Missions & Commitments
Learn about Chi's mission, vision, goals, and commitments
Respect the breadth and depth of medicine
At Chi, we recognize that acupuncture is only a part of the larger Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM) picture and we strive to capture the breadth of TCVM modalities with our educational courses. In addition to our Certified Veterinary Acupuncture courses, we also offer a comprehensive Veterinary Herbal Medicine course, a Veterinary Tui-na course and a Veterinary Food Therapy course. Together, these courses cover the four major branches of TCVM.
Moreover, the field of TCVM is not only wide but also deep. Our Advanced TCVM Diagnostics and Acupuncture course is designed to delve deeply into acupuncture techniques and pattern diagnosis, expanding upon what is taught in the Veterinary Acupuncture course. Also, we offer a rigorous Master’s Program which includes not only a comprehensive TCVM curriculum, but also the opportunity to contribute directly to the TCVM field through the completion of a Veterinary Acupuncture or Herbal Medicine research thesis.
Balance theory with practice
While we believe a solid theoretical foundation is a crucial component of a sound TCVM education, we do not want theoretical material to overshadow practical considerations. As in every aspect of Chinese Medicine, balance is key, and we constantly strive to present our course material with the right balance of theory and practice. Thus, in all Chi courses, clinical applications are heavily emphasized alongside theoretical principles. Lectures include case studies, which give students a better idea of how the course material translates into clinical treatments in the real world.
Furthermore, small group wet-labs with intensive hands-on experience with live animals are a feature of every course. In our acupuncture courses , for instance, students learn acupuncture points and practice needling techniques on either horses or dogs, or both, depending on their practice type. Similarly, in our Tui-na courses, students practice Tui-na techniques on live animals in this setup. We believe that it is by presenting this proper balance of theory and practice that our students can be well-versed and competent TCVM practitioners.
Advance scientific research
There are still advances and discoveries to be made in TCVM – both in the modes of treatment used and the application of these treatments to previously untreated species. For example, Chi graduate and instructor Dr. Connie Clemons-Davis has discovered acupuncture points in bottlenose dolphins, and Dr. Dennis Wilcox completed his Master's degree thesis by demonstrating the efficacy of herbal therapy for feline hyperthyroidism. This type of work is crucial to the future of TCVM. Chi is dedicated to advancing this kind of scientific research in TCVM.
In addition to our affiliation with three colleges of Veterinary Medicine in China, ChVMA, AATCVM and AJTCVM, we also support TCVM research through other means. To date, we have contributed over $1 million to over 20 Veterinary Medical Schools and 6 non-profit organizations worldwide for research, education and medical care. Finally, as an effort to promote the presence of TCVM in American veterinary schools, Chi offers $40,000 worth of scholarships per year to current vet school faculty members and students. Over 80 vet school students and over 20 vet school faculty members have benefited from these scholarships since the course's inception in 2002.
At Chi, we consider TCVM to be a form of complementary medicine that should accompany rather than replace conventional or “Western” Veterinary Medicine. This belief in integrating Eastern and Western medicine is apparent in our education courses. A veterinary license or anticipated veterinary degree is a requirement for all Chi students. Students will find that this requirement is no formality, as Western diagnoses are referenced throughout courses either as a basis or as a source of comparison for TCVM diagnoses.
We do not ask our students to abandon their knowledge of conventional, Western practice when they attend Chi classes. Instead, we encourage them to retain this information so that it can be integrated with and strengthened by knowledge of Chinese medicine. We believe that it is by utilizing both frameworks - acknowledging the body’s endocrine, cardiovascular and nervous systems, as well as the body’s set of Meridian/Channel lines, its forces of Qi, Blood, Jing, Shen and Jin-ye - that one arrives at a more complete picture of the whole organism. Ultimately, we hope for our graduates to approach problems from both an Eastern and a Western perspective, practicing with a comprehensive understanding of health and disease and a wide array of treatment options for their patients.
Foster a global community
Though TCVM has its origins in China, it has established a global presence in the past few decades that continues to grow today. As a result, the benefits of TCVM to animals and their human caregivers are broader-reaching than ever before. At Chi, we hope to make TCVM accessible to veterinarians around the world, so that they can bring acupuncture, Herbal Medicine, and similar services to their local communities.
Currently, in addition to our headquarters in the US, Chi also has courses based in Australia, Europe, China and Taiwan. Together, these courses offer TCVM courses in English, Chinese and Spanish. Furthermore, Chi also hosts an annual TCVM conference, which brings together TCVM practitioners and researchers from around the world. Through these international courses and an alumni network that spans six continents, we strive to bring TCVM to all countries around the world.