complete Lymphedema Certification course exceeds the requirements for national certification for lymphedema therapists as set by the Lymphology Association of North America (LANA). Of all the Certified Lymphedema Therapists that have taken the national exam, our students have the highest success rate of all schools. This is because we provide the most comprehensive training in all disciplines of MLD/CDT and strive to ensure the success of every one of our students.
Our founder and director, Joachim E. Zuther, has more than 20 years experience in the field of lymphology and authored the textbook "Lymphedema Management", which was first published by Thieme Medical and Scientific Publishers New York, NY in 2004. This textbook was recently expanded and is now on its 3rd Edition. It is used in all of our courses. In addition, "Joe" stays abreast of any lymphedema "news" and regularly publishes articles on www.lymphedemablog.com.
The mission of the Academy of Lymphatic Studies is to promote high professional standards and the continuing professional competence of health care practitioners by promoting the quality and integrity of continuing education to practitioners in the field of lymphedema management. To achieve our mission, in addition to our core MLD/CDT courses, we offer more advanced training courses in lymphedema management and continue to develop more. Our instructors and assistants are expert clinician specialists and some of the most experienced experts in the field of lymphology.
A: Graduates of the Academy of Lymphatic Studies are certified to perform the techniques known as Manual Lymph Drainage (Vodder Technique) and Complete Decongestive Therapy and will receive a certificate upon successful completion of the 135-hour certification course. With this certification, course graduates are eligible and well prepared to sit for the national certification for lymphedema therapists administered by the Lymphology Association of North America (LANA®). ACOLS certification classes meet the requirements set by LANA®.
A: The Lymphology Association of North America (LANA®) supports the standards and quality of training in the field of lymphology. LANA® also established and maintains certification for medical professionals who provide services in the field of lymphology. Standardization serves to improve the quality and availability of lymphedema care and provides a foundation upon which the health insurance industry can establish consistent reimbursement guidelines. To qualify to sit for the LANA exam, applicants need to complete a certification course (135 hours) at an approved lymphedema training program. Upon successful completion of the computerized LANA® exam, the lymphedema therapists are entitled to add the credentials “CLT-LANA” to their names. These credentials will identify the lymphedema therapists’ extensive professional background.
Click here to access LANA's website.
A: Yes, the instructors are certified in the Vodder technique of Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD). However, the Academy teaches the advanced or modified Vodder Technique. Our curriculum is based on solid scientific research and includes all components of MLD and Complete Decongestive Therapy (CDT), i.e. Manual Lymph Drainage, Compression Therapy, Decongestive Exercises and Skin Care. Our founder and Education Director is certified in the Vodder technique through the German Association of Physical Therapy and internationally recognized; he has been teaching since 1985 and certified more than 3000 therapists (in the U.S., Europe and Asia) in the Vodder technique. He published extensively on the subject of lymphology.
A: The course is a total of 135 hours, which includes a 45 online home study program. The live portion of the course is given over a period of 5 working days and 2 weekends, for a total of 9 class days. The class room hours of the 8am – 7pm daily with approximately one hour for lunch each day.
A: Not completely. The 135-hour certification course requires learning various hands-on techniques, therefore, a portion of the course is live instruction.
Due to overwhelming student and employer demand, we have changed our traditional two week certification course format to the Accelerated Hybrid Online Program (AHOP). This program is a comprehensive certification course (135 hours) and is taught in two segments. The first is the 45-hour online home study program and the second is the 90-hours of live classroom studies and hands-on lessons. This is done in 9 consecutive days in the class, over 5 working days and 2 weekends.
The Academy of Lymphatic Studies pioneered research-based Lymphedema training in the United States in the early 90’s, using our traditional program that required students to spend two full weeks in off-site, classroom training. It only makes sense that the Academy would pioneer a more dynamic, accelerated course format that is both student and employer friendly.
A: No, the course curriculum can be split into two parts; part I: first 5 days, part II: second 4 days. The cost for splitting the Certification Course into two parts is an additional $100. However, the entire course must be completed within six months.
