Traditional Chinese Medicine (OM)
as it should be
Traditional Chinese Medicine, or Oriental Medicine - as it is referred to for the purposes of study in the West - is not, in its essence, medicine. TCM is a theory of wellness, it is a lifestyle, and it is therapy. In China, Chinese medicine is embedded in the culture and is seen as the balanced process of action and behavior. The elements of nature are in balance, and the energy of life is abundant. There is a way for humans, as beings, to be in tune with the balance of nature and play of life's energy, yet we spend most of our time out of balance, ignorant to the knowledge of the balance, and duly ignorant of the repercussions. There is no blame to be meted out for lost knowledge of energy and balance. Evolution has asked of us to change our habits, to live outside of nature, to walk little, run less, exercise only our fingers on keyboards, and our stomachs on food. But a true path of balance is in us; it is innate; it exists in the passed on knowledge of our ancestors; it breathes in the ancient wisdom of the East; it waits in the forests and the earth, swims in our waters, and in the air around us. To live in balanced harmony is to know the signals of our physical being, to feel when it is time to rest or time to move, to know when we should eat or drink one type of food, or pursue another, to know how the seasons may ask us to dress and what areas of our bodies need remain covered well and kept warm. A loss of balance will create discomfort. Too much time lived with discomfort creates disease (dis-ease). Achieving balance is found in proper action, behaviors and habits, harmony of mind and stomach, and subsequently, the organs. The path to balance lies in our movements, our thoughts, the food we eat, and our community. We are the energy that surrounds us; and the energy we hold within us, the way we choose to live, affects our environments.
In China, Chinese Medicine is a full-bodied, healing therapy. It is an integrated therapy. For a Chinese doctor in China, there is no separation between acupuncture (Ac) and herbs (OM), Tuina (Tway-na: Chinese therapeutic massage - ABT: Asian Body Therapy), and Qigong. If one studies Chinese medicine, the modalities of Chinese medicine come hand-in-hand; they are the therapy. When a patient is seen by a Chinese doctor in China, they do not receive only acupuncture, but may, in turn, also be given an herbal prescription and be treated through some forms of tuina. Here in the West, the modalities have been separated for courses of study, for convenience and personal interests. Indeed, here at ASAOM and most schools across the nation, acupuncture, herbs, and tuina are pursued as separate programs. Though they are integrated as a full path of study at ASAOM, they are not required to be pursued as such. The danger of separating the modalities is in the treatment. Chinese medicine taken as a whole, holistic therapy, requires each piece of the 'medicine' to be known and addressed. Receiving only one portion, or knowing only one portion of Chinese medicine, is addressing only one piece in the puzzle of balance and health. Although ASAOM offers each piece, MAc, OM, and ABT, separately, we encourage each student in our program, and each patient in our clinic to be open to the possibilities of each of the subjects in Chinese medicine as they are, only together a complete therapy, resting on the kindling of Qigong - the movement and the energy.
Masters of Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine (M.Ac.OM)
A Master's in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine at ASAOM will require the time-honored knowledge of the Zangfu system of physiology and elements, foods and their beneficial harmonies within the body, traditional herbs and formulas, tuina body therapies and massage (through to nationally accredited ABT certification), Western and Chinese medical language, anatomy and physiology of the body and the energy channels within it, the sacred art of acupuncture and pressure, as well as the complexities of diagnoses - the sacred flow, the healing movement of Taiji, and the cultivation of life's energy through Qigong practice.
This program will, at its completion, have seen the Master's student through their Master's in Acupuncture, ABT certification, and OM Master's degree. Anticipate everything listed for the modalities below to be incorporated in this program.
Students will have the opportunity (in development) to spend two separate terms of study, abroad, at our sister school in Chang Chun.
Students will have an additional opportunity for study abroad in our post-graduate Doctorate program (in development) which will allow for focuses within the field of Chinese medicinal therapy and, if elected, the opportunity to dig deeply into the art of herbal prescriptionology by surpassing the traditional formulas and cultivating the knowledge of individualized, specific, prescription understanding.
Masters of Acupuncture (M.Ac.)
As a Masters in Acupuncture student, you will study the foundations of Chinese medicine: diagnostics, physiology, pathology, clinician technique, elements, balance, and qi. The M.Ac. degree program will include the ABT certification program. Through the ABT program students will learn the therapies of tuina (baguan: cupping and guasha) to expel stagnant or blocked qi (energy) from the body. Furthering and strengthening their ABT method, students will learn the manipulation of hair-thin needles (acupuncture) to stimulate qi flow along the body's paths and meridians. The therapeutic focuses of acupuncture are extensive; students may have the opportunity to pursue focuses and continue on through the OM and Doctorate degrees.
