Why Holistic Health Careers Are on the Rise

Posted by & filed under Acupuncture, Alternative Medicine, Careers, Massage.

holistic health careersIf you’re considering holistic health careers, now is a great time to get into the field. Holistic health considers a whole person and emphasizes the connection between their mind, body and spirit — more and more people want treatments that address all three, or therapies that compliment traditional medicine focusing on the body. A growing interest in wellness and healthy living has fueled an increase in the need for practitioners of massage, acupuncture, Chinese medicine and other complementary treatments. Find out more about why:

Increasing focus on wellness 

A variety of factors indicate that Americans have a growing interest in all aspects of a healthy lifestyle, which is a positive indicator for the growth of holistic health careers. Food trends like locavorism, wholesome foods and GMO-free agriculture indicate consumers have an appetite to improving their diets and health. Yoga studios and CrossFit gyms abound, and apps for everything from eating well to practicing meditation exist. Fitness, health and all aspects of wellness are a growing part of people’s everyday lives. Even the social media channel Pinterest showed an increase in activity around holistic health for this year based on what users saved.

Significant spending on complimentary health

recent federal study found that 60 million Americans spend money on complimentary health treatments, and 4.1 million children have used them. Out-of-pocket spending on these therapies topped $30 billion. Families with income ranging from $25,000 to more than $100,000 put part of their budget toward alternative medical treatments. so a broad spectrum of households see the value in a holistic approach to health. Among the treatments people report using: acupuncture, massage, naturopathy, supplements, mind-body therapies and more.

More validation of holistic approaches

A growing body of research shows the benefits holistic approaches offer to health care. “Integrative medicine is not going to have the same funding as pharmaceuticals do, but because of the consumer demand and increased interest from academia and our national government in integrative medicine and health, there has been an increase in research,” Stephanie Romanoff, communications director for the Academy of Integrative Health & Medicine, told UPI. “And increasingly, there’s more research validating the value of these approaches.” Many complimentary treatments have been practiced for centuries, but this interest and acceptance in institutions of higher learning and government agencies will accelerate demand and growth.

Alternative treatments integrated into health care

According to a study conducted by the American Massage Therapy Association, individuals are increasingly turning to massage for reasons above and beyond relaxation. Some 52 percent sought massage for medical reasons and 23 percent to treat stress. This is just one example of how consumers see massage and alternative treatments as a part of maintaining their health overall. Nearly 38 percent of adults and 12 percent of children use complimentary therapies, according to the National Institutes of Health. Women and those with higher levels of education and income report using these treatments at a greater level.

The demand for practitioners of alternative medicine is likely to continue growing and the field needs trained and educated professionals to fill the need. The Acupuncture and Massage College offers several excellent programs to prepare students to join exciting and burgeoning holistic health careers. Learn more by downloading our free eBook today!

Career in alternative medicine - Spotlight

5 Tips for Finding a New Career at 50

Posted by & filed under Acupuncture, Careers, Massage.

Finding a new career at 50While the idea of finding a new career at 50 may seem daunting, it also can be an incredibly exciting opportunity to chance the course of your life. Maybe you’re looking for something that satisfies your desire to help people instead of just paying the bills. Maybe you want to be your own boss and have the luxury of determining your own schedule and work hours. Or perhaps you long for an opportunity to pursue your passion at last. You can find all these benefits and more in a holistic career like massage therapy, acupuncture or Chinese herbal medicine. 

Follow these five tips for finding a new career at 50:

1. Consider your calling

Changing careers later in life offers a great opportunity to move in a professional direction that aligns with your personal goals or desires. Paying the bills is important, but finding an avenue to do so that also satisfies you on a deeper level will make going to work every day a pleasure instead of a chore. “Take time now to determine what you want to do with your years ahead,” writes career counselor James Gonyea for Monster.com. “Explore your personality and what you need to be happy. This information is key to making good career decisions.”

2. Review your requirements

What do you want out of the next stage of your career? It helps to make a list of what you need in terms of income, scheduling and attributes. List the things you don’t want out of a job as well. If you aim to fulfill the following desires when finding a new career at 50, massage therapy or acupuncture make a great options:

  • Determine your hours and schedule
  • Be your own boss and take control of your professional life
  • Make a solid living that provides a stable lifestyle for you and your family
  • Help people by improving their health and wellbeing
  • Satisfy your need to follow your passion and have a rewarding career

3. Survey your skills

What are your professional and personal strengths? Maybe you have skills that your current job doesn’t capitalize on. If you’re finding a new career at 50, it’s a great chance to actually put those talents to work. Some skills and attributes that make for great practitioners of alternative medical professions: Caring, compassion, a desire to help people, a knowledge or interest in the human body and wellness, the ability to create a soothing atmosphere, listening and communication skills, and strong and steady hands.

4. Ask for advice

If you have certain jobs in mind, don’t be afraid to talk to the professionals who work in the industry. Find out more about the lifestyle and benefits, as well as potential drawbacks. See how well they match up with your list of needs. Industry associations, such as the American Massage Therapy Association, have a wealth of information on the field and its practitioners. The Acupuncture and Massage College also offers a host of advice and perspective — get our free eBook for more career information.

