Careers in Traditional Chinese Medicine

Become a licensed acupuncturist, Tuina therapist, or Oriental medicine doctor when you choose to pursue some of the unique careers in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM).

Boasting rich, ancient medical traditions rooted in Eastern philosophies, principles and applications — careers in traditional Chinese medicine offer individuals fascinating perspectives in natural medicine and energy healing including the Five elements, meridian therapy, yin and yang, Chi, Tai Chi, Qigong, and more.

Dependent upon which one of the Oriental medicine career paths you choose to pursue, you can expect between a few months to a few years’ training and education. For example, if you are primarily interested in Eastern massage techniques, there are some careers in traditional Chinese medicine like Tuina therapists, acupressure practitioners, and meridian therapy practitioners. While no two healing arts schools offer the exact same curricula in these fields, individuals can anticipate educational programs that range between 200 and 1,000+ hours. In addition to earning your diploma or certificate of completion, there are some training courses that meet national certification requirements in which you may be eligible to earn.

Professional careers in traditional Chinese medicine like Oriental medicine practitioners must be substantiated by three to four years of in-depth training in an accredited acupuncture and Oriental medicine program. In many cases, these 3,000+ training hours consist of academic and clinical studies in biomedicine, Chi cultivation, Oriental massage (i.e., Shiatsu, acupressure, and/or Tuina), theories of TCM, acupuncture theory and practice, Chinese herbology, and associated professional studies.

Individuals, who have successfully completed all educational and training requirements to become a licensed Oriental medicine practitioner, find that these careers in traditional Chinese medicine offer a plethora of healing services to clients and patients. Some of the many natural health services that Oriental medicine practitioners provide include treatments in acupuncture, herbal remedies, Eastern bodywork, Tai Chi and Qigong, moxibustion, cupping, and holistic nutritional counseling, among others.

High-level careers in traditional Chinese medicine like Doctors of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (D.A.O.M.) can be achieved through educational commitment and a sincere desire to help in healing. This is one of the highest degrees awarded to TCM practitioners, and is one profession that requires a substantial amount of academic and practical training.

In order to become a successful D.A.O.M., interested individuals should carefully research prospective acupuncture schools or Oriental medicine colleges to determine if they are accredited by the ACAOM (Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine), tuition costs, program length, and what prerequisites are necessary to apply. These particular careers in traditional Chinese medicine typically require a minimum of Master’s level training in acupuncture and Oriental medicine prior to enrollment (into a D.A.O.M. program).

According to the NCCAM (National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine), over eight million U.S. adults have used alternative medicine like acupuncture to help in healing. As natural healing medicines like TCM, massage therapy, and acupuncture continue to grow in demand, students who have chosen careers in traditional Chinese medicine can anticipate both personal and professional rewards for a lifetime.

If you (or someone you know) are interested in learning more about these or other TCM occupations, let professional training within fast-growing industries like massage therapy, naturopathy, acupuncture, Chinese medicine, Reiki, and others get you started! Explore careers in traditional Chinese medicine near you.

Careers in Traditional Chinese Medicine
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The History of Alternative Medicine

A New Fad or Steeped in Ancient History?

You may be new to using alternative  medicine  or perhaps you have already seen the amazing benefits alternative  medicine  and alternative therapies can bring to your life. But do you know how long its been practiced and where it originated? Well let me take you on a journey into the fascinating history of alternative  medicine .

The history of Alternative  Medicine  is an interesting one and has links with many different cultures. However it’s difficult to say exactly when Alternative  Medicine  began, in part because up until recently the practices that fall under this term were the conventional medical practices of their time. But if we go back in history and trace several of the forms of healing that are now labelled as alternative we find that their origins go back as much as 5000 years.

From Eastern Philosophy to Widely used Western Alternatives

One of the oldest forms of alternative  medicine  can be traced back through Chinese history. The ancient Chinese, in much the same way as alternative  medicine  is used today, based their healing on the importance of the body and spirit being in balance. Much of the philosophy of Chinese  Medicine  is based on Taoist and Buddhist principals and the belief that a person and their environment are closely interlinked. The widely known principles of Yin and Yang come from Chinese  Medicine  and are integral to its practice. Yin and Yang explains how opposing forces are integral to each other and how for harmony within the body to take place, these must be in balance. When these are out of balance, disease occurs.

