TCM Acupuncture
The TCM Acupuncture curriculum is divided into didactic and lab sections, emphasizing both the theoretical and practical aspects of acupuncture. TCM Acupuncture courses provide you with a thorough knowledge of traditional and modern meridian theory, including point location, functions, indications and treatment planning. The curriculum includes comprehensive training in moxibustion, cupping, Guasha, and electrical stimulation. Clinical labs concentrate on accuracy, needling methods, technique and precautions.

Julie Zhu, L.Ac.

Department Chair
Course TitleCodeUnitsHours
[Required Courses]
Acupuncture I, II, & IIIFAP 100|200|300 9135
Acupuncture Techniques I & IIFAP 310 | 410 345
Meridian TheoryFAP 500230
Extra Points and MicrosystemsFAP 600345
TCM Tuina MassageFAP 610 345
Acupuncture Therapeutics I & IIFAP 800|FAP 900 575
CNT: Clean Needle TechniqueCNT0.57

Acupuncture I, II, & III

FAP 100|200|300
9 Units 135 Hours

This three-term course sequence presents basic meridian theory as well as the acupuncture points of the 12 primary meridians as well as the Du (Governing) and Ren (Conception) Meridians. Each course is also accompanied with a practicum portion where accurate point location and needling techniques are presented and practiced. Contraindications and precautions of specific points will also be emphasized throughout the course.

Each meridian and acupuncture point is covered in detail including functions, indications, location, distribution and clinical applications. This includes special point categories such as: the five shu-transporting points, five element points, luo-connecting points, yuan-source points, and xi-cleft points.
The first of three courses gives a general overview on the distribution and functions of the network of meridians and collaterals. Students learn about body landmarks, point locating methods, and basic needling methods. This first course covers meridian systems pertaining to the Conception and Governing Vessels, Lung and Large Intestine.
This second course in the series continues to study the meridian systems pertaining to the Stomach, Spleen, Heart, Small Intestine, and beginning the Urinary Bladder.
The third and final course in this series continue with the remaining primary channels; remaining Urinary Bladder, Kidney, Triple Burner (San Jiao), Pericardium, Gallbladder and Liver.
By the end of this course series, students will know the physical landmarks and gross unit proportions used in point location as well as how to position the patient for locating acupuncture points. They will be able to locate all 365 acupuncture points and know their functions and clinical indication and cautions or contraindications.

Acupuncture I: Completion or concurrent enrollment in FWM 100, Surface Anatomy and FWM 103, Anatomy and Physiology I | Acupuncture II: FAP 100, Acupuncture I | Acupuncture III: FAP 100, Acupuncture I

Acupuncture Techniques I & II

FAP 310 | 410
3 Units 45 Hours

This two course sequence covers the full range of acupuncture treatment from the basic preparation, clean field, sterilization and safety, through complex needling techniques.
This two course sequence covers the full range of acupuncture treatment from the basic preparation, clean field, sterilization and safety, through complex needling techniques.
The second course further develops the student's range of acupuncture treatment skills and helps students develop confidence as practitioners. Students learn how to administer treatment by practicing on each other in preparation for treating patients in the clinic. Specialized acupuncture modalities such as electro-acupuncture, through-and-through needling, seven-star needles, magnets, and dermal tacks are taught. Advanced needling techniques of reinforcing and reducing and other classical techniques are reviewed and practiced. The class includes learning cupping, moxibustion, and gua sha. Case management and how to manage potential risks in the practice of acupuncture will also be discussed.
After completing this course, students will be able to insert needles painlessly, bring qi to the points, use different types of needles to treat corresponding illnesses, be proficient in ancillary techniques such as cupping, moxibustion, electro-acupuncture and gua sha, and understand the mechanism of acupuncture treatment.

Acupuncture Techniques I: FAP 100, Acupunture I | Acupuncture Techniques II: FAP 100|200|300, Acupuncture I - III

Meridian Theory

FAP 500
2 Units 30 Hours

This class will review the external and internal pathways of the 12 primary and the eight extraordinary meridians. The course will also discuss the inter-relationships among the various meridians within the meridian system. Normal function and pathological signs and symptoms of each meridian will be reviewed. The class will cover the twelve primary meridians, twelve divergent meridians, fifteen Lou- connecting meridians, the twelve muscle meridians, and six cutaneous regions and eight extraordinary meridians.
In additionally this course will review the classical points’ categories and their Indications which is the key to understanding the clinical application of acupuncture points. The categories that will be covered are the Five Shu Transporting, Lower He-Sea, Yuan-Source, Luo-Connecting, Xi-Cleft, Influential, Confluents, Crossing, Front-Mu and Back-Shu Points

FAP 100|200|300, Acupuncture I - III

Extra Points and Microsystems

FAP 600
3 Units 45 Hours

This course presents the extra meridians and their associated acupuncture points. Ear and scalp acupuncture and over 40 extra points are covered in detail along with their clinical applications. The lab focuses on accurate point location and special ear and scalp needle techniques.

