Chinese Medicine? What is it?

Hi everyone,

I’m interested in the Chinese medicine course in IMU. I’ve visited the main website but I’d like to have more information before deciding.

Can anyone help give some info on this?

Please and thank you!

Hi :slight_smile:

Fellow student from IMU here, though I’m not from Chinese medicine. I have heard a bit about the subject from my friends though, so maybe I can help you out a bit.

Anyway, as far as I know, Chinese medicine is a system of health care that works primarily to maintain balance and harmony in our bodies through the principle of Yin/Yang and the 5 elements. It revolves around the philosophy of Qi (气), or energy, whereby a balance and free-flowing Qi may result in health, whereas any imbalance in Qi can lead to diseases.

Some of the more well known techniques of traditional Chinese medicine includes acupuncture, herbal therapies, and pulse diagnosis. According to CM, each disease can be traced back to certain fundamental causes, such as overheat, and certain herbs have properties that can counteract the cause of illness, such as herbs with cooling effects.

If you haven’t seen it, I think the brochure can provide you with more information about the specific modules and lessons. Here’s a link to it :slight_smile:

That’s generally what I know about CM. I hope it helped. Hopefully someone who studied the course can come and share some more information about he subject.


Thank you for your help :slight_smile:

Yeap hoping to get some more insight too.

@Dino_Lee just study in China la! hahaha just kidding.

I heard you need to know Mandarin coz some of the plants and herbs are still named under their traditional names, you are not a banana right? again, kidding! :smiley:

I made a few friends in doing Chinese Medicine, I see them rarely all of them are very quiet one and also if IMU right, classes are very small, you either love it or hate it coz me I prefer smaller class so our lecturers can give focus to us but sometimes I feel like I am confined to my classmates but don’t get me wrong, they are nice! but sometimes I wish my circle of friends is bigger la.

@converting_boo yeap I’ve always seen Chinese words being written on the white board after they’re done in the classroom. I think the class is even conducted in a mix of English and Chinese.

As far as I know classes has been relatively small (though not the smallest, that’s reserved for Nursing course) so I know where you’re coming from.

Then again, CM has a big Chinese Medicine room filled with exotic herbs and stuff inside the ICU area, seen it myself before :open_mouth:

oh great @Sea your online haha! what do you study ar?
Dentistry here! :smile:
Ya lor I’ve passed by there a few times before. It’s like a room full of mysteries!

@converting_boo I kinda agree wif you, the Chinese Medicine ones though there this guy I really like :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes: he was passing by the corridor one day and he went through 1.08, I think I just gave my heart away :heart_eyes:

@Dino_Lee Hello Dino, im from chinese medicine, if you want to know more… feel free to approach us smile


Hi, thanks for offering help! :slight_smile:

erm I’d actually like to know how is your experience studying CM at IMU?
As in the location, the course etc. Also as heard from @Sea the course is relatively small, is it?

I have a general understanding of what CM is but it’s kinda rare to see this course being offered locally so I have no idea how is it. ( I was initially looking around for overseas U when I stumble upon IMU’s course)


I’m a foreign student currently studying Chinese Medicine, after being done with MBBS (Medicine) in IMU.
You might ask me why I am doing CM after Western Medicine but you can see how happy I am with the university itself by me choosing IMU even after 5 years of studying in it.

To answer your specific questions,

  1. yes, the course / class is small compared to Medicine. My semester has about 15 students, which is about 1/10 of medicine. We know everyone in the same semester, and we’re all quite happy about it.

  2. Difference between IMU and other uni in CM is that IMU makes an effort to teach in English - I am Japanese and I can read chinese, but I have been able to follow so far.

  3. its not an easy course :stuck_out_tongue: I just have to tell you, its no easier than Medicine -Every course in IMU is tough, and Chinese Medicine is no exception. What makes CM uniquely difficult is that you need to learn the western medicine components (Anatomy, Physiology, Pathology, Microbiology… etc etc) simultaneously as you learn the Chinese Medicine (Ying and yang, 5 element, herbal medicine, acupuncture) - the western medicine component is being taught by Doctors teaching medical students -

  4. IMU CM is offering transfer program to several universities - Shanghai, Guangdong, Australia I think. If you were thinking of going abroad, its still a good choice.

If there’s any further specific questions, you can either just come over to IMU, or just ask here - I’ll keep an eye on the thread :slight_smile: all the best finding your course!

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Hi @TatsukiAbe !

I’m Sea from Psychology. ^^
Funnily enough I dont think I’ve seen you around IMU before (then again I rarely see CM students).
Anyway welcome and thanks for your help :smiley:

Even I also didn’t know CM was thought in English. Though on the difficult part I agree… I once sat in an elab while the CM class was going on, and even though I know Chinese I can’t really follow what was happening @@

p/s: My psych batch is also small with only 18 people, & yes small batches usually have really close bonds :slight_smile:

I didn’t know that CM students can go to China as well, so nice!

