Category: University News

Newsletter: Santa Cruz Campus Lunch & Learn

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Food for Thought

Last month, the Five Branches Santa Cruz Student Council organized several free lectures coupled with social gathering events for the students.

The Lunch & Learn with Mary Lyell, one of Five Branches’s beloved faculty members and clinical supervisor, as she spoke on the topic of the Five Elements and the Spirit of the Points. Over 18 students joined this lunchtime informal talk and were very excited to hear Mary as she described how to use the basic diagnostic tools of observation, listening, smelling, and palpation from the standpoint of the Five Element Acupuncture. Mary passed along a copy of the basic 4 Needles Technique, which is a simple TCM treatment protocol based on the 5 Elements Generating (Sheng) and Control (Ko) cycles.

“… it was a great way for us to engage with the material that we’re actually learning in other classes and integrate the knowledge. It’s also so good to have lunch together [talking] about TCM, and feeling connected to one another.” said Taylar Wilhelmsen, a 5th semester student.

Gabby Greiner, a 6th term added “…It was really nice to get a summary of such a broad topic that I have been really confused [about]… it was a really good use of my one hour lunch time!…”

Congratulations to our Graduates of 2022!

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Five Branches Graduates Celebrate Their Milestone

Last Sunday on August 21st, our DAOM, DTCM, MTCM, and Bridge program graduates celebrated the milestone of completing their education through years of hard work. Within the endless lines of graduates lie limitless aspirations and potential. Congratulations to this new generation of healers!


Community Outreach with the Hemophilia Foundation: Newsletter, May 2022

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Earlier last month a group of Five Branches University students and faculty went to the beautiful campus of St Claries’ Retreat Center in Soquel, CA. St. Claire Resort was hosting the members and families of the Female Factor Retreat which is part of the Hemophilia Foundation of Northern California.

Five Branches students lead by FBU faculty, Dr. Mariposa Bernstein, were there to offer acupuncture, ear seeds and tuina-massage treatments to the participants.

Senior Student, Ursula Ehrhart, said “The participants expressed their gratitude exclaiming that our mobile unit was the highlight of their weekend.” “This event was the first introduction of Chinese medicine and acupuncture to most attendees,” said Lisa Fortes-Schramm, ND. one of the soon to graduate FBU students.

At the same time, FBU students are not exposed to treating patients suffering from bleeding disorders such as hemophilia at the University teaching clinic. However, the thin acupuncture needles were proven to be highly effective in pain reduction with minimal side effects even when applied to hemophilic patients.

Anya May King-Gunning, a graduating student, commented that “treating patients in such a communal manner was a bonding experience for me and my fellow classmates, as we were primarily confined to online learning due to the pandemic.”

A Celebratory Gathering

As the Spring of 2022 term ends, students had a spontaneous celebratory gathering with family and friends at Twin Lake Beach, just across from the Santa Cruz campus. Some of the graduating students had fun practicing graduation while wearing their gowns.

Why Acupuncture Is Going Mainstream in Medicine

“According to a 2021 World Health Organization report, acupuncture is the most widely used traditional medicine practice globally, and it’s gaining traction in the U.S. In 2020, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services began covering acupuncture for the first time for chronic low back pain.”


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