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PCU Frequently Asked Questions

Have a question about natural health? Want to know the differences between Western medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine? Browse through out FAQs to find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), acupuncture, herbology and PCU College of Holistic Medicine.

1. What is Traditional Chinese Medicine?

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is an extensive medical system that includes the following major forms: acupuncture, moxibustion, Chinese herbal medicine, Chinese manipulative therapy (Tuina) Chinese diet therapy (Shi-Liao) Chinese energy control therapy (Qigong), and Chinese rehabilitation exercises (Taiji).

2. What are the differences between Traditional Chinese Medicine and Western Medicine?

With its origin in ancient Taoist philosophy, traditional Chinese medicine views a person as an energy system in which body and mind are unified. Western medicine, however, does not share this holistic view as it isolates and separates a disease from a person. Chinese medicine views the body as a small universe, while Western medicine views it as a planet in isolation.

Diagnosis of illness is also approached differently. In addition to finding information about the history of the illness, traditional Chinese medicine diagnosis looks at different parts of the body such to gain valuable information about internal organs and their energies. For example, the tongue is often carefully examined to give detailed patient diagnosis.

Upon diagnosis, a TCM doctor will prescribe a treatment to restore the balance of energy channels in the body. Treatments such as acupuncture, herbal medicine, food cures, massage and/or exercises will be used. The TCM doctor will treat the entire person, including both the physical and the mental aspect.

3. Why should I study Traditional Chinese Medicine at PCU College?

The TCM curriculum at PCU College is designed to help students become highly-skilled practitioners of holistic medicine and meet the standards of the College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists (CTCMA) in British Columbia and the National Certification Commission of Acupuncturists and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) in the United States.

The faculty members at PCU College are dedicated to providing an education of the highest quality in the fields of TCM and natural health care. Members of our faculty have been judiciously chosen based on their expertise and instructional abilities in their areas of specialization.

PCU College TCM programs are intensive, condensed versions of the programs taught at Traditional Chinese Medicine training universities in China. A four-year TCM Practitioner program in China can be completed in three years at PCU College, while the Doctor of TCM program can be completed in four years instead of five.

The PCU College TCM graduates maintain a consistently high licensing rate on the CTCMA licensing exams.

4. What is the learning experience like at PCU College?

All programs combine lecture and seminar based classroom learning with applied, practical experience. Each program has either a practicum placement or a series of supervised Clinical Placement that allow students to apply their knowledge and skills in a clinical environment. In addition, PCU College’s Holistic Healing Center is a fully-functioning clinic that specializes in natural health and healing treatments. The center also serves as an ideal place for PCU students to complete their Clinical Placement under the guidance and supervision of the clinic’s licensed practitioners.

5. Is PCU College accredited?

PCU is designated by the Private Training Institution Branch (PTIB) to ensure the highest quality of education is delivered to you! PCU College is also designated as an eligible institution under the Canada Student Loans Act and is a member of the British Columbia Student Assistance Program (BCSAP).

In addition, PCU College TCM program standards follow the regulations established by educational by-laws of the College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists (CTCMA) of BC. The programs prepare graduates for the qualifying and licensing examinations required to practice acupuncture and TCM.

6. Am I eligible for student assistance or any financial aid?

You may be eligible for financial assistance. PCU College of Holistic Medicine is designated as an eligible institution under the Canada Student Loans Act and is a member of the British Columbia Student Assistance Program (BCSAP). Students may also want to consider programs offered by financial institutions, such as the RBC Royal Credit Line for Students. For more information on the types of financial aid that may be available to you, contact a Financial Representative at PCU College.

7. What is the PCU College Holistic Healing Center?

Located on the PCU College campus, the Holistic Healing Center is a clinic that specializes in TCM, acupuncture and other natural health treatments. The clinic is open to the public five days a week and offers evening appointments upon request. The clinic is a modern, comfortable facility with a well-stocked herbal dispensary. Patients can be treated by the licensed practitioners at the center or PCU interns, who work under the guidance of their licensed supervisors. Visit the Holistic Healing Center page to learn about the service available to patients and the hours of operation.

8. Other questions?

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Click here for more information about the programs at PCU College of Holistic Medicine.


PCU College is dedicated to providing you with the highest standard of education. Our curriculum meets the educational standards outlined by the provincial government of British Columbia and the regulatory bodies.


PCU College is located near Metropolis at Metrotown Centre in Burnaby. The campus is easily accessible by public transit and is located on several major bus routes and a short walk from the Metrotown SkyTrain station.


For those looking for alternative and holistic health care treatments, PCU College offers economical and practical services at the on-campus clinic, PCU Holistic Healing Centre.