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.

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What Are Yin and Yang Aspects?

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

what-are-yin-and-yang-aspectsYou have probably seen a classic Yin and Yang symbol before. It looks like two elongated teardrops — one black, one white — nestled within a circle. Each has a dot of the opposite color in the head of the teardrop. Yin and Yang are fundamental concepts in the philosophy of traditional Chinese medicine. References to Yin and Yang date back to 700 B.C.E. in the book I Ching, according to the Traditional Chinese Medicine World Foundation.

What are Yin and Yang? Yin and Yang are meant to represent everything in the universe and exist in balance as complementary, but opposite, elements. To deepen your understanding of the concepts of Yin and Yang, it helps to learn about their four aspects.

The four aspects

The four aspects of Yin and Yang may seem at odds with one another until you learn a little bit more about how they play into the philosophy of Chinese medicine. Yin and Yang are:

  • Opposites
  • Interdependent
  • Mutually consuming
  • Inter-transformative

Yin and Yang complement and balance each other via these aspects, which define the relationship between them. Read more to learn about each aspect.

1) Opposition of Yin and Yang: Think of Yin and Yang as the opposite stages of a cycle or of states of being. For example, think of water — Yin is relative to steam, while Yang is relative to ice. Their relationship to each other is also relative — you can only think of one in relationship to the other. 

2) Interdependence of Yin and Yang: Yin and Yang are opposite, but that means they are also interdependent. One cannot exist without the other. Additionally, nothing in the universe is totally Yin and nothing is totally Yang.For example, there is no day without night. Think of the two elements as constantly transforming into one another. 

3) Mutual consumption of Yin and Yang: When either Yin or Yang falls out of balance, they affect each other. That means they change their proportion and relationship to one another to achieve a new balance.

There is normally a harmonious balance of Yin and Yang. However, they weaken — or consume — one another when they fall out of balance. These are the four states of Yin and Yang imbalance:

  • Preponderance or excess of Yin
  • Preponderance or excess of Yang
  • Weakness or deficiency of Yin
  • Weakness deficiency of Yang

4) Inter-transformation of Yin and Yang: Yin and Yang have a dynamic relationship. Don’t think of the two elements as static — they transform into each other. The transformation is not random; it occurs at the right exact moment. Think of how spring arrives when winter is over as a way to understand the idea. Or think of how day transforms into night. 

More about Yin and Yang

Yin and Yang are two halves that make a whole, or that create wholeness. They are constantly achieving a new state of balance. Yin and Yang also have associations with various other worldly elements like heat, ice or steam. Or concepts like youth, age, lightness, darkness and so on.

The concepts of Yin and Yang are extremely important in understanding the philosophy of traditional Chinese medicine, and inform how practitioners make diagnoses and what healing techniques are employed.

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


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

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Chinese Medicine Helps Ease Symptoms of Acid Reflux

Posted by & filed under Alternative Medicine, Health & Fitness, Herbs & Medicine.

symptoms-of-acid-refluxGastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a common digestive ailment that is more commonly called acid reflux or heartburn. The symptoms that occur with the condition cause mild to severe discomfort. Most people experience episodes of GERD from time to time, though some people suffer from chronic or extreme cases of the disease.

In healthy people, the bottom of the esophagus closes to prevent fluids from traveling back up toward the throat. During attacks of GERD, stomach acid flows back into the esophagus, irritating the esophageal lining and causing a burning sensation in the chest or throat.

Many people treat the symptoms of acid reflux with over-the-counter medications, but Chinese medicine offers natural remedies as well. First learn more about the symptoms of acid reflux.

The symptoms

The symptoms of acid reflux range from mild to severe. During an episode of GERD, you may experience one or more of the following unpleasant sensations:

  • Sore or burning feeling in the chest, sometimes spreading to the throat
  • Sour taste in the mouth
  • Chest pain
  • Problems swallowing or feeling a “lump” in the throat
  • Throat dryness or hoarseness
  • Dry coughing

Your acid reflux may be considered chronic or severe if:

  • Symptoms occur two or more times per week
  • Episodes interfere with your daily life or sleep
  • Your esophagus becomes damaged over time

As mentioned above, many people treat the condition using over-the-counter medication. In rare cases when the incidences of acid reflux are frequent and severe, doctors may recommend surgery. However, there are natural, holistic treatments available to try, including lifestyle changes.

Alternative treatments

You can purchase over-the-counter medication to treat acid reflux and heartburn at any drugstore, but you can also soothe the symptoms naturally. Holistic remedies to calm unpleasant symptoms include lifestyle changes, herbal medicine and other natural techniques like acupuncture.

Lifestyle changes: The Mayo Clinic recommends trying these lifestyle adjustments to reduce the incidences of GERD:

  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Eat small meals
  • Steer clear of food and beverages that trigger symptoms
  • Quit smoking
  • Wear loose-fitting clothing

Some common dietary triggers include caffeine, tomatoes, chocolate, and spicy or fried foods. Try systematically eliminating these items from your diet to see if it helps reduce the number of episodes you experience. If you decide to radically adjust your diet or embark on a weight-loss program, it’s always a good idea to talk to your doctor and make sure to follow healthy guidelines for diet and exercise.

Stress can also be a catalyst for acid reflux, so reducing the causes of stress in your life can help.

Herbal remedies: In addition to lifestyle changes, a host of herbal remedies exist to help ease the symptoms of acid reflux. Talk to a doctor of Chinese medicine to find out what might work for your condition. Your provider should be able to recommend dietary solutions and herbal treatments that will help. Some commonly used herbs include:

  • Licorice
  • Slippery elm
  • Chamomile
  • Marshmallow
  • Peppermint oil
  • Ginger root

Be sure to talk to your medical doctor about any complimentary or natural techniques you use to treat the symptoms of acid reflux.

Acupuncture and more: An acupuncturist can also help uncover whether an imbalance or blockage of your qi, or life force energy, might be contributing to your episodes of acid reflux. The technique also helps a patient relax and reduces stress. For that reason, you may also consider massage, tai chi or other similar practices that reduce stress and anxiety.

To learn more about pursuing a degree in Oriental Medicine at the Acupuncture and Massage College in Miami, contact the admissions department at (305) 595-9500.

Four Steps to Changing Career Paths