Degree Programs at Oriental Medicine Schools

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

oriental-medicine-schools-degree-in-oriental-medicineTraditional Chinese medicine is a fast-growing health care profession in the United States these days. More Americans are opting for a holistic approach to their health. They are incorporating acupuncture, massage and other natural practices into their lives on a regular basis as a way to stay healthy and treat illnesses. Americans may use complementary and alternative medicine as their primary source of health care or as a supplement to other treatments. In fact, Americans spend $30 billion annually on complementary medicine, which means demand for practitioners is up.

A career in acupuncture

Licensed acupuncturists are independent health care providers and the majority eventually open their own private practices. Acupuncture physicians may also work in a variety of other settings, including hospitals, treatment centers and community health centers. Acupuncture physicians may also work in specialist and complementary health care clinics. In an acupuncture practice setting, acupuncture practitioners may share workspace with other health care providers who have training in other aspects of traditional Chinese medicine.

Other career options for acupuncture and Oriental medicine (AOM) practitioners include teaching, publishing and research. The prospects for finding employment in the field of AOM remain excellent for the foreseeable future.

Demand for service

Employment in the alternative therapy and non-mainstream medicine fields, which includes acupuncture, podiatry, chiropractic and more, was expected to increase by nearly 50% percent from 2002 to 2012.

Health diagnosing and treating practitioners — including acupuncturists — make a median of $74,710 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. As with allopathic doctors, advancement often comes with building a practice.

Pursuing a degree

Educational programs in the practice of Oriental Medicine like the one at the Acupuncture & Massage College train students to practice as primary health care providers. Among the many courses students complete as part of the program are:

  • Chinese medicine
  • Acupuncture
  • Herbology
  • Tui Na
  • Qigong

Acupuncture is a licensed medical profession in over 40 states and the District of Columbia. A comprehensive curriculum should prepare graduates to apply for licensure in most states that license and regulate acupuncture and Oriental medicine.

The program at Acupuncture & Massage College

The Acupuncture & Massage College’s Oriental Medicine program is a 151-credit, four-year degree track. The program is designed and delivered by faculty with extensive clinical and research experience. Students receive comprehensive training in the foundational knowledge of traditional Chinese medicine and skills necessary to work competently in private practice.

At Acupuncture & Massage College, you’ll benefit from both a career-focused education in acupuncture and Oriental Medicine as well as the sense of community that a close-knit campus can provide. Oriental Medicine program graduates receive a bachelor’s degree in Health and a master’s degree in Oriental Medicine. Students leave the program prepared for a successful career in acupuncture and Oriental medicine.

As a fully-accredited Oriental Medicine school, the faculty and staff prides itself on the quality and depth of the master’s degree program. People who are interested in acupuncture and Oriental medicine are invited to visit the Miami campus for a tour of the school and to receive an information presentation.

For information about AMC’s Oriental Medicine and Massage Therapy programs you can email our admissions department.

Four Steps to Changing Career Paths

What Are Yin and Yang in Chinese Medicine?

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

what-are-yin-and-yangThe concepts of Yin and Yang serve as the foundation of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). The earliest reference to Yin and Yang is approximately 700 B.C.E. in an ancient text called I Ching, according to the Traditional Chinese Medicine World FoundationYin and Yan theory — considered the most important in TCM — drives the understanding of health and wellness among practitioners of this ancient system of health care. The theory informs how diagnoses are made, and underpins the physiology, pathology and treatment of illness. It is an important part of the study of TCM.

The qualities of Yin and Yang

Ancient scholars observed two phases of constant and cyclical change. They described it this way: Yin changes into Yang, and Yang changes back into Yin. A few general qualities of Yin and Yang help illustrate the concept. 

Yin: Cool, rest, moist, earth, dark

Yang: Warm, active, dry, sky, bright

Yin and Yang represent opposite but complementary qualities. Notice how Yin has a component of Yang, and Yang has a component of Yin. This is represented by the dots in a Yin-Yang symbol. The TCM World Foundation describes it further:

“Like Einstein’s famous equation, E = mc², the Yin-Yang symbol describes something very elemental and incredibly complex. What Yin-Yang points to and represents is so vast it encompasses everything in the Universe.”

Each object, person or phenomenon you encounter in the world is itself and also its contrary, according to TCM. In other words, everything in the universe encompasses Yin and Yang at the same time. This concept lies at the heart of TCM philosophy.

The four aspects of Yin and Yang

To more fully comprehend the concepts of Yin and Yang, it helps to explore how the two relate to and play off each other. These dynamics are considered the four aspects of Yin and Yang. They are:

  1. The opposition of Yin and Yang
  2. The interdependence of Yin and Yang
  3. The mutual consumption of Yin and Yang
  4. The inter-transformation of Yin and Yang

Yin and Yang cannot exist without each other — they are inseparable. Yet they are also constantly consuming, or becoming, one another, just as day becomes night and vice versa. Think about it this way also: the way night and day blend into each is seamless. Together day and night make a whole.

