Chinese Medicine Practitioner  What They Do

Just the Facts

Insider Info

dotChinese medicine practitioners offer a range of alternative medicine specialties. The title is appropriate for acupuncturists, herbalists, homeopaths and massage therapists.

Acupuncturists insert fine needles into specific points to balance the flow of energy within a body. Herbalists, homeopaths and massage therapists use herbs, finger pressure and other natural healing techniques to treat their patients.

dotChinese medicine theory goes back over 2,000 years. "Students who know or [who] are willing to learn the Chinese language will be at a big advantage," says practitioner Roberta Leong. "Many of the best texts are only available in the native language. Some of the most learned practitioners don't speak English."

dotChinese medicine practitioners work in clinics, teach in colleges and treat patients in private practice. The number of hours they work depends on the setting. Hours spent in private practice, for example, are a direct result of the devotion and energy focused on building a satisfied client base.

"Don't expect to be working full time right after you're licensed," says Andres Bella, admissions officer at the Academy of Chinese Culture and Health Sciences. "It's much better psychologically to consider it as a supplement to another job -- until you build up your experience."

At a Glance

Provide acupuncture, herbal and homeopathic treatments and massage

  • Work in clinics, teach in colleges and treat patients in private practice
  • Chinese medicine theory goes back over 2,000 years
  • You can earn a master's degree in traditional oriental medicine