Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine

oriental medicine

Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine Program

The College’s Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine Program combines rigorous academic course work with broad clinical experiences, leading to a Master of Science degree in Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine combined with a Bachelor of Science degree in Nutrition (TCM). 

Students in the Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine Program study various forms of acupuncture, traditional herbs, and formulas, as well as, nutrition and Chinese food therapy. They are introduced to new clinical protocols, based firmly upon the principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) that combine nutritional supplements with herbal formulas. Students also learn which foods to recommend and which to avoid based upon the TCM pattern and presenting complaints of the patient. 

Education focuses on the “Zang Fu” system of physiology, pathology, diagnosis, and treatment strategy. Traditional pulse and tongue diagnosis aid the graduate in formulating a comprehensive treatment plan. This is the style taught and practiced in China today at Universities of Chinese Medicine and their affiliated teaching hospitals.

Clinical Experience

MCAHM’s clinics provide the opportunity to rotate through a variety of unique clinical settings where interns experience the approach of many different practitioners. Interns at MCAHM treat a wide range of conditions and gain thorough hands-on experience in acupuncture and other physical modalities of healing, such as Tui Na massage, moxibustion, and cupping.

Interns also gain clinical experience making healthy eating recommendations and suggesting specific healing foods based on their TCM energetic characteristics. The nutrition component in the program is fully integrated into the Oriental Medicine courses. Clinical Internship is designed to build knowledge and skills and also to fine-tune patient/healer sensitivities. Your internship begins in the very first fall quarter you are enrolled and continues throughout the entirety of the program. After completing the program, graduates are confident in their ability as Oriental Medical Practitioners to address the full spectrum of conditions seen in practice

chinese medicine

Nutrition & the field of Traditional Chinese Medicine

The Importance of TCM Nutrition in Modern Practice

Nutrition has long been an integral part of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). The Midwest College has identified this branch of TCM as an important specialty, sought by healthcare consumers, for which we prepare our future graduates. The Midwest College’s Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine (AHM) program is unique in that the concentration in this area is an important focus of the curriculum and clinical experience.

While completing the Master of Science in Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine, you will gain an important concentration in the biomedical concepts of nutrition including MyPlate and health-promoting effects of vitamins and minerals. TCM nutrition, additionally, looks at the energetic characteristics of foods, how they are used based on an individual’s constitution, and how food affects Zang Fu syndromes.

After completing the OM program you will be able to augment your acupuncture and herbal treatment with the Chinese system of food therapy. In fact, students in the Master’s program receive the concurrently awarded degree B.S. in Nutrition with an M.S. degree in Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine.

The M.S. curriculum prepares graduates for a competitive healthcare environment by combining the use of Chinese herbal formulas with nutritional counseling and the use of supplements. Integrating TCM Nutrition with acupuncture, moxibustion, and herbs lets practitioners confidently make recommendations regarding food energetics as a preventative to disease in the maintenance of optimum health. Graduates will meet the expectations of patients who expect a holistic practitioner to make recommendations regarding herbs and commonly used nutritive products. If you feel that healthy eating and guided nutrition are important parts of Holistic Healthcare, you should look seriously at Midwest College.

Education at Midwest College includes a unique focus on traditional Chinese Nutrition Therapy. There are two aspects to a Chinese Medicine nutritional consultation; the first concerns healthy eating according to a patient’s constitutional type, and the second is the recommendation of foods and recipes for specific disorders.

The Midwest College’s contemporary clinical approach to Chinese nutrition therapy includes updated “energetic” recipes based on classic medicinal cooking with herbs. These traditional recipes have been selected to be “pleasing to the palate” so that they will be enjoyed by most patients.

It is not surprising that prospective students of Oriental Medicine are looking for a program where they can gain the skills and knowledge needed to integrate the best-known branches of TCM (acupuncture, massage, and herbs) with healing foods and recipes in their future professional practice. The nutrition component of the Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine program, as well as its clinical experiences, has been designed to ensure that students see a wide variety of health problems and that they become familiar with using food and nutraceutical supplements in TCM clinical practice. Its emphasis is on the student applying the principles of traditional and modern nutrition learned in class to the treatment of patients in the student clinic.

Hours of Training / Length of Education

The total hours in the Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine Program are 2,898 (228.3 quarter credits). Additional internship hours and courses needed for licensure in some states may be gained by enrolling in extra clinic sessions. Graduates are qualified for licensure in the Midwest.

The minimum completion time for the Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine program is 36 months. To complete the program in the minimum time frame, students attend classes on Saturdays and a minimum of two evenings per week. Students have up to 54 months to complete the program on a part-time basis.

What You Earn

Graduates of the Midwest College’s Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine Program earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Nutrition (TCM) granted simultaneously with the Master of Science degree in Oriental Medicine. Graduates are qualified to sit for all examinations given by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, NCCAOM, and meet the requirements for licensure in Illinois, Wisconsin and many other states.

For details about programs and schedules, please contact the Admissions Department at 800-593-2320 or email the admissions director at

Still too technical? Download our Layman’s Guide to help you better understand the ins and outs of our programs!

The Midwest College of Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine, its Master’s-level program in Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine (MSAHM), and its Master’s-level program in acupuncture (MLA) are accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine (ACAHM). Accreditation status and notes may be viewed on the ACAHM Directory. ACAHM is recognized by the United States Department of Education as the specialized accreditation agency for institutions/programs preparing acupuncture and herbal medicine practitioners. ACAHM is located at 8941 Aztec Drive, Eden Prairie, Minnesota 55347; phone 952/212-2434; fax 952/657-7068;

The Midwest College of Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine’s advanced practice doctoral (DAOM) program, approved to begin enrolling students, is not yet accredited or pre-accredited by ACAHM. Graduates of this program are not considered to have graduated from an ACAHM-accredited or pre-accredited program and may not rely on ACAHM accreditation or pre-accreditation for professional licensure or other purposes. The advanced practice doctoral program is eligible for ACAOM accreditation, and the Midwest College of Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine is currently in the process of seeking ACAHM pre-accreditation/accreditation for the program. However, Midwest College of Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine can provide no assurance that pre-accreditation or accreditation will be granted by ACAHM.