Teaching Chinese Medicine in America
In the mid-1950′s, the first modern universities of TCM were founded in China. The mission of these schools was to take the theory and clinical practices of Chinese medicine, apply a scientific approach, and develop a modern educational system. This educational model became the Chinese standard for TCM education. The original curriculum in the Midwest College’s programs closely followed those standards. Over the last ten years, the college has refined the content and sequence of curricular components to broaden the depth of teaching in all eight branches of classical Chinese medicine.
The Core Teaching Sections Are:
• Yin Yang • The Five Phases • The Five Zang Organs • The Six Fu Organs • The Extraordinary Fu Organs • Qi • Blood • Body Fluid • The Relationship between Qi, Blood, and Body Fluid • Basic Concept of the Meridians • Twelve Regular Meridians • Eight Extra Meridians • Classification and Nomenclature of Acupoints • Methods of Locating Points • Therapeutic Properties of the Points of the Twelve Meridians and Eight Extra Meridians • Diagnostic Methods • Looking • Listening • Smelling • Inquiry • Palpation • Principles of Treatment Strategy • Therapeutic Methods • Basic Principles for Prescription and Selection of Points • The Basic Principles for Selection and Prescription of Herbs and Formulas • Diseases categorized by the Body Systems • Traumatology
Zang fu organ and meridian theory, the basis of Chinese medicine, are a clinical model of the physiological function and pathological changes that affect health and disease in the human body. The essential functions of the meridian system are to transport Qi and blood and to resist the invasion of exogenous pathogenic factors.
This theory has been the guiding principle for clinical practice in TCM in both ancient and modern times. By combining meridian theory with the principles of the zang fu organs, the pathology of disease and corresponding therapeutic principles can be explained in great detail. In this manner, a theoretical basis for the principle of clinical treatment in accordance with the differentiation of signs and symptoms was established.
The Midwest College follows a modern educational model in both classroom and clinic; creating learning experiences that build critical thinking skills based upon classic TCM theory. Educational objectives have been developed, textbooks have been chosen, and workbooks created to best teach the classic academic theory and contemporary clinical practice of Oriental Medicine to today’s student in America.
Our Vision of Chinese Medicine
The practice of traditional Chinese medicine has been described as having three pillars; the institution/clinic, the TCM practitioner and home remedies or self-care. At the Midwest College there is attention to health promoting techniques that have been neglected in modern Chinese medicine. With a return to older traditions, patients are expected to take more responsibility for their own well-being as they are guided toward a healthier lifestyle.
In Classic Chinese medicine, a preventive approach to care leads to the highest level of health a person can attain. The goal is to have the patient become so internally strong and adaptive to stress that they are capable of preventing many health problems before they occur, or resolving them at the earliest onset. Resilience is a significant aspect of vibrant health that can be promoted through the use of traditional Chinese medicine, modern nutraceutical supplements, and lifestyle counseling.
Programs at the Midwest College return to a focus on the “root,” so that future diseases can be prevented and current problems do not become critical. This means a classical style practice where the Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine practitioner is a lifestyle counselor affecting the spirit and emotions to improve a patient’s sense of well-being; is an “ally” in the patient’s fight against disease and finally a “guide” helping the patient to make healthy choices to prevent complications and future problems.
Student interns learn to view physical symptoms and signs as relatively superficial manifestations indicating the underlying energetic root. The sages of Chinese philosophy pointed out that human life must ultimately follow the flow of the Tao, our journey from birth to death. Students at the Midwest College provide comprehensive TCM care across the stages of life. They treat the presenting complaint while adjusting the underlying energetic flow to build health and improve the quality of life.