3 Ways to Boost your Memory for TCM Studies

3 Ways to Boost your Memory for TCM Studies

Studying TCM is definitely not an easy task, let alone the fact that Eastern medicine concepts can be very challenging for Western-minded individuals to grasp initially.

(If you want to understand the differences between the thought processes of the East and West, please watch this video "Eastern & Western Design: How Culture Rewires The Brain")

Thankfully there are strategies that you can utilize to help boost your memory and help you study!

1) Make it Simple: Use "Visual Anchors" for enhancing memory
Our brains naturally gravitate towards symbols—they act as powerful visual anchors that enhance memory retention.

Research from the University of Waterloo confirms that symbols are more easily remembered than words with the same meaning. Symbols offer concrete visuals for abstract concepts, making them inherently more memorable. Their distinctiveness and singularity over words ensure that key concepts stay ingrained in your memory long after study sessions end.

“Symbols might be more easily remembered because they give concrete visuals to abstract ideas,” - Brady Roberts, lead author and PhD candidate in Cognitive Neuroscience

Reference: Neuroscience News

Instead of constantly reading words, using symbols can help you easily understand the concepts, facilitating quicker comprehension and retention.

2) Make it Easy: Microlearning to combat the "Forgetting Curve"

Combat the Forgetting Curve with Microlearning. Microlearning breaks down complex information into bite-sized chunks, allowing learners to revisit and reinforce their understanding over time. With the microlearning approach, you can increase your memory retention and prevent the loss of progress from your hard earned studying.

In 1885, Hermann Ebbinghaus conducted groundbreaking research on memory, revealing that it diminishes over time without spaced repetition. His findings were represented by the forgetting curve, a graphical depiction of memory decay. 

Forgetting Curve Chart

A more recent study yielded compelling insights:

  • Within 1 hour, the average person forgets 50% of new information.
  • Within 24 hours, the average person forgets 70% of new information.
  • Within 1 week, the average person forgets 90% of new information.

These findings underscore the importance of effective memory retention strategies, such as spaced repetition, in optimizing learning outcomes and knowledge retention over time.

Therefore rather than simply re-reading materials, break down the information into bite-sized chunks that can help you optimize your memory retention to combat the Forgetting Curve. Microlearning serves as an excellent tool for reviewing previously learned material.

Examples of microlearning content include:

  • Text (phrases, short paragraphs)
  • Images (photos, illustrations)
  • Videos (short clips)
  • Audio (brief snippets of speech)
  • Games (simple challenges)

Research on microlearning demonstrates that repeated study and revisiting microlearning content significantly enhances memory retention. Microlearning content, being small, self-contained, and easily revisited, facilitate this repetition and retention process effectively.

By leveraging microlearning techniques, TCM learners can navigate the challenges posed by the forgetting curve while enhancing their retention and application of knowledge in practice.

3) Make it Fun: Harnessing the Heart's memory for Long-Term memory

TCM teaches us that the Heart holds long-term memory. The Heart is associated with joy, fun, and love, which means that when you have fun and love what you are learning, it ensures that your Heart will retain that information as long-term memory.

Utilizing the three study methods will dramatically increase your chances of retaining the knowledge of TCM. Remember to make it simple, easy, and fun to keep that hard earned information!

Why use Boncho Friends?
Our study cards are created to bring back fun, and cute character design to help you love what you are studying. It's organized with bite sized information to help you use microlearning as a tool to retain information. It's jam packed with visual anchors and symbols to make learning more time efficient. It's compact and easy to access so you revisit it anytime so that you can combat the Forgetting Curve. If you would like to explore our simple, easy, and fun study cards, check out the links below!

[TCM Study Cards]

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