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I have chosen to practice TCM because after much looking, I found it to be the most complete, well-rounded, holistic form of health care available. It seeks to treat the underlying cause of disease and poor health, not just the symptoms, using diet and supplements, herbal medicine and acupuncture.
In Chinese medicine, we use the concept of roots and branches. Instead of treating a variety of symptoms separately, we look for a root cause. While some treatments might be used to relieve symptoms such as pain, TCM practitioners always seek to address the cause. Once the root is treated, the branches become healthier. This leads not only to treatment of current health problems, but also to prevention and better quality of life along the way.
Masters of Science in Traditional Chinese Medicine, the four-year professional degree curriculum in TCM includes approximately 3000 hours of didactic training in Chinese and Western Medicine and 1000 hours of clinical training. Students receive training in the following key areas: TCM diagnosis and treatment which include Acupuncture and Chinese Herbology, Tai Ji and Qi Gong, nutrition, and Western medicine including diagnosis and pharmacology. MSTCM degree is awarded after passing comprehensive examinations and completing a Master's thesis.
To become a Licensed Acupuncturist (L.Ac.) one must complete a four-year TCM program in an accredited college of Oriental Medicine or a tutorial program with a qualified practitioner and pass the National Board of Acupuncture Licensing Exam. Licensed Acupuncturists are also qualified to prescribe herbal medicine.