How to Memorize Acupuncture Points and TCM Herbs – Songs
Updated: Apr 22
Here at JJTCMC we make the authentic accessible to all audiences. In this blog series on study tips for TCM and Acupuncture, we will offer some study methods to consider on your journey throughout your Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) education. Note that these study tools and techniques can be applied to any subject be it TCM, Acupuncture, or other. Remember, equip yourself with the tools you need to succeed now and throughout your professional career; this means that the aim is not to simply remember something to pass a test; rather, it is to commit information to your long term memory. Now, here is the problem: what is the quickest or most effective ways to commit things to long term memory? At JJTCMC, we empower and encourage our students to work smart not hard; read on to learn how!
Today’s discussion is focused on Song, Poetry, and Rhyme.
Did you know that poems and songs in Mandarin are used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Universities throughout China to aide in the memorization of TCM and Acupuncture topics? In fact, given the roots of Traditional Chinese Medicine, for the most part, this medical knowledge was passed on from physician to physician via the oral tradition which often employed song to easily transfer knowledge and consolidate oral knowledge. If you speak Mandarin, then there are many options in the category. However, if you do not speak Mandarin, there are some providers like Joe Curcio who have authored their own songs in English to aide in the memorization of the properties and functions of TCM herbs and classical formulae.
If songs do the trick for you, it could be that you excel when studying in a way that is focused on auditory learning, or it could be that you benefit, like almost everyone does, from a song’s ability to take large amounts of information and concisely offer it to your memory in a string of words that are easy to remember due to their rhymes. If you are indeed an auditory learner, then you are encouraged to author your own rhymes, songs, or poems. Additionally, auditory learners may benefit from repeated audio input of notes. If you find yourself doing something where you can also concentrate on background music or noise, play some audio notes! Audio notes can be TCM podcasts, like The Strength of TCM, recordings of lectures, or, the best audio note to listen to is one where you record yourself saying your own notes.
As an aside, if you are not an auditory learner but song rhymes are what works for you, we encourage you to also leverage mnemonics as a tool to add to your memorization strategy tool kit. There are tons of free and paid mnemonic resources for all of the western medicine aspects of a diploma program in Acupuncture or TCM.
Be it audio notes or song, the goal is for you to be able to reproduce the song or audio note yourself; Listening to these audio inputs in the absence of a concentrated effort to be able to say or sing them yourself will likely result in time wasted.
Do we recommend it?
This approach to learning and memorization is highly dependent on your learning style. If you are responsive to auditory learning inputs, then this is highly recommended! If you aren’t, we recommend giving it a try as you may surprise yourself with the power of a song’s ability to take large amounts of information and concisely offer it to your memory in a string of words that are easy to remember due to their rhymes. Note, too, that auditory notes are an excellent complement to a primary routine that uses some other technique in this series. So for instance, if you use memory palaces as your primary memorization technique, then it would be an excellent idea to create voice notes of your memory palaces and to listen to them repeatedly when you aren’t saying them to yourself as a primary practice. To learn more about other effective memorization strategies like the memory palace, continue reading the blog entries for this series below.
CONTINUE READING THIS SERIES
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