Scottish College for Chinese Medicine

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The Scottish College for Chinese Medicine helps people learn about the huge benefits and the cultural background to Chinese medicine.

When you go for – say – acupuncture – to treat pain or improve health, you probably think it’s like taking a painkiller or a supplement.

It’s true that acupuncture is increasingly recognised for its painkilling benefits but that’s a bit like saying surgery represents the whole of Western medicine!

Acupuncture and other forms of therapy used in Chinese medicine are based, traditionally, in and on the cultural history and experience of China. If you ignore what that offers, you probably won’t get the full benefits of your treatment.

One example: just as we now recognise, in the ‘West’ the importance of proper nutrition for health, so too in the Chinese cultural tradition, food and its ‘energy’ make a significant contribution to your health.

Of course, many patients taking Western-style medication have appallingly bad diets … they will take longer to get and remain better than those who adopt better dietary regimes.

The same goes with Chinese medicine, but there is far more to it than just food, important though food is. Chinese medicine has equivalents for most forms of Western medicine therapy. But it has a huge philosophy behind it too, emphasising what is fundamentally a vitalistic concept of health and well-being.

And it’s got experience too, probably as much as 3000 years worth! (Not just in China, but all over East Asia and now the world, meaning many millions of patient-experiences.)


Life energy in a healhty dog - vitalism in action!

Vitalism is often derided by Western medicine, which is reductionist. However, vitalism offers hope because it recognises the importance of the spirit in health, whether by spirit you mean when you recognise someone in ‘high’ or ‘low’ spirits, or you mean something more religious or even metaphysical. This comes down to the idea of ‘qi’, the energy of life.

With, at heart, the philosophy of yin and yang, and the five elements, and much else, Chinese medicine offers many ways for people to recover a positive attitude to health and happiness.

The Scottish College for Chinese medicine aims to provide, initially, short courses for the general public, on how understanding health from the Chinese medical perspective can provide benefit for life.

Introductory Courses for the Public

The following shows forthcoming courses.

PLEASE NOTE!! At present we do NOT offer training leading to a licence to practise acupuncture or Chinese herbal medicine. If this is what you need, we list below some of the British schools you should contact.

Forthcoming Courses (lecturer Jonathan Clogstoun-Willmott):

  • 4 Saturday morning introducing Chinese medicine – 3 hours each at fortnightly intervals: click here for details or, to BOOK, click here … but … Sorry! Booking has closed for the current course!

The Next Course

Currently we plan the next course to start in September 2024 but if you are interested in a course starting in May 2024, please email If there is enough demand, we’ll put one on then too.


  • 2 Saturday mornings on yin-yang theory and how to understand and apply it in life: date details coming soon
  • 2 Saturday mornings on zangfu – the theory on the energetic organs (Heart, Liver, Spleen-Pancreas etc): date details coming soon
  • 1 Saturday morning on the Chinese Body clock: date details coming soon
  • 2 Saturday mornings on Chinese dietary nutrition: the ‘energy’ of food and how it affects your zangfu: date details coming soon

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