Hi, and thanks a lot for your help!

I didn’t expect IMU to be teaching in English. Is it like the main language used for teaching or just partially? Does that also mean you learn both the English and Chinese name for any herbs like 当归 as well?

It’s also pleasing to know that Western medicine components are also being cared for, by medical lecturers no less.

If I may ask though, why did you do choose to CM after completing the MBBS in IMU?
I find it interesting that a person is willing to invest that much time in studying both sides of medicine :slight_smile:

Once again, thanks for your input !


Hello again,

Yes, IMU at least makes an attempt to teach all modules in English, and for foreign students they give 1 year free mandarin tuition (which I took!) - although yes you can’t possibly teach everything in English - so lecture is in mixture of English and Chinese. I just had my Herbal formula exam, the way we are examined we are provided with Pinyin “Danggui” instead of the 当归chinese characters. We’re not really required to know the scientific name (Radix Angelicae Sinensis). same goes for acupuncture points.

I can say for a fact that the lecturers don’t really change their contents between medicine and chinese medicine - so for my classmates, western medicine subjects are pretty hard…

I chose to do TCM due to many reasons -

firstly because after doing MBBS, I saw what was good in the current practice of medicine, but what might be lacking as well. TCM has a fundamental concept of a holistic approach. Each patient is treated as an individual without being labelled with a specific disease or syndrome. two patients with the same illness may get different treatment for instance.

secondly because where I came from (Japan), Chinese medicine is becoming increasingly popular, to the extent that there are many herbal formula lining up in pharmacies - (Imagine having 葛根汤 in Guardian)

Thirdly and finally, all of my batchmates in Medicine are already in government sector working as houseman - but me being a foreign graduate I cannot do my housemanship here, no matter which university I graduate from. I’m planing to get my license in Japan, but in the meantime, I thought learning something that would broaden my perspective would be nice.

I hope that helped!

Hello. I’ve been around for a while but I’m small and swift so you might’ve missed me :stuck_out_tongue: It seems to me that Psych people are a bit more sophisticated bunch. I’ve known many psychology students (mostly graduated) but all were great people. I hope more firms realize the potential of psychology graduates… not many people know what you can do. I know a liiiiitle bit.

Hi! yes, TCM students also go abroad. I think there are several in Shanghai right now - my seniors. IMU offers twinning with Australian uni (RMIT) as well. a bit on the expensive side though.


Are you going to Shanghai next? hehe!

Hmmm interesting~ I’ve never heard people describe us as sophisticated before :stuck_out_tongue:
Hahaha but yes Psychology is still a relatively “new” field in terms of the general public’s knowledge about tthe subject. A lot of people still think we read minds or can tell people’s behavior just from a glimpse… at least nowadays it’s turning for the better :slight_smile:

Maybe I’ll have the chance to meet you after I’m done with my internship ^^

p/s: I know it's not directed for me, but still thanks for providing such a detailed explanation for IMU's CM course ;) I've went to Japan for holidays earlier this year and I can see what you mean by Chinese medicine becoming more popular there.

As you can see the forum is still new so I’m really thankful for people like you to put in content for the benefit of future potential students. Hope you’ll continue support the forum’s growth or even share it to your friends ^^

Anyway I hope you have a great future ahead of you for all the effort you placed into studying medicine as a whole!



Thanks for the detailed overview! (Sorry for the late reply, due to Raya and all :sweat_smile: )

I’m surprised - and glad - to hear that IMU offers free mandarin tuition for CM students. Kinda relief because my Chinese is okay only ( can read & write, but not an essay). Also thank you for sharing your reason for studying CM. Actually I’m quite impressed because if I were in your shoes I think I would’ve taken a year off or something during the housemanship period.

I think I’ll head on over to the next IMU open day to look for more info and look around the environment. Can any of you share with me when would it be held? :wink:

Hi @Dino_Lee :slight_smile:

I’m not exactly sure when’s the next open day going to be held (the last one was just a few weeks ago), but based on past years it should be held around the last 2 weeks of August. Last year’s open day was held in 17th August 2014.

Will give you more details as I find out more about it.

hmm… I’ve seen my high school friend, who currently studying Chinese Medicine, actually acupunture herself to stop the menstrual pain. (and most of the time experimenting the accupunture spots at her bf…ok. bye.)

Hi I am also interested in taking this Chinese medicine course… can everyone share the some experiences studying this course? Currently I am doing A-levels and interested to choose the Feb intake next year…