Become a licensed acupuncturist, Tuina therapist, or Oriental medicine doctor when you choose to pursue some of the unique careers in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM).
Boasting rich, ancient medical traditions rooted in Eastern philosophies, principles and applications — careers in traditional Chinese medicine offer individuals fascinating perspectives in natural medicine and energy healing including the Five elements, meridian therapy, yin and yang, Chi, Tai Chi, Qigong, and more.
Dependent upon which one of the Oriental medicine career paths you choose to pursue, you can expect between a few months to a few years’ training and education. For example, if you are primarily interested in Eastern massage techniques, there are some careers in traditional Chinese medicine like Tuina therapists, acupressure practitioners, and meridian therapy practitioners. While no two healing arts schools offer the exact same curricula in these fields, individuals can anticipate educational programs that range between 200 and 1,000+ hours. In addition to earning your diploma or certificate of completion, there are some training courses that meet national certification requirements in which you may be eligible to earn.
Professional careers in traditional Chinese medicine like Oriental medicine practitioners must be substantiated by three to four years of in-depth training in an accredited acupuncture and Oriental medicine program. In many cases, these 3,000+ training hours consist of academic and clinical studies in biomedicine, Chi cultivation, Oriental massage (i.e., Shiatsu, acupressure, and/or Tuina), theories of TCM, acupuncture theory and practice, Chinese herbology, and associated professional studies.
Individuals, who have successfully completed all educational and training requirements to become a licensed Oriental medicine practitioner, find that these careers in traditional Chinese medicine offer a plethora of healing services to clients and patients. Some of the many natural health services that Oriental medicine practitioners provide include treatments in acupuncture, herbal remedies, Eastern bodywork, Tai Chi and Qigong, moxibustion, cupping, and holistic nutritional counseling, among others.
High-level careers in traditional Chinese medicine like Doctors of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (D.A.O.M.) can be achieved through educational commitment and a sincere desire to help in healing. This is one of the highest degrees awarded to TCM practitioners, and is one profession that requires a substantial amount of academic and practical training.
In order to become a successful D.A.O.M., interested individuals should carefully research prospective acupuncture schools or Oriental medicine colleges to determine if they are accredited by the ACAOM (Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine), tuition costs, program length, and what prerequisites are necessary to apply. These particular careers in traditional Chinese medicine typically require a minimum of Master’s level training in acupuncture and Oriental medicine prior to enrollment (into a D.A.O.M. program).
According to the NCCAM (National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine), over eight million U.S. adults have used alternative medicine like acupuncture to help in healing. As natural healing medicines like TCM, massage therapy, and acupuncture continue to grow in demand, students who have chosen careers in traditional Chinese medicine can anticipate both personal and professional rewards for a lifetime.
If you (or someone you know) are interested in learning more about these or other TCM occupations, let professional training within fast-growing industries like massage therapy, naturopathy, acupuncture, Chinese medicine, Reiki, and others get you started! Explore careers in traditional Chinese medicine near you.
Careers in Traditional Chinese Medicine
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By: Steven Parbach
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