Traditional Medicine

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Traditional Medicine is the study and practice of treatment methods which has a strong influence by cultural and religious elements. The skills and practices are usually based on the the theories, beliefs and experiences that are deemed as sacred and are usually indigenous related.

In a multi-cultural society like Malaysia, we have Chinese, Malay and Indian traditional medicine practices. This ranges from acupuncture, reflexology to Ayurveda and herbal therapies. Gaining in popularity is Chinese Traditional Medicine, a bachelor’s in Traditional Chinese Medicine is offered at few universities.


According to the Traditional and Complementary Medicines Division of the Ministry of Health Malaysia, traditional and complementary medicines can simply be defined as a form of health-related practice which has been thoroughly designed in order to prevent, treat, and/or manage illnesses and/or preserve the mental and physical well-being of individuals.A degree in traditional medicine or TCM in Malaysia takes a total of 5 years full-time study. Usually the medium of instructions would be provided in English or Chinese. Graduates will be able to demonstrate a strong fundamental knowledge in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and clinical techniques or therapies.

Graduate will also be able to apply knowledge of basic sciences, basic medical and clinical skills of western/ modern medicine in the practice of TCM. They will decide on the appropriate therapy or treatment for the patient’s clinical condition.

Subject Focus


  • Mathematics
  • Biology
  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • MUET

University Level

  • Various levels of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)
  • Chinese Materia Medica
  • Cell and Molecular Biology
  • Anatomy, Physiology & Pathology
  • Chinese Medical Prescriptions
  • Acupuncture Meridians and Collaterals
  • Internal Medicine
  • Different levels of Massages
  • Basic Genetics and Biochemistry
  • Research Process and Statistical Analysis
  • Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • Western Medicine
  • Different types of Diseases
  • Professional, Ethical & Legal Issues
Personality Type

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Myers-Briggs: ISTJ, ESTJ, INTP, ENTJ

These types all share the Thinking preference (T), or a preference for objective decision making as opposed to taking into account personal values in making decisions.

Find your Myers-Briggs personality type here.

Holland Vocational Code: SIR (Social, Investigative, Realistic)

Find where you belong in the RIASEC model here.

Career Info

Traditional Malay Medicine: The use of herbs, massage, cupping and postnatal care are some of the common practices among the locals in both rural and urban areas.

Traditional Chinese Medicine: Acupuncture & Moxibustion, herbs, Tuina and Qigong are some traditional practices which is highly recommended for locals.

Traditional Indian Medicine: Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani, Yoga and Naturopathy are treatment practices popular among the locals and foreigners.


Entry Level: RM 2,000 to RM 3,500Professional: RM 4,000 to RM 7,000

Job Demand

In Malaysia: According to statistics from the Ministry of Health, there are about 7,282 traditional and Chinese medicine practitioners in Malaysia. There are no figures for foreign practitioners in the country but statistics show that the leading complementary treatments these practitioners use include Thai massage, reflexology and acupuncture.Moreover, the country has about 26 training centers in the country. The government is committed to see traditional and complementary medicine integrated into the health system. It has proposed the Traditional and Complementary Medicine (TCM) Act that will force undocumented or unqualified practitioners out of business.

Overseas: There is an increasing number of acceptance towards the Traditional and Complimentary Medicate (TMC). There are demands in both the developed and developing countries that could utilize the expertise of a traditional medicine practitioner.

Medical expenses in some countries are quite expensive, which creates opportunities for alternative medicine graduates to explore and make their mark in the medicine world.

Useful Links

Traditional and Complimentary Medicine

World Health Organistaion

Alternative Medicine


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