TCM Theory & Clinical Medicine

The Traditional Chinese Medicine Theory curriculum provides you with a thorough knowledge of the language and theories of TCM’s unique, yet universal, approach to understanding health and the treatment of disease. Drawing from both classical and modern texts, the curriculum creates a solid framework for the application of clinical methods, including acupuncture and herbology.

The courses in TCM Theory, Acupuncture and Herbology teach you the basic principles of Chinese medicine pattern differentiation and treatment, including the study of common functions and indications of herbs, formulas and acupuncture points. However, this knowledge alone is not enough to fully diagnose and treat disease. The Traditional Chinese Medicine Clinical Medicine curriculum expands on this knowledge, providing you with advanced skills in diagnosing and treating disease in the specialized fields of TCM internal medicine, external medicine, gynecology, pediatrics, traumatology, and orthopedics. Training includes detailed instruction of herbal and acupuncture treatment plans for both common and complex diseases. These courses lay the foundation for your clinical practice.

Jeffrey Pang, L.Ac. & Joanna Zhao, L.Ac.,

Department Chair
Course TitleCodeUnitsHours
[Required Courses]
TCM Traumatology and OrthopedicsFCM 600345
TCM Internal Medicine I & IIFCM 800|900 690
TCM GynecologyFCM 810345
TCM External MedicineFCM 910230
TCM PediatricsFCM 920345
TCM Foundations I & IIFCT 100|200690
TCM History & PhilosophyFCT 110230
Chinese Language for TCMFCT 120115
TCM Diagnosis I & IIFCT 210|310690
TCM Case Studies I & IIFCT 400|X20460
Classics: Nei JingFCT 500230
Classics: Shang Han LunFCT 700230
Classics: Jin GuiFCT X10230

TCM Traumatology and Orthopedics

FCM 600
3 Units 45 Hours

This course covers the etiology, diagnosis and treatment of common diseases of the musculoskeletal system in accordance with both TCM and Western medicine. Emphasis is placed on the differentiation of bone and soft tissue injuries related to common sports and industrial injuries. You will learn to treat patients with acupuncture and herbs, perform essential orthopedic tests to evaluate the outcome of treatments, recognize red flags in orthopedics, and make appropriate referrals. You will learn how to competently instruct patients in the proper rehabilitation and the prevention of sports and industrial injuries.

Prerequisite:
FAP 100/200/300, Acupuncture I, II, & III

TCM Internal Medicine I & II

FCM 800|900
6 Units 90 Hours

This two-trimester course sequence reviews the history of TCM internal medicine, the mechanisms of disease, the principles of making a diagnosis, and the common treatment methods associated with making a diagnosis. Etiology, pathogenesis, and signs and symptoms of common disease patterns of internal medicine will be reviewed. Students will learn to diagnose common internal medicine diseases from TCM and Western medicine perspectives, identify their patterns, and devise appropriate treatment plans using acupuncture and herbal formulations with appropriate modifications.  

Prerequisite:
FHB 200/300/400, TCM Herbology I, II & III; FAP 100/200/300, Acupuncture I, II & III; FCT 400, Case Studies I

TCM Gynecology

FCM 810
3 Units 45 Hours

This course presents both Western and TCM knowledge of gynecology. Differential diagnosis of the most common gynecological concerns and disharmonies are covered in detail, including common menstrual disharmonies, such as irregularity, leukorrhea, PID, PMS, infertility, pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum. Emphasis is placed on the common complaints of women and the TCM herbal and acupuncture treatments for these disharmonies. Contraindications during pregnancy are also covered. The course includes training in the use of Western diagnostic reports in relation to hormonal cycles. 

Prerequisite:
Completion of two of the following: FHB 500/600/700, TCM Formulas I, II & III

TCM External Medicine

FCM 910
2 Units 30 Hours


This course teaches students the treatment of common diseases in external medicine according to both TCM and Western disease categorizations. In studying each disease, students learn its etiology and pathogenesis, syndrome differentiation (patterns), treatment principles and corresponding treatment therapies, using both herbs and acupuncture.

Prerequisite:
Completion of two of the following: FHB 500/600/700, TCM Formulas I, II & III

TCM Pediatrics

FCM 920
3 Units 45 Hours

This course emphasizes common complaints of children, and the TCM theories, herbal, acupuncture and pediatric Tuina treatments that apply to the special circumstances of children. Child development, specific patent formulas for children, herbs for breastfeeding moms to pass onto the baby, respiratory ailments, enuresis, special children’s disharmonies such as ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), and TCM health recommendations for children, will be reviewed in the course.

 

 

Prerequisite:
Completion of two of the following: FHB 500/600/700, TCM Formulas I, II & III

TCM Foundations I & II

FCT 100|200
6 Units 90 Hours

This two-course series is foundation to all other TCM coursework.

The first course introduces students to the classical principles of the fundamental theories of Chinese Medicine such as the Yin and Yang, the Dao, and the Five Elements, which were universal laws in ancient China.  TCM theory applies these broad principles to the realm of human physiology and pathology in a complex and powerful system for understanding the intricate balance of health. The major TCM theories are systematically covered, including Qi, Blood, Shen, Essence, Body Fluids, and Zang-Fu organs and their dynamic internal relationship.