By the end of the first year students will be finished with their preceptorship, will have been through Clinic Skills, and will have passed their Clean Needle Technique exam (CNT).
At the beginning of the second year, students will become co-treaters in the clinic.
After the second year, first term, students will be clinic interns treating regulars and new patients from our local community - under the watchful guidance of our seasoned clinic supervisors/mentors.
Asian Body Therapy (ABT) Certification
In the ABT program students will employ therapeutic techniques of Chinese medicinal bodywork and massage. Tuina is a subtle art requiring the honed knowledge of meridian and energy flow, and the experience and sensitivity to feel a body's energy, release, and open the healing process. Though students may find some similarities to other massage modalities, tuina at its depth moves well beyond movements and manipulations - into the push and grasp of energy. Tuina, in a master's hands is energetics imbued with the soft language of a body's paths; energy may be lead, moved, infused, focused, brought to the surface and expelled, all dependent on the 'read' of the therapy.
Tui (tway) in mandarin means: to push. Na (na) means: to grasp.
The ABT program may be pursued as a stand alone program culminating in two years of study.
It is included as a natural progression in both the M.Ac.OM and M.Ac. education tracks, respectively.
Many Chinese Medicinal Therapies (CMTs) are recognized by the WHO (World Health Organization) as being useful as combination therapies with Western medical modalities, or fully successful on their own in treating the dis-eases/ailments below - among many, many others.
Chinese Medicinal Therapies are commonly used in conjunction with Western therapies to achieve a full course of treatment. This is true in China as well. Local Chinese often employ Chinese Medicinal Therapies alongside their Western counterparts, but not always. There are many in China, and the world, who swear by the healing properties of Chinese Medicinal techniques, and the culture and history of China is replete with countless stories the West would consider miracles of healing, miracles of medicine ... of an ability to open the body to its own process of cure and health surrounding its form - where medical science of the West is only beginning to tread.
This issue affects people globally, and Chinese Medicinal therapies can help - so says 1,000s of years of history, our patients, and the WHO (World Health Organization). Pain comes in many forms, and manifests from many different roots. Pain, in its chronic form or otherwise, may be experienced as Low-back Pain, Headache, Joint Pain (Arthritis), Fibromyalgia …
There are many symptoms that can stem from hormonal imbalance. We should not be as concerned with where the imbalance came from, as we should be with restoring balance to the system. It is likely, in the restoration of balance, that the root of imbalance is excised. Hormonal imbalance may trigger Irregular Menstruation, Diabetes, Abnormal Metabolism (weight issues), Thyroid Imbalance …
Few things that impact our lives are not buried within our mental or emotional states. Emotional strain will rarely feel controlled mentally, and mental strain will rarely feel as though it does not cast itself into our emotions. These types of stresses may manifest in Insomnia, Fatigue, Anxiety, Poor Memory …
Circulation may be likened to a sacred river. A body’s circulation is what keep fluids moving. Imagine the impact of stagnation and blockages, however they might be manifest, on a system that is 70% liquid. Circulation roots are embedded in words such as Unstable Blood Pressure, Fluid Retention, Cholesterol Concerns, Low Stamina, Heart …
Prepare to change lives.
As a student at ASAOM you will be treating patients by your second year of course study.
What you will learn here with us, what you will do here with us, matters.
From your inception, you will be a ripple in the great sea, healing the whole.
Dedicated to you.
赤脚医生 (chi2jiao3 yi1sheng3) or Barefoot Doctors, are now a rarity in the rural regions of China. Historically, they were farmers with limited training in healthcare - often a blend of Western and traditional Chinese techniques. They utilized their base training, with their in-the-field studies and experience, to serve under-serviced communities: communities where there was no doctor, no access to healthcare, no public transportation. The stories of these brave men and women carry with them a cultural heritage, arguably the continued exploratory basis of China's 5,000 year-old traditional medicine. They were and still are servants of the community, of the people. Their bare feet walked the fields they lived in and farmed, shoulder-to-shoulder, with patients, and those same feet have carried them over mountains and hillocks and miles deep into valleys, to the most remote homes and dwellings ... after the basic call of humanity: aid.
Chinese Medicine is, at its core, not medicine. It is a balance. It is wellness.