Chinese  Medicine  works at restoring balance in various ways including herbal  medicine , acupuncture, breathing and movement (Tai Chi and Qigong) and also through diet. The practitioner looked at the patient’s health and life in detail to ascertain where their life force or Qi (pronounced Chi) was out of balance. Various methods would then be used to restore the patient back to health. Such was the effectiveness of Chinese Traditional  Medicine  that it still forms a large part of modern health care in the East. It’s not unusual for these “alternative” practices to be used in hospitals alongside western  medicine .

The other Eastern Culture that has a long history of alternative  medicine  is India. Ayurvedic  medicine  dates back as far as 6000 years ago and like Chinese  Medicine  also has links with Buddhism. Ayurveda comes from 2 Sanskrit words – Ayu meaning life and veda meaning knowledge of. It is a system of  medicine  that keeps a persons body, mind and spirit in tune with nature in order to maintain good health.

When in Rome …..

In the West, the History of Alternative  Medicine  goes back around 3000 years. Treatments such as hydrotherapy were popular with the Romans and Greeks. The Ancient Greeks who were greatly influenced by the Babylonians and to a lesser extent by India and China brought herbalism into the West. Hippocrates (c. 460-377 BC), a Greek physician commonly referred to as the Father of  Medicine , practiced herbal  medicine .

During the Middle Ages, Monks in Europe studied and grew medicinal plants and translated many works on the subject from Arabic. Folk Healers also passed on their knowledge of healing through word of mouth, from Master to Apprentice. The understanding of the power different plants have is ingrained in many native civilisations and has allowed man to understand and thrive in often challenging environments. When the Europeans settled in America they found that the Native Americans had an extensive knowledge of the healing power of their indigenous herbs. Likewise the Aborigines in Australia understood the power of plants found in their environment.

Moving forward in time towards the 19th Century, before the rise of Western  Medicine , as we now know it, medical practitioners were more like today’s naturopaths. They would take a detailed medical history paying particular attention to the patient’s lifestyle. They would then suggest ways to improve this by changes in diet, environment and would also prescribe herbal remedies.

How a Bit of Mould Turned the Tables on Alternative  Medicine 

The widespread use of alternative  medicine  in its various forms decreased during the 20th Century. Treatment of patients became more focused on the use of hospitals, and developments in modern  medicine  lead to the widespread use of Pharmaceutical Drugs to treat disease. The discovery of Penicillin and its development into a drug that could treat bacterial infections in the 1940’s revolutionised health care and alternative  medicine  lost favour with most medical practitioners.

Although many Doctors let go of what they considered to be outdated treatments such as homeopathy, herbalism and traditional Chinese  Medicine  many patients still sort them out, especially when conventional  medicine  didn’t appear to be working for them.

No Longer An Alternative, Now Another Choice for Achieving Better Health

The result now is that Alternative  Medicine  is on the increase. Practices such as acupuncture, herbal  medicine , aromatherapy and healing are kept alive by practitioners who specialise in one of more alternative form of treatment. Frequently alternatives are used alongside modern medical treatments, which have led to alternatives being given the term complimentary  medicine .

This brief history of alternative  medicine  shows that many of the practices used today have been with us for thousands of years. Given the rising popularity of using alternative  medicine  to deal with health issues today, it’s likely that these practices will be around for many more.

The Facts About Alternative Medicine

The term “alternative”  medicine  is a far-reaching one that describes a number of health and healing methods. Generally, when using “alternative” you are talking about medicinal and general health practices, products, etc. that are not a part of society’s conventional medical systems. Sometimes referred to as “complementary”  medicine  when used in addition to, as opposed to instead of, conventional systems, the term can cover everything from folk  medicine  to faith healing to therapeutic massage. In other words, if you can’t learn it in medical schools or get it in conventional hospitals, it’s considered “alternative.”

Because so many different approaches to health and wellness are lumped under the alternative heading, it can be difficult to decide whether or not to take any of them seriously. Fad diets, homeopathy, acupuncture, herbology, yoga, probiotics and new age healing are just a few of the choices that fall under alternative  medicine . But how are you supposed to know what is real from what is quackery?

