How Do I Study Chinese Medicine?

Tara Barnett

In order to study Chinese medicine, one must begin by thinking about the type of Chinese medicine one finds most intriguing. There are a variety of Chinese medical techniques, including herbal healing, acupuncture, and even certain other practices designed to reorient energy in the body and surrounding area in order to maximize health. When beginning to study Chinese medicine, it is usually a good idea to start by taking a class, workshop, or other instructor-led program. More advanced study may entail traveling to China, experimentation, and additional independent reading.

A medicated oil used in TCM.
A medicated oil used in TCM.

One of the most common ways to study Chinese medicine is to take a class from a local practitioner of the type of medicine in which one is interested. For example, many alternative health schools offer courses in Chinese medicine that may be appropriate for a beginner, although these often require the student to enroll in the college itself. Individual practitioners also sometimes offer workshops, particularly for healing arts in which the patient also participates in healing, such as Reiki.

Acupuncture has been used in China and Asian nations for centuries to stimulate the flow of vital energy and promote healing.
Acupuncture has been used in China and Asian nations for centuries to stimulate the flow of vital energy and promote healing.

Some types of Chinese medicine require the individual to apply potentially dangerous herbs or to work on the body in ways that might be dangerous. These practices must usually be taught in a more formal manner. To study Chinese medicine of this type, one must usually take several courses with an alternative medicine school or travel to China in order to learn from a master. For safety, it is usually better to begin with Chinese medicine that does not entail any substance or object entering the body.

Cupping and acupuncture stem from traditional Chinese medical treatments, and may be taught at a Chinese medicine school.
Cupping and acupuncture stem from traditional Chinese medical treatments, and may be taught at a Chinese medicine school.

If one wishes to study the philosophy of Chinese medicine rather than the practice, it is often possible to begin independently and seek intellectual stimulation once the basics have been mastered. The Internet and many books cover the basics of all forms of Chinese medicine, and may even provide exposure to less popular forms. By having a broad basis of knowledge from a wide variety of perspectives, one is much better prepared to interact with experts in the field.

For many people interested in traditional Chinese medicine, the most appealing way to study Chinese medicine is to travel to China and learn authentic techniques. This is problematic for people who do not speak Chinese, because while one might be able to learn from people who are Chinese in China, many master healers do not speak English. When pursuing the authentic experience, it is best to begin by learning both written and spoken Chinese. Becoming fluent in Chinese opens up many possibilities for study and advancement within Chinese medicine.

An advanced study of Chinese medicine may require traveling to China.
An advanced study of Chinese medicine may require traveling to China.

You might also Like

Readers Also Love

Discuss this Article

Post your comments
Login:
Forgot password?
Register: