Chinese 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
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
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
Occupational Outlook HandbookFor more information related to this field of study, see: Recreational
Ultimate Feng Shui ResourceHelping to repair the image of this Chinese healing art
Acupuncture Laws by StateLook up the requirements for education and certification in your
Want a quick overview of what this program is about? Check out Just the Facts for
a simple description.