There are many sources that attempt to back alternative  medicine  practices with scientific study. A quick search through the library or Internet will result in lots of studies and first-hand experiences that prove or disprove the worth of just about any alternative method you can name. Ask friends and family if they have tried a particular treatment or practice, you’ll be surprised how many people go outside of conventional  medicine  for alternate therapies. Many of us already use alternative  medicine  without even realizing it.

Remember when grandma insisted on her special chicken soup when you were sick, or a friend recommended an egg yolk mask for acne just because that’s what her mom did?

Those are great examples of alternative  medicine , and there’s plenty of research out there that shows them to have real world value. Chicken soup is easy to eat when you’re sick and provides necessary hydration, vitamins, minerals, and protein to help you recover. The high protein in egg yolks soothes and enriches the skin, as it dries it pulls out impurities, and all without adding oils or over drying. Just because a medical doctor didn’t proscribe them doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t work.

Some alternative  medicines  have become more accepted by the conventional medical community. Acupuncture, part of traditional Chinese  medicine , has been practiced for thousands of years and is considered conventional in many Asian countries. However, acupuncture is accepted only for pain management in the US. Acupuncturists claim it can help everything from weight loss to infertility, but this has not been definitively proven in scientific study. Practitioners in the US are highly trained and must get a license before treating patients. Licenses aren’t infallible, but it does lend extra assurance that a professional with high standards is treating you. Further proof of acceptance is that many insurance companies will cover treatment by a licensed acupuncturist.

It is still important to take care when choosing to use alternative  medicine . Be sure and do your homework. While it may not hurt to put egg on your face, taking herbs without knowing how they may interact with other  medicines  or knowing proper dosages can cause serious problems. Going to an unlicensed practitioner for something like acupuncture can result in serious injury. You should consult with your present health practitioner to discuss the alternative  medicines  you are considering. Be sure to weigh the risks and benefits carefully before trying anything new. Always let each health professional know all of your medical history and present practices.

Many people find great results from alternative and complementary  medicine . When you explore these “new” options, you may find that there are centuries old ways to take care of your body and mind that have been overlooked by today’s western  medicine . Careful research and a mindful approach can help you achieve a better lifestyle and enjoy good health.

Importance Of Medicine In Our Daily Lives

Medicine is considered as one of the most important necessity to all of us. It is derived from the Latin words ars medicina meaning “the art of healing”. It is a branch of the health sciences and is the sector of public life concerned with maintaining or restoring human health through the study, diagnosis, treatment and possible prevention of disease, injury and other damage to a body or mind.

It is both an area of knowledge, a science of body system and their diseases and treatment. This branch of science encompasses treatment by drugs, diet, exercise and other nonsurgical means. It is also used to maintain our health. An agent such as drug is used to treat disease or injury. There are different types of medicine, we have herbal medicine, which came from different kinds of plants, medicines treat in hospital and etc. Herbal medicine, also called botanical medicine or phytomedicine, refers to use of any plant’s seeds, berries, roots, leaves, bark, or flowers for medicinal purposes. Long practiced outside of conventional medicine, herbalism is becoming more mainstreams as up-to-date analysis and research show their value in the treatment and prevention of disease. Some of us believe in herbal medicines, for it is pure came from plants and no other ingredients. Herbal medicine also uses for cough, fever, toothache and some other diseases that might catch from our environment. Herbalists treat many conditions such as asthma, eczema, premenstrual syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, migraine, menopausal symptoms, chronic fatigue, and an irritable bowel syndrome among others. Plants had been used for medicinal purposes long before recorded history. For most herbs, the specific ingredient that causes a therapeutic effect is not known. Whole herbs contain many ingredients and it is likely that they work together to produce the desired medicinal effect

Some medicines may cause problems if you take them with other medicines. This is why it is important to tell your doctor and pharmacist about all the medicines you are taking. And some medicines can cause problems, even if you take them correctly. Call your doctor or pharmacist if you think your medicine is making you feel worse. We take medicine to make us feel better when we are sick.