Academy of Oriental Medicine
When in 1996 AOM – Academy of Oriental Medicine opened in Greece, Traditional Chinese Medicine and its clinical methods were almost unknown. Although acupuncture was practised in this country, most people did not realise that not all ‘treatments by needling’ (acupuncture) are the same. There is, in fact, a big difference between those who do so by relying on the theory of Chinese Medicine, where acupuncture was born, and those who do not. Generally speaking, the former approach looks at the root of a symptom and treats the person as a whole, the latter treats the symptom.
At the time of its opening, AOM – Academy of Oriental Medicine took it upon itself to promote Chinese Medicine, not only as it is taught and practised in China nowadays, but also as it was taught and practiced in ancient and classical times.
We are proud to say that AOM – Academy of Oriental Medicine has succeeded in training a very large number of excellent, mindful and cultivated practitioners. Our students understand deeply the difference between treating the symptom and treating the person, and always put the person first.
We believe that the emphasis AOM has given to the classics, its insistence on deconstructing mechanistic proposal suggesting a ‘protocol based approach’, aimed mainly at the symptom and not the whole person, has greatly helped our small Greek community to reach a respectable degree of maturity.
In this context it is important that both the general public and the professionals gain a sound and deep appreciation of the difference between the theoretical, foundational corpus of ‘Chinese Medicine ‘ and its ‘clinical methods’ (i.e. acupuncture, Chinese pharmacology – herbs, minerals, animals, tuina bodywork etc) in the understanding that each aspect supports the other.
This is why AOM – Academy of Oriental concentrates its efforts on:
1. teaching modern Chinese medical theory (TCM/CM), examined and filtered through the teachings of its ancient and classic forefathers
2. showing how this informs clinical practice
3. showing how each one of its clinical methods (i.e. acupuncture) should be applied in full respect of its theoretical tenets.
It is our experience that precisely this critical approach has allowed our students to think and devise a clinical intervention by relying on a reasoned strategy, rather than on the blind application of protocols. We are proud that most of our students do not see people as ‘walking symptoms’, but strive to see in each and every human being the unique person they are, despite and beyond any pathology.
Since 1988, well before embarking in the ‘adventure’ called AOM – Academy of Oriental Medicine, its founder, Vita Revelli had taught Chinese Medicine (Acupuncture, Chinese Pharmacology and Tuina bodywork) in several European countries (UK, Norway, Sweden, Austria, Italy, Switzerland, Greece, China and others) next to giants of CM like Giovanni Maciocia, Michael McIntyre, Mazin Al-Khafaji and many other ‘pioneers’.
To these days, she remains a public figure in the international TCM scene: she continues to teach, mainly in the Southern European countries and intervenes as a speaker at European congresses.
In order to assure AOM’s excellency, Vita Revelli has called next to her a number of professionals with over 15-20 years in the teaching of Chinese Medicine and related tools (acupuncture, Chinese pharmacology, tuina bodywork etc). All of them have also decades of clinical work at the side of people in need. of help. Not only they are excellent professionals, but also people motivated by the genuine desire to share, rather than by personal gain and ambition.
Why Study With Us?
AOM’s Bachelor level training programme strives to match the highest educational standards set for Chinese Medicine by the main European Professional Organisations.
We prepare our students to understand thoroughly the medical corpus of Chinese Medicine by covering both classical and modern approaches, with a strong emphasis not only on treatment, but also on prevention.
We train all our students almost on a one-to-one basis, giving great emphasis to practicing in class, to examining case studies and clinical practice training, so that by the end of course all our students can start to practice acupuncture skilfully and with confidence.
We teach all tools of Chinese Medicine, although the largest number of applicants chooses the path of acupuncture. Find the detailed Acupuncture training in the section ‘education‘.
A few words about non-MDs wanting to study acupuncture
Regardless of whether they are MDs or not, most European countries allow properly trained acupuncturist to work regardless of whether they are doctors or not. In Greece, at the moment, there is no law forbidding the practice of acupuncture to non MDs.
However, in most case, and rightly so, the newly formed professional needs to apply to become a member of a local Professional Associations. If applicants come from non-accredited schools, they should take the Association’s entry examination for his/her level of competence to be verified.
Our training guarantees that all our students are able to pass a Professional Association’s entry examination successfully.
What is an Accredited School?
An ‘Accredited School’ is a teaching institution where:
- the didactic level of competence of its teachers
- the coherence of its programmes
- the fairness and transparency of its evaluation and grading system
- its syllabus and curriculum
- the conditions of its premises and their accessibility
- and much more
are found adequate and are positively certified by an ‘Accreditation Board’. The members of the Accreditation Board take upon themselves the task of monitoring a school’s performance and ascertain that all its students receive what they need in order to be properly qualified.
Greece does not yet have an ‘Accreditation Board’ that can monitor the quality of local Chinese Medicine schools.