The second course builds on the first one and covers various theories of Chinese medicine including the Six Pernicious Influences, Four Levels, Six Stages and Eight Parameters. Etiology, pathogenesis, as well as TCM treatment principles of disease and disease prevention are covered in detail. 

After completing these courses, students will be familiar with the basic language and terminology of traditional Chinese Medicine as well as the theories and concepts that are the foundation of Chinese medicine’s view on health and illness.

Prerequisite:
None

TCM History & Philosophy

FCT 110
2 Units 30 Hours

This course is designed to introduce a brief historical overview of the origin, development and changes in regards to Chinese medicine theories and practices. Students will gain an understanding, without being medically or clinically specific, of the larger and broader spectrum of TCM from antiquity to present.
Upon completion of this course, students will understand the origin and historical development of Chinese medicine from antiquity to present day.

Prerequisite:
None

Chinese Language for TCM

FCT 120
1 Units 15 Hours

This course serves as a general introduction to the spoken and written modern Chinese language (Putonghua or Mandarin). Emphasis will be placed on writing Chinese with the English alphabet (Pinyin system), pronunciation (tonal system) and terminology used to describe Chinese medical concepts. Some basic syntactical structures and characters are introduced.
After completing this course, students will be able to pronounce and spell simple characters of TCM in Chinese Pinyin, learn some medical words and use them in simple sentence forms.

 

Prerequisite:
None

TCM Diagnosis I & II

FCT 210|310
6 Units 90 Hours

This is a two course series covering the four diagnostic methods in Chinese medicine as well as in-depth learning of pattern disharmony.
The first of two courses begins with thorough instruction in the four diagnostic methods: inspection, inquiring, auscultation/olfaction and palpation. The four diagnostic methods are the backbone of TCM diagnosis and are used to collect and organize the patient’s signs and symptoms. Emphasis is placed on tongue and pulse evaluation.
The second course continues with in-depth instruction on methods of Pattern Identification, one of the most important characteristics of TCM. The course goes over the full differential diagnosis of syndromes from the various theoretical frameworks. These include: Zang Fu, Eight Principles, Six Stages, Four Levels, and the Three Burners. Case studies and role play are used to assist students in acquiring skill, accuracy and confidence in taking a patient history and performing a physical exam using TCM assessment methods.
Upon completion of these courses, students will know how to use the four diagnostic methods to gather patient data and perform a complete patient history intake and exam. Additionally they will be able to recognize and identify basic TCM patterns of disharmony by analyzing the information acquired from the four diagnostic methods. 

Prerequisite:
Diagnosis I: Completion of FCT 100, Foundations I; concurrent enrollment in FCT 200, Foundations II | Diagnosis II: Completion of FCT 100/200, Foundations I & II; FCT 210, Diagnosis I

TCM Case Studies I & II

FCT 400|X20
4 Units 60 Hours

This two course series is designed to first transition students from pure acquisition of academic knowledge into implementation into clinical practice. Then students learn to further sharpen their differential diagnostic skills in analyzing cases. The students are expected to access traditional and contemporary literature in acupuncture and Oriental medicine, as well as biomedical research, including research in epidemiology. In each course, students will be required to write high quality case studies, and give a presentation to their classmates regarding findings and recommendations.
TCM Case Studies I is designed to assist with the transition from academic knowledge to its application in clinical practice. The course reinforces the basics of case analysis by teaching students how to systematically analyze case reports using fundamental TCM Theory and Diagnosis. Students learn how to analyze a chief complaint by looking at accompanying signs and symptoms and results from the four examinations. Students gain increased skill in differentiating among similar patterns of disease. The focus of the class is on developing diagnostic ability, from which treatment plans are established. The case reports are selected from the clinic or established TCM texts for presentation and class discussion. Students will also learn to properly format written and oral case presentations.
TCM Case Studies II is a continuation of TCM Case Studies I. In this class, students gain advanced skill in TCM pattern discrimination using TCM theory, TCM diagnosis and detailed treatment planning, including acupuncture and herbal treatment prescriptions. Western diagnostic tests will also be included in case analysis. The emphasis of the class is on critical thinking and diagnostic ability of complex cases, ensuring that students reach a correct diagnosis and the supporting logic that supports the diagnosis. This includes the ability to distinguish among similar TCM patterns of disharmony. This is a comprehensive class, which utilizes the knowledge and skills attained throughout the 4-year curriculum. The course prepares students for advanced clinical practice. Like Case Studies I, the class utilizes case studies from the clinic and from standard TCM textbooks. Students will be required to present a case to the class for discussion and evaluation.
Upon completion of these courses students will have advanced skills in case analysis and be able to reach and justify an accurate diagnosis of a patient based upon accepted TCM theories and Western diagnostic tests. Additionally, they will demonstrate accuracy in developing treatment plans and proficiency in presenting written and oral case reports.

