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Former Langara student criticizes college’s holistic health courses

Brian Lynchehaun no longer puts the Langara College on his resume because of alternative medicine courses

Langara College's Continuing Studies Department in Building A. Photo by Danica Walker
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Reported by Danica Walker

former Langara College student is taking a moral stand against the school for its “magic” therapy courses offered by the Continuing Studies department.

Brian Lynchehaun noticed holistic health classes being offered whilst he attended the college in 2006 and was dismayed because he felt these courses didn’t belong in an academic environment because they weren’t scientifically proven. 

Lynchehaun, who studied philosophy, mathematics and sciences, says that he no longer puts Langara on his resume because he does not “want to be associated” with Langara’s academic choices.

“They are claiming to teach you how to heal people and (the practices) do not work,” Lynchehaun said.

The programs offered at Langara

The Health and Human Sciences Department offers classes on holistic approaches to healthcare such as integrative energy healing, aromatherapy and, until recently, craniosacral therapy, which ended with the instructor’s departure. The college isn’t ruling out craniosacral therapy courses in the future.

Kathryn Browning, Continuing Studies Project Coordinator. Photo by Danica Walker

Kathryn Browning, Continuing Studies Project Coordinator and graduate of the Integrative Energy Healing Program, has worked as a nurse and a midwife.

Browning said she sees where the limitations and needs for change are in conventional medicine, but “there’s a real possibility of helping people in new ways and Continuing Studies has been a great home for this program.”

Skeptics site lack of evidence

However, Dale Beyerstein, a retired professor of history of science and ethics at Langara is skeptical in a 2009 article in The Globe and Mail.

“There is not a single peer-reviewed controlled study backing up any of the treatments taught in that program, and it is an embarrassment to Langara,”  Beyerstein said at the time.

Popular despite the science

More than 70 per cent of Canadians regularly use complementary and alternative healthcare therapies, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada.

Mayuko ‘Coko’ Nakashima, an integrated healing practitioner who has studied and taught all over the world, said holistic therapy is a more long-term solution to chronic pain than what is offered in conventional medicine.

1 Comment
  1. Bram says

    Absolutely ridiculous that Langara is associating itself with this quackery.
    Remind me to never send my kids to Langara for their education.
    Reiki for pets?
    I hope the schoolboard shuts this down quickly.

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