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Why Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine Students and Practitioners Avoid Ice


Ice may seem like a great way to cool down on a hot day, but Chinese herbal medicine practices suggest otherwise. This is because, in traditional Chinese medicine, it is believed that the spleen, a key organ involved in digestion, needs a moderate temperature to do its job.

The Spleen in Chinese Herbal Medicine

Located in the upper left region of the abdomen, the spleen acts as a filter for blood and helps the body fight infection. In Chinese herbal medicine, the spleen works in conjunction with the stomach to process and distribute nutrients from food and drink. It is also linked to thoughts and concentration, as well as the body’s muscles and limbs.

A well-functioning spleen supports smooth digestion with regular, healthy bowel movements, mental clarity, and energized muscles.

However, when the spleen encounters ice, its ability to work effectively and efficiently is diminished, meaning anything consumed afterward may not be fully or adequately digested. Not only can this result in symptoms that accompany indigestion, but other symptoms associated with an imbalanced spleen, such as fatigue, poor concentration, and tired muscles may arise, as well.

This is why acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine students and practitioners avoid ice. And it’s not just the spleen that benefits – a happy spleen supports a well-functioning body system overall. The next time you reach for a glass of water, try out skipping the ice cubes and make note of any health changes you experience as a result.  

Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine at SCU

The spleen is just one organ students learn about in Southern California University of Health Science (SCU)’s Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine master’s and doctorate programs.

In California, Chinese herbology is included within the scope of practice for acupuncturists. As a result, students at SCU learn from a comprehensive curriculum that includes both acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine.

SCU offers the first approved entry-level doctorate program in acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine in California. The program honors tradition while embracing the modern, preparing students to formulate and prescribe therapies such as acupuncture needling, cupping, moxibustion, herbal medicine, and many others to help individuals with a wide variety of conditions.

The curriculum covers the areas of anatomy and physiology, pathophysiology, clinical laboratory diagnosis, pharmacology, nutrition, emergency procedures, traditional Chinese classical medical theory and related techniques, acupuncture and meridians, Chinese herbology, business management, exercises such as tai chi and qi gong, integrative clinical education, and student-selected concentration areas. Upon graduation, graduates will have gained a unique education based on an innovative approach to patient care through the understanding of integrating classical Chinese medical theories with biomedicine.

Many SCU faculty members earned degrees in more than one discipline, offering a comprehensive perspective of health care. At the intersection of two worlds, SCU’s practitioner faculty help guide students’ first steps into the world of acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine, paving the way for a more gentle and gradual transition from student to professional. 

To learn more about the Doctor and Masters of Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine at SCU, visit scuhs.edu/.

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