Traditional Chinese Medicine and Chinese Herbology  Program Description


Insider Info

dotChinese medicine is an extremely broad field. It covers everything from acupuncture (the insertion of needles into the skin) to yoga (exercises designed to increase longevity and prevent disease). A wide variety of training options are available.

Several U.S. colleges and universities offer master's degrees in acupuncture and Oriental medicine. You can also take four-year diploma programs, two-year and three-year courses, and courses as short as 150 to 450 hours.

So how do you choose? It's difficult because many of these careers aren't regulated, and rules differ depending on where you want to practice.

First of all, you should check with practitioners in your region to see what training they would recommend. They would also be able to tell you about the rules for certification in that region.

The American Association of Oriental Medicine is a professional body that accredits programs that meet national standards. Accreditation is voluntary, but it is one way to ensure program quality.

Joanne Doucette is an information specialist at a shiatsu (type of Japanese message) school. She says her school offers courses in point location, meridian theory, needling and Japanese acupuncture, to name a few. It also offers a clinical practicum.

Graduates of oriental medicine programs "will be able to perform pathology and acupuncture, prescribe Chinese herbs for treatments, use a form of Chinese massage called tuina, and sit for the national board exams," says Wen-Shuo Wu, dean of acupuncture and oriental medicine at the College of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. "Students will then possess the necessary skills for working in a clinic or owning a private practice."

Doucette advises high school students to take as many science courses as they can handle -- nutrition, kinesiology, anatomy, physiology, chemistry and physics.


Occupational Outlook Handbook
For more information related to this field of study, see: Recreational Therapists

Ultimate Feng Shui Resource
Helping to repair the image of this Chinese healing art

Acupuncture Laws by State
Look up the requirements for education and certification in your state

Just the Facts

Want a quick overview of what this program is about? Check out Just the Facts for a simple description.