ACOS: TCM Herbalist Program

Year One

The focus of year 1 will be on the orientation into the paradigm of Chinese medicine. Following the introduction of fundamental theories and concepts the student will gradually be introduced to diagnosis, disease and treatment principles. The practical training will be focused on Taiji Quan and Counselling Skills and the necessary aspects of clinical anatomy. The study of the Chinese language is used to develop a deeper understanding of the fundamental concepts and to prepare the student for independent research of TCM manuscripts still in their language of origin as well as preparation for possible further studies in China for those students who choose to do so.

Year 1 of the program is a particularly significant phase of the program in that students from diverse backgrounds and with diverse levels of knowledge will establish in themselves not only the actual detailed knowledge of TCM, but also a solid conceptualization of the medicine as a whole. In general, this involves a transition from the romantic view of TCM to the realism of the medicine as a science in its own right. With the study of western science initiated in tandem with that of TCM, students will begin to foster the integrated medicine approach advocated within the TCM profession today.

Year Two

The focus of the second year is to introduce the more technical elements of Chinese medicine, including Chinese medicinal substances and Chinese medicinal formulas. Students will continue their study of Counseling Skills and begin their study of Qi Gong (understanding and training qi). In this year, students will be introduced to the classical view of mental and emotional disharmony patterns and their absolute importance to a wide variety of illnesses. The study of business management and ethics will assist students in developing the professional skills and attitudes necessary for independent practice.

If the study of the foundations of TCM in Year 1 is likened to the roots, trunk and main branches of a tree, then study in Year 2 may be likened to the small branches and leaves. Students will assimilate a vast amount of detailed knowledge in the relevant fields of TCM. This knowledge is often experienced as somewhat overwhelming at the time; however, it will as serve as the “fuel for the fire” as it is constantly reexamined during the integration phase in the following years of study.

Year Three

The focus in this final year is to systematically examine all patterns of disharmony and their manifestations as illness. This study encompasses etiology, symptomology, differential diagnosis, principles of treatment, and appropriate therapy. All therapeutic methods in terms of medicinal formulas, Tui Na massage and qi-gong will be discussed. This year draws heavily on the previous years’ materials.

Year 3 is the integration phase of the program. Students will re-examine all previously learned knowledge and develop the ability to integrate this knowledge into a coherent understanding of disease and its treatment. At KCCIHS, all students will develop the ability to accurately formulate a TCM differential diagnosis, which we consider to be paramount to all other skills. Effective treatment is the natural progression of an accurate diagnosis.

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