Our History

The International college of Oriental Medicine was founded by Dr. J.D. van Buren in 1972. The College was originally formed in Gerrards Cross, Buckinghamshire but, as it expanded, a new building was found in East Grinstead, Sussex, in 1977.

Already an osteopath, naturopath and a homeopath, Dr. van Buren began to study acupuncture in 1952, travelling to many different countries to gain as much knowledge as possible. In 1969 he was awarded a Doctorate of Acupuncture in Taiwan as acknowledgement of his mastery of the subject.

In 1972, he founded the International College of Oriental Medicine with branches in England and Holland. Thanks to his pioneering work at that time, other colleges were also founded in Norway and Australia (now operating independently). For many years Dr. van Buren gave lectures at many different colleges, setting and maintaining teaching and clinical standards in acupuncture.

Dr. van Buren made the application of the Stems and Branches Acupuncture theory a practical reality at ICOM and this was his unique contribution to the teaching of Oriental Medicine. Knowledge of the Stems and Branches theory gives the student of Oriental Medicine an insight into the origin of disease at the deepest level. The International College of Oriental Medicine is the oldest institution in the world and this material is being constantly researched, developed and taught.

Dr van Buren passed away in 2003 but his legacy remains as strong as ever.