5. Take on the training

After deciding what vocations make the best career options for you at this exciting time of your life, find out the necessary education requirements and whether you can fit those into your schedule. The Acupuncture and Massage College, for example, offers programs in alternative medicine that fit into busy lifestyles. In two years or fewer, you can find yourself fully immersed in a new career.

To get started today, contact admissions at the Acupuncture & Massage College to schedule an appointment. Don’t forget to also download our free eBook for a wealth of information on alternative medicine careers.

Career in alternative medicine - Spotlight

Common Points Found on the Acupuncture Points Chart

Posted by & filed under Acupuncture.

acupuncture-wall-chartTo understand the basics of acupuncture, it helps to familiarize yourself with the acupuncture points chart. The number of acupuncture points was originally established to correspond to the number of days in the year: 365. These points were mapped to 14 major channel lines, one channel for each of the 12 inner organs, one channel along the spine (called the governing vessel), and another along the midline of the abdomen (called the conception vessel).

Over time, the number of points identified by acupuncturists has expanded, expanding the acupuncture points chart. There are additional channels with their own sets of points, special points located off channels and complete maps of body structures by points along the ears, nose, scalp, hands, feet, wrists, and ankles.
Despite the growing number of acupuncture treatment zones, most acupuncture physicians use the traditionally identified points on the 14 main channels. Each channel has a small number of points used repeatedly for their versatility in treating a wide variety of diseases.
Each point is associated with a list of disorders and diseases they can help treat, but sometimes a practitioner will select points based on the Chinese theory of balancing the qi flow — or energy flow — in the channels. So a point might be used during treatments for other kinds of disorders aside from those listed on the acupuncture points chart, due to its usefulness in this balancing process.

Some commonly used acupuncture points include:

Large Intestine Channel: LI4, Hegu
This point is located on the back side of the hand between the thumb and first finger. The primary use of this point is to relieve pain and treat inflammatory and feverish diseases.

Lung Channel: LU7, Lieque
This point is located above the wrist on the inside of the arm. It is used to treat several disorders of the upper body, including headache, neck stiffness, cough, asthma, sore throat, facial paralysis and wrist conditions.

Stomach Channel: ST36, Zusanli
This point is located on the front of the leg, just below the knee. It is helpful for digestive disorders. Research shows that using this point results in positive effects in treating anemia, immune deficiency, fatigue, and numerous diseases.

Spleen Channel: SP6, Sanyinjiao
This point is located on the inner side of the leg just above the ankle. Although it is on the spleen channel, which generally influences the digestive system, this point is also valuable for treating hormonal disorders (such as irregular menstruation) and immune disorders.

Gallbladder Channel: GB20, Fengchi
This point is located at the base of the skull where it joins the neck in back. It is used in the treatment of acute disorders, such as the common cold, influenza, headache, neck pain and fever. In addition, it lowers blood pressure.

Liver Channel: LV3, Taichong
The point is located on the top of the foot, between the first and second toes. It is used to balance emotional energy, to regulate menstruation, to reduce pain in the chest, treat eye disorders, alleviate headaches, and reduce high blood pressure.

Pericardium Channel: PC6, Neiguan
This point is located on the inner arm, just above the wrist. Like other points on this meridian, it is useful for cardiac disorders, such as heart palpitation and angina pectoris. It is also useful for nausea, vomiting, spasms and convulsions.

Heart Channel: HT7, Shenmen
This point is located on the outer side of the wrist. It is used in the treatment of a variety of mental disorders, such as absent mindedness, insomnia, disturbing dreams, hysteria, depression, agitation and mental illness. It is also used in the treatment of heart disease and fatigue.

Urinary Bladder Channel: BL40, Weizhong
This point is located at the back of the knee. It is utilized in the treatment of back pain, hip impairment, muscular atrophy, leg pain, abdominal pain, nausea and many other ailments.

Kidney Channel: KI3, Taixi
This point is located just behind the inner ankle. It is used for disorders in several areas of the body, including sore throat, toothache, deafness, tinnitus, dizziness, asthma, thirst, insomnia, lower back pain and menstrual irregularities.

Triple Burner Channel: TB5, Waiguan
This point on the channel is located on the outer side of the arm, above the wrist. It is mainly used in treatment of disorders along the pathway of this meridian, that is, of the fingers, hand, arms, neck, ears, cheek, and top of the head.

Small Intestine Channel: SI3, Houxi
This point is located on the side of the hand, below the little finger. It is used for treating mental disorders, stiffness and pain in the neck, seizures, night sweats and fevers.

Governing Vessel: GV20, Baihui
This point is located at the top of the head. It is traditionally applied in the treatment of various mental disorders, and for headache, vertigo, ringing in the ears and nasal obstruction.

For information about acupuncture and the Acupuncture & Massage College’s Oriental Medicine and Massage Therapy programs contact admissions.


