If you’re interested in the field of alternative medicine, you may be interested in becoming a traditional Chinese medicine practitioner or a practitioner in the field of Oriental medicine. These fields use many unique and time-tested techniques to treat patients without or in combination with Western medicine.
What Is a Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioner?
A traditional Chinese medicine practitioner is a specialist in the alternative medicine arts that were developed many thousands of years ago in China. Many of these medicinal treatments are used today, and many of them are so effective that they are covered by insurance policies. Traditional Chinese medicine includes acupuncture treatments and herbal medicine, and most Chinese medicine practitioners either work in a partnership or on their own. The job of a Chinese medical practitioner is similar to those in other alternative medicine fields.
Chinese medicine practitioners are required to study the human body and Oriental medicine extensively as they need to be able to diagnose and treat a tremendous variety of diseases. An Oriental medicine practitioner may need to learn more about herbal medicines and about the human body, much like any other type of medical practitioner would.
What Does a Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioner Do?
A Chinese medicine practitioner will usually maintain their own offices. Hospitals and other large medical institutions usually do not include these practitioners. However, some expensive spas, hotels, resorts or similar retreats may include practitioners on their staff for those that need treatment while there. The practitioner will begin by discussing a client’s medical history and their symptoms. They may work with a medical file presented by the client or may need to work from scratch to diagnose a problem that others could not.
The practitioner may then be able to recommend an herb or combination of herbs to the client that can resolve their difficulties. These herbs will need to be taken in a specific amount and at specific times, just like traditional types of medicine. Practitioners may also need to consider other medications the client is currently on and they may also consider more extensive treatments such as acupuncture treatments or pressure point treatments.
How Do You Become a Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioner?
A Chinese medical practitioner is required to be trained and licensed. Many Universities, such as the University of Minnesota, offer degrees in both oriental medicine and acupuncture. An acupuncture degree usually takes about three years to complete while an oriental medicine degree is a full four year program. There are also Master’s programs and Doctoral programs for those that want to learn more and increase their reputation.
There are certain regulations and registration requirements for a Chinese medical practitioner as well. A medical practitioner usually needs to acquire a certain amount of liability insurance and needs to maintain certain standards in their medical office. They also need to be registered with their country’s board, such as the College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists in Ontario.
How Do You Advance as a Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioner?
Advancement as a Chinese medicine practitioner often involves the building of a reputation. Many practitioners operate on a word-of-mouth basis and do local advertising. Some practitioners may eventually be able to open up multiple offices while others may seek to consolidate their clients and extend their office’s hours. Practitioners can partner with other Chinese medicine professionals to create a medical institution as well. Those within the field of Chinese medicine can also consider branching into the areas of naturopathic treatment or related holistic treatments.