A beautiful heartfelt letter from an NAO student


NAO president, Dr. Shawn Pourgol was grateful to receive a beautiful card filled with such kind words from one of his students, Daniel Thomas, DOMP who thanked me for changing his life. This is what we do. We change lives. Our business lectures and our scientific approach to osteopathy are what makes us so popular with students.
Daniel also wrote a letter about his education at NAO which is posted below:
First off, I must say that I have no health background. I have always been interested in Osteopathy and natural medicine, however, I never thought I would be able to afford a professional training in this field. When I first have seen the advertisement for NAO, I couldn’t believe it was real, there just HAD to be a catch. I called a number of graduates and even met with an NAO graduate at his clinic to see what they had to say about this education and they had nothing but great things to say about the school. I received a treatment that was extra-ordinary and it was very clear that these practitioners had received a high-quality education and had all become entrepreneurs and clinic owners in a short span of time after graduation. I immediately threw aside everything in my life and decided I would start this education even if I did not feel ready, and what a great decision it was!
From the very first day, Dr. Pourgol’s opening speech set the stage that something great was going to unfold in my life. We started practicing hands-on techniques and learning anatomy, common conditions, and palpation on the VERY FIRST DAY of class, and this continued day in and day out for the rest of my time at the academy. The NAO‘s education format is simple and straight-forward and cuts out all the unneeded aspects of education. The premise is simple: When you are in class you MUST practice techniques and palpation over and over again, hundreds of times until it becomes second nature. This sounds mindless but actually it becomes very mindful – As you practice with your fellow practitioners and professors you really begin to develop the palpation and touch that only hours and hours of dedication can bring. You will talk again and again about the joints, muscles, ligaments and other structures being affected, you will talk again and again about what kinds of conditions these techniques are good for. It really makes learning anatomy easy even as a non-healthcare practitioner when you repeat techniques and discuss anatomy with your fellow students for hundreds of hours at a time. By the time I had graduated I had already felt like I had been a Manual Osteopath my whole life because these techniques were imprinted into my nervous system again and again.
When you are practicing techniques in class: You watch hours and hours of lectures and videos. These cover topics such as anatomy, pathology, osteopathic philosophy, business, ethics, and more. All of the techniques we learn are also included in video format and given on a hard drive for you to keep. This means years from now if you forget a technique you can look it up at any moment and its right there for you to re-learn. Admittedly, some of the videos for some parts of the coarse were old and boring – A few students complained that parts of the course were hard to watch – But another great thing about NAO is that it is constantly updating its education and adding new content. Portions of the course were updated, tweaked, and even redone in the 2 years I was there. In my second term, a few students had complained about certain elements of the education – The school responded immediately by hiring new professors, implementing new rules, and halfway through my time there even bought a whole new building that was 10x better (and 10x the size) of the original.
Professor Amir Kazemi is an amazing and knowledgeable technique teacher. He comes to class in rain or snow, in ill and in health, and always teaches us the best he can. He devotes time (and I have even seen him devote some of his own money out of pocket) to make sure each student gets the best possible education. He highlights each of the students’ individual strengths and weaknesses and makes sure to keep challenging you individually so that you will grow as a practitioner. He gives unparalleled business advice and has years of experience running clinics and practicing osteopathic techniques. Osteopathy is a very complex subject that requires many years to fully understand but Professor Amir makes it very simple and teaches in such a way that any student can learn – even those like me who don’t have a prior health background.
Doctor Pourgol also gives so much amazing business advice on running clinics that he could charge big money for an entire stand-alone business course if he wanted – and he gives it to us all for free. He wants his students to truly succeed and his support for his graduates doesn’t end after graduation – He always goes above and beyond to make sure each and every graduate succeeds not just in passing exams but in finding work and being a successful practitioner afterwords. His positive attitude and fatherly approach to teaching really shine and when he speaks students always listen and smile as his lectures are so much fun.
Professor Khorrami, the afternoon teacher was a God-send. There were some topics that students felt NAO just didn’t cover well enough, and I had heard a few complaints about certain portions of our on-campus education. All of this stopped after they hired Dr. Khorrami, who with 30 years of experience teaching in medical schools, has the answer to almost every question you could ever ask. Not only is he a wise and humble man, with a very genuine personality, but an amazing Osteopathic Manual Practitioner who truly understands the many interconnected aspects of Osteopathy and Natural Medicine. His addition to the school was much needed and he improved the quality of education for all students greatly. He is truly one of the best in the field and I am proud to have met such a man.
All of the staff, especially Stephanie, the NAO registrar, were incredibly helpful. If you ever needed time off, paperwork sent to you, had a question about the course schedule or really ANYTHING done – Stephanie and office staff would respond IMMEDIATELY. There was never a time I did not feel supported and I was actually quite shocked how lightning-fast my emails and questions were answered after I had sent them. If you ever need anything from the NAO staff they will have the problem solved before you even have the time to ask for help. This is super important because as students with busy lives when something comes up it’s important for you to have your questions answers promptly. This was always my experience at NAO. I think anyone who has contacted NAO can attest to how great the customer service is and how professional the front desk staff takes care of things.
I have now gone from someone without any health background at all – to feel completely ready to start my own practice. I am renting a room in a clinic and going straight into private practice and without hardly a hint of nervousness. NAO sounded all too good to be true – But it lived up to all expectations. I will always feel like NAO will always have a place in my heart, and it is a fact that NAO graduates are bound together as 1 and are in fact a family. I will never forget the experience, the friends made, the lessons learned, and most of all the future given to me.
Thank you so much National Academy of Osteopathy! You are the best!
Daniel Fow, DOMP

Yoga Teacher & Manual Osteopath