What Is Acupuncture?

Posted by & filed under Acupuncture, Alternative Medicine, Herbs & Medicine.

what-is-acupunctureThe word ‘acupuncture’ means needle piercing, and is the practice of inserting fine needles into the skin’s surface to stimulate acu-points, or specific anatomic points located along the body’s various meridians or energy channels.The meridians, invisible to the eye, are channels through which Chi, or energy flows. Acu-points are specific points on the body where Chi flows closest to the skin’s surface.Used for therapeutic purposes, the emphasis of acupuncture is on prevention of illness although it is also used in the treatment of disease. Acupuncture is used frequently for chronic pain conditions such as bursitis, arthritis, and migraines as well as skin disorders, asthma, and allergies.

What is acupuncture?

Acupuncture is also effective in treatment of osteoarthritis, back pain, chemotherapy induced nausea, bladder instability and painful menstrual cycles. Disorders such as chronic fatigue, insomnia, hypertension, anxiety, depression, and addictions can be treated with acupuncture as well.Acupuncture practitioners, along with piercing the skin with needles, stimulate the acu-points through heat, friction, suction, pressure, or electromagnetic energy. Stimulation of the acu-points is necessary in order to restore health in the body through the balancing of the movement of Chi.

Acupuncture helps Chi energy flow

When Chi flows freely through the meridians, the body is in a state of balance and good health. When Chi is blocked, stagnated, or weakened the body can become prone to physical illness. The individual may also experience emotional or mental ill health. The acupuncturist practitioner, through stimulation of the acu-points, rebalances the body’s energy system. Rebalancing the flow of Chi energy restores health and prevents disease development. Acupuncture, in the treatment of chronic pain management, is effective through generating stimulus, or competing signals, which block existing pain signals from reaching the brain. Acupuncture treatment methods and their ability to maintain well-being and health have a basis in various Chinese philosophies, which have to be understood as well.

Yin / yang and Tao are considerations in acupuncture

The concepts of Tao and Yin and Yang are primary considerations that the acupuncturist practitioner incorporates in treatment of various conditions or disorders. Tao, or the path, or way of life, advocates moderation in all things and living in harmony with nature. According to the philosophy of Tao, the acupuncturist applies treatment that results not only in improving health, but also in living closer to the Tao.

Yin and Yang, or the feminine and masculine elements, are the two complementary or opposite energies present in a state of balance within the body, as well as in everything in the universe. Imbalances of Yin and Yang within the body’s system can result in ill health. The acupuncture practitioner treats these imbalances to prevent illness and to restore health by applying treatment to various related acupoints.

If you are in the Miami area, we offer acupuncture and massage treatments in our Community Clinic. For information about AMC’s Oriental Medicine and Massage Therapy programs you can email our admissions department.


Chinese Herbal Medicine Helps Symptoms of COPD

Posted by & filed under Acupuncture, Education & Research, Herbs & Medicine.

chinese medicine for COPDIf you suffer from the common condition of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), you may experience symptoms like coughing, fatigue and frequent respiratory infections. You may also have breathing issues, including shortness of breath, trouble catching your breath or wheezing, according to the National Institutes of Health.

If you’re looking for ways to treat these unpleasant symptoms of COPD, a traditional Chinese herbal paste known as Xiao Chuan, or XCP, may help, according to a new study conducted by researchers in Beijing. Prior research had found the paste decreased both the frequency of COPD symptoms, says study author Yongjun Bian, M.D., researcher in the respiratory department of Gunag’anmen Hospital in Beijing. “But this study is the first showing the effectiveness and safety of XCP in the prevention of COPD symptoms,” Bian says.

Xiao Chuan paste has been used in China for centuries to help patients with breathing disorders, including COPD and asthma. To treat symptoms of COPD and other breathing problems, practitioners apply the paste on specific acupuncture points located on the patient’s back. “The herbs contained in XCP and natural remedies may have some immune regulation properties, which in turn may aid in their ability to prevent COPD symptoms,” Bian says.

To conduct the study, researchers enrolled 142 patients and assigned them to receive either XCP or a placebo paste. Both pastes were applied on the same points on the back four times during an eight-week period. “Treatment with XCP significantly reduced the frequency of symptoms compared with patients treated with placebo,” Bian says. “XCP patients experienced significant reductions in steroid use and episodes of shortness of breath, and XCP patients also reported an improved quality of life.”

In addition to COPD, Chinese herbal medicine is used to treat many health conditions, including:

  • Flu and the common cold
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Migraine headaches
  • Irritable bowel syndrome

If you suffer from any of these ailments, consider trying acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine to help alleviate your symptoms and improve your overall health and wellness.

Acupuncture & Massage College’s Community Clinic offers acupuncture, massage therapy and herbal medicine for the treatment of a wide range of health conditions as well as for overall wellness. To schedule an appointment call (305) 595-9500. For information about AMC’s Oriental Medicine and Massage Therapy programs you can email our admissions department.

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