Asian medicine has a place among the ever-growing options for complementary and alternative health care in America. Practitioners embrace the range of modalities, including acupuncture, Ayurvedic medicine, massage, nutrition, herbal medicine, and Chinese and Tibetan medicine. Traditional Western medicine has been moving toward accepting some forms of Asian medicine as effective and complementary treatment. In 1997, the National Institutes of Health officially endorsed the use of acupuncture.
Once primarily popular amongst Asian communities in large cities of the United States, Asian medicine today is practiced across the country as more and more graduates of Asian medicine schools return to their smaller towns and communities to practice.
Acupuncture is one of the largest fields in Asian medicine. Schools in acupuncture typically last three to four years and lead to master's degrees. Entry requirements vary by school, although most require at least an associate's degree and prefer applicants to hold bachelor's degrees.
Massage and energy work (Tai Chi and Qigong) programs can last one to two-years in duration. Students combine classroom studies with practical, hands-on laboratory experience. There are also programs leading to the Doctor of Oriental Medicine designation.
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