China: Community Health and Traditional Chinese Medicine

Shadow Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practitioners and examine community health issues by working with professionals

offered by SIT Study Abroad

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Please visit our website for more information. Based in Yunnan, this program partners with the Yunnan Provincial Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine. The hospital's doctors, nurses, and facilities are all available to students. Students learn about the philosophical and theoretical underpinnings of TCM practices during lectures and then have the opportunity to practice for themselves during a practice session on most days. For any students who want to practice medicine in a cross-cultural setting, understand TCM better, or gain insight into Chinese health practices, this program offers an ideal setting in which to explore theory and practice. Compare Western and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) philosophies with practicing doctors. Many of the doctors affiliated with the program have certification in both Western medicine and TCM. Students have shared in many spirited, insightful, and often surprising discussions on the appropriate use of one treatment over another. Learn about TCM philosophy. Much of TCM philosophy is based in Daoism. To understand the practice, students explore the concepts of yin and yang, the organs, meridians, and the basic underpinnings of many Eastern philosophies, as well as the history of TCM. Practice techniques of massage, acupuncture, cupping, and moxibustion. Each week, the program focuses on a different TCM practice, including Chinese massage (tuina), moxibustion, cupping, acupuncture, and herbal remedies. Students practice these techniques and see doctors performing these techniques. Explore the pharmacopoeia of TCM herbal medicine. Program activities include visits to parks and gardens with a botanist to learn about healing plants and herbs, exploration of the hospital’s TCM pharmacy, and a demonstration of medicines being made. Visit Tibetan healers and learn about indigenous healing techniques. While on excursion in the northernmost parts of Yunnan, students see traditional Dongba healing ceremonies, meet a Tibetan healer, and learn about daily health practices in minority communities.


  • Chinese Language
  • Public Health
  • Health Sciences


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