If you are interested in splitting the course into two parts, please contact the Academy at 772.589.3355.
A: Participants are expected to attend 100% of the course. Should a participant miss more than five hours of the course, he or she may not be permitted to participate in the final exam. However, special circumstances will be considered.
A: This course is ONLY available to licensed healthcare professionals in the following professions, as per the LANA requirements: Medical Doctors, Physical Therapists, Physical Therapist Assistants, Occupational Therapists, Occupational Therapist Assistants (OTA/COTA), Nurses, Nurse Practitioners, Licensed Practical Nurses, Massage Therapists (MT's must show proof of completion of a minimum 500 hour training program or be nationally certified. MT's from other countries must show proof of equivalent program), Chiropractors and ATC’s.
A: To enroll in a certification course, first you should select a course date and location you would like to attend. You can register online at www.acols.com or you can call our Admissions Representative at 800.863.5935. A minimum deposit of $900 is required to secure your space in the course. If your employer will be paying your tuition, we can accept a PO or copy of the company check to hold your space in the course. Prior to attending the course, the balance of the tuition is due 30 days prior to the first day of class, as well as a copy of your professional license and a completed student application form (click here).
A: The "Lymphedema Management" textbook, an extensive course manual, a complete set of bandages and compression materials for the application of padded short-stretch bandages on the upper and lower extremities, certification for compression garment measurement (upper and lower extremity), all hand-outs, exam and registration fees are included in the tuition for our certification course. Also covered are the treatment and management of pediatric lymphedema and lymphedema affecting the exterior genitalia, billing and marketing issues and much more. ACOLS also provides the following services free of charge to all graduates: consulting and mentoring services, therapist resource listing on our website (www.acols.com), and continuous updates in the field of lymphedema management. Also available for students are specialized educational tools (posters, slides, CD-ROM's). Once a graduate of ACOLS, we offer discounts on product purchases and future course. ACOLS provides annual refresher and advanced courses for interested graduates.
A: Yes, The Academy of Lymphatic Studies (ACOLS) offers Financial Aid for the Certification Course in Manual Lymph Drainage and Complete Decongestive Therapy. For more information, please contact the Academy of Lymphatic Studies either via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling toll-free at 800.863.5935
A: Once your registration into the date and location of your choice is processed, a package will be shipped immediately containing all the information you will need. This includes your confirmation and receipt, with information such as where to go, what to bring, what time to be there, etc. Also included in the package is everything you will need to complete your online home study program. This includes the textbook, manual, CD, required reading, list of term and online login instructions and credentials. Once you receive this package, read all of the information/paperwork, then begin your studies. You can work at your own pace, however, the online home study program must be completed at least two days before the first day of class. The home study will take approximately 45 hours to complete.
A: The certification course covers the entire spectrum of lymphedema management. Course work includes the anatomy, physiology and pathology of the lymphatic system, to include primary and secondary lymphedema on the upper and lower extremities (uncomplicated and with complications), the face, exterior genitalia, pediatric lymphedema, as well as other conditions, which can be treated successfully with CDT, such as chronic venous insufficiencies (CVI), lipedema, reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD), post-traumatic and post-surgical swellings, inflammatory rheumatism, fibromyalgia, migraine, and many more. The application of basic and advanced techniques of MLD, as well as basic and advanced techniques of bandaging is part of this course. Certification in the measurement of compression garments, evaluation techniques, billing and marketing issues are also covered. Successful completion of all the required exams is necessary to achieve certification status. Upon completion of this certification course, the therapist is eligible to sit for the LANA exam. For more information please click here.
The Lymphedema Management Seminar serves as an introduction to the management of upper and lower extremity lymphedema (primary and secondary), non-complicated cases only. It is focused on increasing the understanding of proper lymphedema management and the application of the techniques known as Manual Lymph Drainage (Vodder Technique) and Complete Decongestive Therapy for lymphedema and other conditions. Participants will be able to establish a treatment plan for individuals with primary or secondary extremity lymphedema and perform the treatment accordingly. By the end of this seminar, participants will be able to distinguish between edema and lymphedema, understand the anatomical and physiological principles of the lymphatic system, sufficiently educate lymphedema patients in skin care, precautions and the use of compression devices (sleeves, stockings, compression alternatives), evaluate edema patients and design a comprehensive treatment plan, understand the principle application of Manual Lymph Drainage and multi-layered compression bandages and much more. There are no exams in this course and this is not a certification course.