The correspondences of Yin and Yang


To further explore the concepts of Yin and Yang in TCM, consider some of the pairs, or correspondences, that represent each side of these two universal energies:

Yin, Yang

Female, Male

Right, Left

West, East

North, South

Earth, Heaven

Moon, Sun

Space, Time

Matter, Energy

Darkness, Light

Water, Fire


Rest, Activity

Grows, Generates

Contraction, Expansion

Flat, Round

Descending, Rising

Below, Above

All phenomena in the universe are the result of the interplay between Yin and Yang. Every phenomenon contains within itself both aspects in different degrees of manifestation. In its purest form, Yang is totally immaterial and corresponds to pure energy. On the other hand, Yin, in its coarsest and densest form, is totally material and corresponds to matter. Energy and matter are but two states of a continuum, with an infinite possible number of states of aggregation.

Understanding the concepts of Yin and Yang are fundamental to the study of traditional Chinese medicine. To learn more about the Oriental Medicine program at Acupuncture and Massage College, email the admissions department.


Looking for a Natural Treatment for PTSD? Try Acupuncture

Posted by & filed under Acupuncture, Alternative Medicine.

natural-treatment-for-ptsd-acupunctureAcupuncture is a safe, holistic therapy for the management of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It’s a natural treatment that alleviates stress and anxiety, depression, insomnia and other common PTSD symptoms. Many sufferers of PTSD may opt for treatment like cognitive behavior therapy, pharmaceutical prescriptions or stress-reduction techniques. However, increasingly veterans are opting to augment traditional medical health treatments with alternative and holistic therapies like massage, yoga and acupuncture.

What is PTSD? 

Classified as an anxiety disorder, PTSD is a complex mental health condition. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs describes the disorder this way:

“PTSD is a mental health problem that some people develop after experiencing or witnessing a life-threatening event, like combat, a natural disaster, a car accident, or sexual assault.It’s normal to have upsetting memories, feel on edge, or have trouble sleeping after this type of event. …If it’s been longer than a few months and you’re still having symptoms, you may have PTSD. For some people, PTSD symptoms may start later on, or they may come and go over time.”

Complex PTSD — also called a “disorder of extreme stress” — results from exposure to traumatic circumstances, in combat or otherwise. People whose line of work exposes them to traumatic events or who treat trauma survivors may be at risk for secondary PTSD, also called compassion fatigue. These occupations include emergency medicine specialists, police officers, firefighters, search-and rescue personnel and disaster investigators.

The symptoms of PTSD

Acupuncture offers relief from the numerous symptoms of PTSD. Symptoms may include any combination of the following:

  • Intrusive memories and flashbacks
  • Hyperarousal, or being easily startled
  • Irritability
  • Insomnia or other sleep problems
  • Emotional numbing
  • Avoidance of trauma-related stimuli

Not only does it offer relief from specific symptoms, but improves overall health and wellness, and boost natural immunity.

Natural treatment for PTSD

Acupuncture can restore and maintain health by stimulating specific acupressure points — also called acupoints — on the body. Auricular (ear) acupuncture can aid in balancing the nervous system and also induce relaxation. Acupuncture addresses ailments related to PTSD such as mood changes, hypervigilance and mental fogginess. Acupuncture can also treat PTSD-related anxiety, panic and sleep disorders.

Acupuncture & Massage College’s Community Clinic offers acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine and massage therapy for the treatment of PTSD as well as a wide range of other health conditions. Call (305) 595-9500 to schedule an appointment.

For information about AMC’s Oriental Medicine and Massage Therapy programs you can email our admissions department

Four Steps to Changing Career Paths

Flexible Careers in Holistic Health

Posted by & filed under Acupuncture, Careers, Health & Fitness, Massage, Meditation & Yoga.

flexible-careers-holistic-healthAre you looking for a new career? Do you need a flexible work schedule? Do you yearn for a professional path into a field that’s growing? Do you want to help people every day? If so, exploring flexible careers in holistic health makes sense. Find out some of the top careers in natural and integrative health fields that offer practitioners the ability to make their own schedules, choose from a variety of work settings, and otherwise customize their professional life to their needs, interests and desires.

Top professions to consider

The demand for alternative medical treatments is growing, and Americans spend a significant amount of money on complementary treatments. Federal researchers announced last year that Americans spent almost $30 billion — or about $500 per person — annually on alternative medicine. Most of those dollars were spent on services, as opposed to herbal medicines or DIY treatments. The report said:

“More was spent on visits to complementary practitioners ($14.7 billion) than for purchases of natural product supplements ($12.8 billion) or self-care approaches ($2.7 billion).”