Although it would be possible to obtain an ‘accreditation certificate’ from one of the many ‘Accreditation Boards’ online, AOM- Academy of Oriental Medicine believes that buying an accreditation title from any of these organisation is pointless as none of them offers any local monitoring and a thorough evaluation of the multiple facets involved in education and the well being of students. For this reason, until further notice, all AOM’s students will have to become members of a local ‘Professional Association’ by sitting its entry examinations (for which they will be very well prepared).
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What is Acupuncture (Zhenjiu針灸)?
Zhen 針 means ‘needle’ and jiu 灸 ‘moxibustion’. As a whole, the name ‘zhenjiu 針灸’ indicates a clinical method that uses tiny, filiform needles as well as ‘moxa’ (the herb ‘Artemisia Vulgaris Sinensis’).
Acupuncture is one of the many methods of therapy of Traditional Chinese Medicine and it is, perhaps, the most well known in the Western world.
There is enough historical evidence to prove that rudimental forms of it already existed 6000 years ago. According to historical records, the first acupuncture needles ever used were made of stone. A Chinese legend recalls the famous doctor, Yu Fu used this kind of needles successfully to treat many diseases.
According to archaeological excavations, the first metallic (bronze) needles appeared in the 16th-18th century BC during the Shang and Chou dynasties. In the following centuries, with the discovery of other metals, needles quality varied accordingly. Nowadays, needles are made of stainless steel and are carefully sterilised, unless one-use disposable needles are used.
Acupuncture needles are inserted into a selected ‘point’ of the skin and are manipulated according to the diagnostic findings. There are over 365 ‘points’, but every year, thanks to the research of dedicated Chinese scholars, new ones are added. Each ‘point’ has also a name, which describes either its anatomical location or its functional action.
The word ‘point’ refers to the tiny location of insertion of the needle and not the structure of the anatomical area where it is found. This, in fact, is more similar to a small cavity set deeply under the skin surface that to a point.
Points, grouped according to common functions and properties, are found along more or less orderly lines called ‘channels’ or ‘meridians’. This arrangement was made possible thanks to the experience of the forefathers of Traditional Chinese Medicine -Acupuncture. They proved that all points belonging to a specific ‘meridian’ had therapeutic effects on a specific organ (Zang Fu 臟腑). or body substances and, ultimately on the balance of the whole body-mind and spirit.
According to the theory of Acupuncture, there are 12 main channels and various ‘collaterals’. They can be thought of as a network of rivers and their affluents, of water reservoirs and seas, and of underground and overground brooks and streams all connected with each other. Thus, ultimately, they all affect each other. Qi 氣 ‘life’ (translated by many as ‘energy’) flows through them and around them providing the vitality all material forms need in order to be animated.
How is classical Acupuncture practised?
Before embarking on treatment, the acupuncturist relies on the investigation of the root(s), the mechanism(s) and the signs of a disease.
For the acupuncturist, symptoms are nothing else but the tears of ‘a baby crying for help’. Why dry up the tears, instead of attempting to know why the baby cries? Likewise, why treat a symptom without asking being concerned with the structure giving rise to it (root) and deal with it accordingly?
Acupuncturists, by relying on the four diagnostic pillars (look, hear/smell, ask, palpate) do just that:
- assess the location(s) and nature(s) of the disease(s): external-internal, hot-cold, excess-deficiency, Yin-Yang
- uncover its underlying root, the mechanism(s) and the level(s) of its manifestation(s)
- individuate the patterns(s) resulting from the imbalance and, only then
- formulate the principle(s) of treatment,
- selecting the meridians and the acupuncture points needed
- before applying therapy by needling.
When a symptom is particularly acute, it is possible to apply acupuncture to relieve its severity, without however neglecting to intervene also on its root in order to redress the imbalance that caused it in the first place.
Our programmes are divided into four main groups:
- 3 year + Bachelor level undergraduate training in Chinese Medicine/ Acupuncture
- Short-Postgraduate theoretical & practical training to go deeper into the subject matter
- Practice & Skill training, designed to provide additional hand-on maestry
- Long-Postgraduate 2 year + long course in another Chinese Medicine specialisation i.e. Chinese Medicine Pharmacology, Chinese Medicine Nutrition, Tuina body work etc.
For more detailed information click one of the courses below.
Find here our 3 year + professional formation in Acupuncture. AOM accepts students, who hold a diploma of secondary education or equivalent.
These are short courses meant to help the professional to gain a deeper understanding of the ancient, classical and contemporary schools of thought that have informed the practice of Acupuncture and learn their impact on clinical practice.
Practice & Skills
Find here seminars designed for people with or without previous training in Acupuncture, who want to explore thematic theoretical, practical or clinical aspects of Acupuncture.
Designed for professionals, these 2 year long courses offer further education in one of the main Chinese Medicine’s clinical ‘tools’.
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