A: If you attend the Complete Lymphedema Certification within one year of taking the Lymphedema Management Seminar, your entire tuition paid for the seminar will be credited toward the tuition for the certification course, reducing the cost of the certification course. Participants still need to attend the full certification course, per guidelines set by LANA, but we don't make you pay for the education twice.
A: No. The seminar does not require any pre-study, so there is no online portion of this class. The course requires learning various hands-on techniques, therefore, this course is presented in live instruction.
A: There are no prerequisites for this course. This course is available to licensed healthcare professionals, caregivers and patients.
A: To enroll in seminar is simple. First select a course date and location you would like to attend, then you can register online at www.acols.com or you can call our Admissions Representative at 800.863.5935. If your employer will be paying your tuition, we can accept a PO or copy of the company check to hold your space in the course.
A: The "Lymphedema Management" textbook, an extensive course manual, a complete set of bandages and compression materials for the application of padded short-stretch bandages on the upper and lower extremities, certification for compression garment measurement (upper and lower extremity) and all hand-outs are included in the tuition for the seminar. Once a graduate of ACOLS, we offer discounts on product purchases and future course. ACOLS provides annual refresher and advanced courses for interested graduates.
A: We do not offer financial aid for this course, but we do offer a payment plan if necessary. For more information, please contact the Academy of Lymphatic Studies through our contact form, or by calling toll-free at 800.863.5935
A: Yes, the following professions are eligible for CEU's (most courses): PT's, PTA's, OT's, COTA's, OTA’s and MT's. CEU’s are issued through the AOTA, NCBTMB, FPTA and various other state professional boards. Before taking any type of CEU course, it is the therapist's responsibility to verify that the course they are attending has the appropriate approvals necessary. We encourage you to call us to verify your specific state professional board prior to attending our courses. If we have not already obtained prior approval, in most cases, we can apply. Please note that some professional boards require up to 90 days for approval, so if you require CEU's, please make sure to inquire as soon as possible.
A: Yes. If the participant cancels within three business days of registration, the amount paid is fully refundable. If the participant does not cancel within this period, participant agrees to adhere to all policies contained herein.
The tuition for all of our courses is partially refundable. Any participant canceling 4 or more days after registration is accepted will incur a $100 cancellation penalty. If the participant cancels within 15-30 days prior to the first day of class the penalty increases to $250. If the participant cancels within 14 days prior to the first day of the class, the penalty is $500. The full tuition paid becomes non-refundable once the participant has attended all or part of the course, whether or not the participant successfully completes the course.
A: All of our courses are held at various locations all around the U.S. We prefer to have our courses hosted by a clinic, rehabilitation facility or hospital, but if one is not available in the selected city, we will hold the course at a local hotel conference room. ACOLS always arranges discounted rates for sleeping rooms at a local hotel where the course will be held.
A: Yes, generally there are a variety of restaurants, deli's, grocery stores etc. in the vicinity of the class locations. In most hotels ACOLS contracts with, breakfast is included in the reduced room rate.
A: Yes, ACOLS is always looking for facilities to host our courses. If you are interested in holding a course at your facility, please contact the Academy at 800.863.5935 or through our contact form and we will consider your request.
A: Yes, but only for certain types of therapists. Lymphedema therapy is billed using standard treatment codes (CPT codes), just like other rehabilitation services. If your profession can currently bill using these types of CPT codes, then the same will apply upon graduation. However, if your profession currently does not allow for insurance billing, please be aware that these courses do not grant the therapists an special approvals with the insurance companies. Our certification course covers the CPT codes currently used, combination of these codes, as well as bundling issues.