ACOLS, was founded by Joachim Zuther (PT, MT, CLT-Instructor) in United States of America in 1994 and is considered one of leading schools in the world.
Joachim Zuther founded the Ulmkolleg/Department of Lymphology (University of Ulm, Germany) in 1990 after he received his degree as a certified instructor for Manual Lymph Drainage (Vodder Technique) and Complete Decongestive Therapy (MLD/CDT) from the German Physical Therapy Association. In 1994, he formed the Academy of Lymphatic Studies, Sebastian, FL – the first school to offer Lymphedema Therapy Certification courses in the Continental United States according to the European curriculum. ACOLS Certification Program for Complex Decongestive Physiotherapy has been organized in accordance with the international standards and a certificate is issued which is internationally valid. This education is considered to be the “Gold Standard” for the treatment of Lymphedema worldwide.
The most important feature of ACOLS amongst other schools is their certification program which is a hybrid program combining internet based HOME STUDY along with live hands-on classroom instruction. Zuther and his team, from their experience gained over the years and feedback taken from their attendees, they realized the attendants had difficulties obtaining permission from their work place due to the long course time required to complete the certification program. Due to overwhelming student demand, ACOLS changed the traditional two week certification course format into the Accelerated Hybrid Online Program. The Accelerated Hybrid Online Program (AHOP) allows students to become fully certified in Complex Decongestive Physiotherapy using a dynamic combination of Home Study/Online lessons and student-centered classroom sessions.
The 45-hour Home Study portion of the program presents a large portion of the theoretical knowledge to the attendees prior to the 9-day, 90-hour course period. ACOLS has shortened the time required in the classroom by providing the theoretical portion online so students can study on their own time prior to attending the live, hands-on portion of the course. The combination of Home Study and classroom course period still complies with the international standards of a 135-hour certification program. The Lymphology Association of North America (LANA), which is the most important organization with respect to lymphatic studies in the United States of America, has declared that ACOLS certification program does comply with international standards for Certification in Complete Decongestive Therapy (CDT) or Complex Decongestive Physiotherapy (CDPT).
ACOLS organizes approximately 55 – 60 certification courses in 1 year in various areas in the United States. This number, which is quite high, is a good indication of how much popular the training given by ACOLS is in the United States.
For further information about ACOLS and its studies, you can visit the address;