FAP 100|200|300, Acupuncture I - III; FAP 310, Acupuncture Techniques I

TCM Tuina Massage

FAP 610
3 Units 45 Hours

Massage and manipulation, or Tuina, comprise one of the traditional five branches of TCM. Although the TCM program emphasizes the clinical methods of acupuncture and herbology, this course introduces students to various traditional Chinese therapeutic massage systems, including Tuina. Emphasis is on using specific clinical evaluations to formulate therapeutic massage treatments, which may become a part of clinical practice.

FWM 103, Human Anatomy

Acupuncture Therapeutics I & II

FAP 800|FAP 900
5 Units 75 Hours

This course reviews treatment principles and methods according to channel theory, with a focus on acupuncture point selection for internal medicine conditions. The focus of this course is the in-depth study of the texts: Chinese Acupuncture and Moxibustion (CAM), and Acupuncture: A Comprehensive Text (Shanghai). The course complements the TCM Internal Medicine courses and provides students with a comprehensive view of how to apply different TCM theories for diagnosis, and how to select the most appropriate treatment methods including cupping, bleeding, gua sha, and dermal tacts. 

FAP 100|200|300, Acupuncture I - III;FAP 310|FAP 410, Acupuncture Techniques I & II; and FCM 800, Internal Medicine I or FCM 900, Internal Medicine II

CNT: Clean Needle Technique

0.5 Units 7 Hours

This course is a review of material previously introduced in the Beginning Clinical Theater and Meridians and Acupuncture I courses. Students will learn the appropriate procedures of sterilization and sanitation as they apply to the practice of acupuncture. Proper clean needle technique and disposal of needles are covered. Completion of this course is required for entry into Clinical Intern Rounds. Students are required to take a written and practical examination; passing both examinations satisfies the requirements of the Council of Colleges of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (CCAOM) and enables the student to receive their CNT certificate, which is required for the licensing examinations.  

FAP 100, Acupuncture I; FCL 100 Beginning Theatre


Tuina Massage II may be taken in the Department of TCM Acupuncture, while also completing the requirements for the Tuina Massage Specialty program. For detailed information about the Tuina massage specialty please refer to Specialty Options. Electives are offered based on faculty availability and student interest.
Course TitleCodeUnitsHours
[Elective Courses]
Kiiko TechniquesFEL 560230
Advanced Needling TechniquesFEL 621 0.57.5
TCM Tuina Massage IIFEL 710 230

Kiiko Techniques

FEL 560
2 Units 30 Hours

Kiiko style acupuncture utilizes a systematic, easy to learn, instantaneous feedback, palpatory method, revealing a comprehensive diagnosis and a patient-unique treatment plan. By looking deeply into structural and/or constitutional imbalances underlying a patient’s symptomatic complaints, a Kiiko practitioner is able to successfully solve difficult cases and treat the most complex medical issues. In this course, you will learn the basic skills needed for abdominal, neck and back diagnosis, and their application on constitutional pathologies, regardless of the patient’s major complaint. The root cause of a patient’s inability to heal will be discussed and treatment strategies demonstrated.  

FAP 100|200|300, Acupuncture I - III;FAP 310/FAP 410, Acupuncture Techniques I & II

Advanced Needling Techniques

FEL 621
0.5 Units 7.5 Hours

An eight-hour, one-day seminar on advanced forms of needling techniques, with a one-hour lecture/one-hour lab rotation. This course covers the butterfly, turtle, and Dr. Lu’s special techniques. 

FAP 100|200|300, Acupuncture I - III;FAP 310/FAP 410, Acupuncture Techniques I & II

TCM Tuina Massage II

FEL 710
2 Units 30 Hours

Tuina Massage II may be taken in the Department of TCM Acupuncture, while also completing the requirements for the Tuina Massage certificate program. For detailed information about the Tuina massage courses and certificate please refer to the Specialty Certificate Options section of the catalog.

FAP 610, TCM Tuina Massage I