Friday, October 24, 2008

Happy AOM Day!

What is AOM? AOM is an acronym for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, and it refers to the system of medicine that uses acupuncture, herbs, body work, nutrition counseling, exercise and more as the tools to get people back in balance and therefore back to health.

What's the difference between AOM and TCM? TCM stands for Traditional Chinese Medicine, and is the official system of Chinese medicine that is taught in China. The terms, theory and methodology are all standardized and thus are used in many non-Asian countries for educational purposes.

Here in the United States we use both terms to refer to the medicine. Some people prefer the term AOM because it encompasses all systems of Asian medicine with roots in Chinese medicine. The traditional medicine systems of Korea, Japan, Vietnam and many other Asian countries are all based on Chinese medicine, but have developed their own unique theories and treatment methods as well, and thus cannot be called TCM.

Still other people prefer the terms East Asian Medicine, Traditional Asian Medicine, or Classical Chinese Medicine. In the end it doesn't matter what you call it - just use it! If you're a patient, take a moment to reflect on how your Chinese medicine practitioner has helped you, and tell a friend. If you're a practitioner or a student, let's give thanks for being in this profession and use today to let people know about why they need Chinese medicine in their lives.

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