Prerequisite:
Case Studies I: FCT 100/200, TCM Foundations I & II; FCT 210/FCT 310, TCM Diagnosis I & II | Case Studies II: FCT 800/900, Internal Medicine I & II; FAP 800/900, Acupuncture Therapeutics I & II; FHB 500/600/700, Formulas I, II, & III; FWM 800/900, Western Case Management I & II

Classics: Nei Jing

FCT 500
2 Units 30 Hours

This is the first course in a series of three that reviews important classical literature on Chinese medicine. In this course, the essential concepts of the Nei Jing (The Canon of Internal Medicine) will be presented from translations of the original articles. Nei Jing is attributed to the legendary Huang Di (Yellow Emperor) and serves as the source for TCM diagnosis and acupuncture theory, covering Yin/Yang, Five Elements, Zang organs and their manifestations, and channels and their networks. The theories of pathogens and pathomechanisms, clinical diseases and symptoms, diagnostic methods, therapeutic principles and methods, and the theory of health preservation will be reviewed. The teacher and student work together to understand the true meaning of this ancient Chinese medical text. 

Prerequisite:
FCT 100/200, TCM Foundations I & II; FCT 210/FCT 310, TCM Diagnosis I & II

Classics: Shang Han Lun

FCT 700
2 Units 30 Hours

This is the second course in a series of three courses that reviews important classical literature on Chinese medicine. The medical classic Shang Han Lun, was a text compiled in the late Han dynasty approximately 2000 years ago, which discussed conditions induced by cold. Shang Han Lun utilizes the six-channel pattern identification of diseases and relies almost exclusively on herbal formulas for treatments.

Prerequisite:
Completion of one of the following: FHB 500/600/700, TCM Formulas I, II & III

Classics: Jin Gui

FCT X10
2 Units 30 Hours

This is the third course in the series which reviews important classical literature on Chinese medicine. Jin Gui Yao Lue (The Essential Prescriptions of the Golden Chamber) was written by Zhang Zhong Jing approximately 1700 years ago. Students will learn the main theoretical concepts and herbal prescriptions of the major diseases in the book as they apply to clinical use.

Prerequisite:
Completion of one of the following: FHB 500/600/700, TCM Formulas I, II & III
   

Electives

Five Element electives may be taken in the Department of TCM Theory while also completing the requirements for the Five Element certificate program. For detailed information about the Five Element certificate please refer to Specialty Certificate Options. Electives are offered based on faculty availability and student interest.
Course TitleCodeUnitsHours
[Elective Courses]
Five Element Theory IFEL 415230
Five Element Theory IIFEL 420230
Five Element Spirit of the Points I-IVFEL 436-4391 each15 each
Five Element Deepening Into the OfficialsFEL 440230
Five Element Point LocationFEL 445115
Advanced Nei JingFEL 602230

Five Element Theory I

FEL 415
2 Units 30 Hours

This course is an introduction to the fundamentals of the Five Elements. You will explore a map of energy, particularly well suited for treating emotional and spiritual levels, and will begin to develop the skill to read energetic imbalances through color, sound, odor, and emotion. The concepts in this course expand the range of conditions successfully treated by TCM practitioners.

Prerequisite:
None

Five Element Theory II

FEL 420
2 Units 30 Hours

This course builds on the materials presented in Five Element Theory I, providing an opportunity to delve deeper into the elements and their Officials. You will gain a profound understanding of Five Element energetics and how to utilize this knowledge in the treatment room. Case studies will be presented throughout the course to enrich your understanding of this system of acupuncture.

Prerequisite:
None

Five Element Spirit of the Points I-IV

FEL 436-439
1 each Units 15 each Hours

Acupuncture points each have a name, a history, and a particular meaning and energy. This course examines the name of the point, its location and its relationship to the elements and to the corresponding Official. This course is divided into three sections and includes discussion, meditation, art and poetry. Section I, MEL 431: Addresses the points of Wood and Fire Meridians Section II, MEL 432: Addresses the points of Earth, Metal and Water Meridians Section III, MEL 433: Addresses the points of the Window of Sky, Governor and Conception Vessels.

Prerequisite:
None

Five Element Deepening Into the Officials

FEL 440
2 Units 30 Hours

This course presents the energetics of each of the Officials from the Five Element perspective. You will learn the many ways the Officials present themselves when out of balance, and how these imbalances are expressed in patients’ physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual lives. The methodology of choosing points to address the Official most in need of support will be discussed. You will learn how an imbalance of the Officials within yourself, and as a practitioner, affects your understanding and treatment of patients.

Prerequisite:
None

Five Element Point Location

FEL 445
1 Units 15 Hours

This course deepens your understanding of the Five Element treatment strategies learned in Theory I and II. You will learn to improve Five Element point location accuracy, and further develop your knowledge of Five Element point functions and indications.

Prerequisite:
None

Advanced Nei Jing

FEL 602
2 Units 30 Hours

This course covers the original text and commentary for Huang Di Nei Jing, providing clarification of the theories of Yin and Yang, the Five Elements, and their application to diagnosis. Acupuncture treatment protocols according to Huang Di Nei Jing theory will be discussed, as well as the exploration of the Five Yun and Six Qi.

Prerequisite:
FCT 500, Classics: Nei Jing