Becoming a practitioner of holistic health techniques means tapping into this growing trend. These are some of the disciplines to consider:

  • Acupuncture and Oriental medicine
  • Chiropractic care
  • Biofeedback
  • Reiki
  • Reflexology
  • Massage therapy
  • Yoga instruction
  • Kinesiologist
  • Homeopathic medicine

Attributes of flexible careers

Maybe you have a family and need to find a job that lets you achieve a work-life balance. Maybe you need a career path that will allow you to transition gradually (for example, by pursuing a degree while working in another field). Maybe you just don’t see yourself working a traditional 9 to 5 gig. Fortunately, holistic health offers a variety of careers that allow you to set your own schedule, and work as many hours as you can while balancing other life obligations. Massage is a great career option for mothers who need to work part-time, but may go back to full-time hours when their children become school age, for example.

In addition to the scheduling flexibility of holistic health careers, you’ll also be able to choose from a variety of work settings, from resorts, spas and gyms to medical facilities. Massage therapists and yoga instructors, for example, may also find work in corporate settings. Some practitioners may also offer their services through holistic health centers that offer a variety of holistic health treatments. Finally, many open their own practices. Mixing and matching is also an option — you could spend part of your week offering services in a corporate environment, at a spa and in a medical facility, for example.

Training for jobs in holistic health 

Depending on which avenue of holistic health you intend to pursue, the training requirements will differ. You may be able to get a certification to become a yoga teacher within a few months, for example, while an academic program in a field like chiropractic care or Oriental medicine will likely take years. Those disciplines with longer programs —such as massage, acupuncture and chiropractic care — will likely include a rigorous course of study, as well as clinical practice. Pursuing a certification in a field like Tai Chi or Qigong may require a shadowing a teach for a certain number of hours, for example.

When deciding what specific field to pursue, the American Holistic Health Association suggests asking yourself whether you want to help diagnose and treat those who are ill or injured through the recovery process in the manner of a traditional doctor or help people who are generally in good health enhance wellness. Let that answer guide which practices you consider.

Obviously, the longer the time commitment to become a legitimate practitioner of the discipline you pursue, the more financial investment you will likely make in your education. Fortunately, you can apply for financial aid at accredited colleges for fields like massage and acupuncture.

For more information about the Acupuncture & Massage College’s degree programs in Massage Therapy and Oriental Medicine, contact the admissions department at (305) 595-9500. Download the AMC’s free ebook to learn everything you need to know about careers in alternative medicine and holistic health.

Career in alternative medicine - Spotlight

What Do You Study at Acupuncture School?

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

acupuncture-schoolAre you considering attending or planning to enroll in acupuncture school? If so, congratulations! You’re well on your way to an exciting career helping people live their healthiest and happiest lives. But what exactly does a program at acupuncture school look like? What classes will you take and what will you learn? Each acupuncture school is likely to offer a program that’s a little different from the others, but read on to learn about the basics of what you can expect.

The basics

Of course, you will learn the needling techniques needed to perform acupuncture treatment, but there’s so much more to learn about this ancient practice. You’re likely to cover subjects like: the acupuncture points chart, the fundamentals of traditional Chinese medicine, ethics, anatomy and physiology, and more. Other classes might include:

  • Asian bodywork
  • Biology
  • Introduction to needling
  • Herbal medicine
  • Pathology

Differing philosophies

Like any institution of higher learning, acupuncture schools have many different philosophies that drive their programs. According to, there are two main approaches: Traditional Chinese Medicine/Eight Elements School and Five Element School. The Five Element approach is less common.

In addition to those two main philosophies, schools may have other unique approaches. cites the following as an example:

“Yo San University in Marina Del Rey, Calif. … teaches Taoist Classical Medicine, using both the Five Elements and TCM/Eight Elements approaches plus Energetic Systems of Chinese medicine, which are based on the ‘Yellow Emperor’s Classic’ and the I-Ching.”

Find out more about the philosophy of a particular school you’re considering in order to decide if a program is right for you.

Oriental medicine

Some acupuncture training programs might be part of a more comprehensive degree in Oriental medicine. If so, it will probably take you longer to earn your degree, but you’ll also gain additional knowledge. According to Natural Healers, some areas of study this type of program may include are:

  • Zang Fu theory
  • Dietary theory in traditional Chinese medicine
  • A type of massage called Tui Na
  • Herbal medicine

Some programs offer masters degrees and bachelors degrees as part of the same program. Decide what level of education you want to pursue, and how long you wan to be in school when evaluating your options.

Clinical education

Hands-on experience is practical knowledge you can take into the job market. Many acupuncture school degree programs run a clinics where students can gain experience in a real-world environment, and that will be part of your program of study. If your acupuncture school does not run a clinic, you may be working in other environments with professional practitioners to gain clinical experience.

Before you enroll

One of the best ways to get a feel for what it would be like to attend an acupuncture school is to observe a class or classes. Contact any prospective program’s admissions department and ask to sit in on a class in session. Talk to students or graduates about what they think of the program, and what their favorite courses are. If that school has a clinic that provides acupuncture services, book a session.

For more information on the Acupuncture & Massage College’s degree in Oriental Medicine, contact the admissions department at (305) 595-9500.

Career in alternative medicine - Spotlight