TCM Acupuncture

Julie Zhu, L.Ac.

Department Chair
Course TitleCodeUnitsHours
[Required Courses]
Introduction to Channel TheoryMAC 110116
Meridians and Acupuncture Points I & II/LabMAC 220/230, MAC 320/330696
TCM Tuina Massage IMAC 350348
Acupuncture TechniquesMAC 420232
Extra Points and Microsystems/LabMAC 510/520348
Acupuncture Therapeutics I & IIMAC 601, MAC 701580
CNT: Clean Needle TechniqueCNT0.58

Introduction to Channel Theory

MAC 110
1 Units 16 Hours

Chinese medicine theory includes two major systems: Zang-Fu theory and channel theory. The focus is on the 12 regular channels taught in 3-paired circulation cycles (Taiyang and Yangming, Shaoyang and Taiyin, and Shaoyin and Jueyin), plus the Du and Ren channels. Each channel will be covered from the aspect of primary passage, luo connecting channel, divergent channel, and muscular channel. Pathology will be emphasized so students learn to recognize the pathological patterns of individual channels, choosing the appropriate channel to treat the pathology.


Meridians and Acupuncture Points I & II/Lab

MAC 220/230, MAC 320/330
6 Units 96 Hours

This two-semester course sequence presents the acupuncture points of the twelve main meridians, plus the Du and Ren channels. Each meridian and acupuncture point is covered in detail, including functions, indications, location, distribution and clinical applications. The lab focuses on accurate point location and needling techniques. Contraindications and precautions of specific points are emphasized throughout the course.

Concurrent enrollment in MAC 110, Introduction to Channel Theory

TCM Tuina Massage I

MAC 350
3 Units 48 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 you to Tuina and other traditional Chinese therapeutic massage systems. Emphasis is on using specific clinical evaluations to formulate therapeutic massage treatments, which can become a part of your clinical practice.

MWM 103, Human Anatomy

Acupuncture Techniques

MAC 420
2 Units 32 Hours

This course covers the full range of an acupuncture treatment from basic preparation, clean field, sterilization and safety, to complex needling techniques. The different types of needle and clinical applications are discussed in the classroom and practiced in the lab, including electrical stimulation, cupping, moxibustion, and gua sha. Students will learn 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, electrical acupuncture and gua sha, and understand the mechanism of acupuncture treatment.

Concurrent enrollment in one of the following:MAC 220/MAC 230, Meridians and Acupuncture Points I/Lab; MAC 320/MAC 330, Meridians and Acupuncture Points II/Lab

Extra Points and Microsystems/Lab

MAC 510/520
3 Units 48 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.

MAC 220/MAC 230, Meridians and Acupuncture Points I/Lab; MAC 320/MAC 330, Meridians and Acupuncture Points II/Lab

Acupuncture Therapeutics I & II

MAC 601, MAC 701
5 Units 80 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 for the same conditions.

MAC 220/MAC 230, Meridians and Acupuncture Points I/Lab; MAC 320/MAC 330, Meridians and Acupuncture Points II/Lab; MCM 510, Internal Medicine I or MCM 730, Internal Medicine II

CNT: Clean Needle Technique

0.5 Units 8 Hours

This course is a review of material previously introduced in the Beginning Theater Clinical Orientation 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.

MAC 220/MAC 230, Meridians and Acupuncture Points I/Lab; MAC 320/MAC 330, Meridians and Acupuncture Points II/Lab


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 certificate please refer to Specialty Certificate Options. Electives are offered based on faculty availability and student interest.

Course TitleCodeUnitsHours
[Elective Courses]
TCM Tuina Massage IIMEL 400232
Advanced Channel TheoryMEL 416116
Kiiko TechniquesMEL 560348
Advanced Needling TechniquesMEL 6210.58

TCM Tuina Massage II

MEL 400
2 Units 32 Hours

This course expands on the foundation of TCM Tuina Massage I, focusing on clinical assessment and treatment protocols for a variety of common musculoskeletal and internal medicine disorders. You will learn how to use Tuina as an independent treatment modality, offering TCM massage to those whom acupuncture is either undesirable or inappropriate.

MAC 350, TCM Tuina Massage I

Advanced Channel Theory

MEL 416
1 Units 16 Hours

This course is designed to help you learn to detect the flow of channel Qi and integrate this information with tongue, pulse and symptom-based diagnostics. You will gain a deeper understanding of the actual flow-paths of primary channels, including the divergent channels, and will learn the channel flow theory that determines the needling methods for channel blockages brought about by scar tissue.

MAC 110, Introduction to Channel Theory

Kiiko Techniques

MEL 560
3 Units 48 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.

MAC 420, Acupuncture Techniques

Advanced Needling Techniques

MEL 621
0.5 Units 8 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.

MAC 510/520, Extra Points & Microsystems/Lab