Category: University News

Newsletter & Happy New Year, January 2021

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New Year’s Resolution: Stress Less

This year as we celebrate switching over to 2021 with just our own company or with our small ‘pod’ of folks, let us try to bring in extra warmth and acceptance after a very difficult time. If you generally feel extra stress during darker and chillier months, consider adding these to your self-care regimen:

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Telemedicine Services

For Appointment setting, please

San Jose (408) 260-8868
Santa Cruz (831) 476-8211

9:30 AM to 5:00 PM Monday through Friday
Or, We will Call You Upon Your Request:

We now offer Phone and Video Appointments.



  • Five Branches is expanding Telephone Appointments and Video Appointments
  • You can now LiveChat or phone call with our service staffs and practitioners
  • Please call our Call Center from 9:30 AM to 5:00 PM Monday through Friday. Phone numbers: Santa Cruz (831) 476-8211 or San Jose (408) 260-8868


    • If you are having a medical or psychiatric emergency, please dial 911 or go to the nearest hospital immediately.
    • Existing appointments may be rescheduled to telephone or video appointments
    • Both the private clinic and the teaching clinic are available with Telemedicine services.

The Charm of Our Santa Cruz Campus

Five Branches University has two campuses that lie about forty miles apart. The Santa Cruz Campus is located just a block from the ocean. It’s just a short walk to Twin Lakes State Beach. The San Jose Campus is in north San Jose, the largest city of the innovative Silicon Valley.

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We allow students to take classes at both campuses. This gives you a lot of flexibility as far as timing. If you need to work, and the class that you need is taught at the other campus at a better time that is more convenient for you, you can do it. It’s just that you need to declare a home campus and then you have to take the majority of your classes in that home campus. But if occasionally you need to take the class at the other campus, then you can definitely do that.”

Beyond the faculty, each location has its own unique charm. Despite being less than an hour’s drive apart, San Jose and Santa Cruz are two vastly different communities.  At the Santa Cruz campus, I would say the majority of our students are not local, they have a bachelor’s degree usually, or higher.” About half of the Santa Cruz students move to the area to study. Many are graduates of UC Santa Cruz. Others have family or friends in the area or vacationed there and have fond memories. They have diverse backgrounds such as massage therapists, yoga and martial arts practitioners, nurses and business majors.

“Santa Cruz is a nice place for someone who does not like a big city, that prefers to have more of a homey town, a small-town feel. It’s next to the ocean on the coast of Monterey. People who enjoy water sports will enjoy being so close to the ocean because, while cold, the coastline is easy to swim.The weather in Santa Cruz is relatively tepid for most of the year with only a few weeks of hot weather during the summer. If you come from an area that is cold and rainy or super humid, living here is a nice place for the years while you go through your education. Santa Cruz has a lot of draw from beyond that. It’s a community that loves spiritual growth.

There are personal growth types of events and seminars, a lot of health-oriented events, a wonderful farmers’ market, a lot of alternative health. Santa Cruz is very progressive. There are a lot of athletic things too, whether it is running, mountain biking, rock climbing, there are a lot of opportunities to participate in physical sports in Santa Cruz. From city & state parks, to soccer pitches, outdoor basketball courts, and more.

“I have lived here for over 20 years.Even I just recently discovered that there is a huge park with cows roaming in the meadows in the middle of town. I didn’t even know that it existed and just by accident, I found out. Ariana Gulch. So nice! You can have a long trail, a picnic, so there are all these hidden gems in Santa Cruz.

Earn Your Doctorate and Masters at the same time

Five Branches University now offers its new Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine and its Master of Traditional Chinese Medicine as a dual degree – DTCM/MTCM. This allows students to complete a single 4-year program, and earn both the Doctoral and Master’s upon graduation. The DTCM/MTCM dual degree minimizes study time, grants financial aid, and allows students to sit for both the California licensing and National certification exams.

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Preparing Your Enrollment Application Packet

We have created and published videos that will help you complete your Application Packet with us at Five Branches University . If you have any specific questions or trouble with the forms, please feel free to email the admissions department at or give us a call at (408) 260-0208 ext. 217. … Continue reading

Newsletter & Seasonal Greetings, December 2020

Seasonal Greetings from Five Branches University

Chinese Medicine to Soothe COVID Anxiety

To put it mildly, 2020 has been a strange and challenging time for all of us here in the U.S. and around the world. One year ago scientists became aware of the first cases of the novel coronavirus, and the global infection rate led to so many months of isolation and permeating fear it is difficult to recall what life was like before. Remember you are not alone if you harbor a deep wariness from this pandemic. Hopefully your anxiety has decreased over time, while you have also stayed vigilant about prevention. … Continue reading

The State of Five Branches University during the Covid-19 Pandemic

Five Branches University is closely monitoring COVID-19. This is a rapidly evolving situation and we are doing everything in our power to support those who are affected including students, patients, faculty, staff and the general public. Below you will find what we are doing in each sector of our campus to ensure the safety of everyone involved in Five Branches University and Health Services.

Please click on the relevant link below:


(Future Students)

  • DTCM/MTCM Program
  • Postgraduate DAOM Program
  • Bridge Program


Currrent Students
  • DTCM/MTCM Program
  • Postgraduate DAOM Program
  • Bridge Program


Clinic Patients
  • Santa Cruz Health Center
  • San Jose Health Center


Clinic – Patients

Patients may call to arrange for an herbal refill, and/or online consultation with a private practitioner, a faculty member or an intern. Herbs are at usual prices. Consultations are 50% of normal fees. For online consultations, you will be texted or emailed a Google Meet link that allows video conferencing.

  • (831) 476-8211 Santa Cruz 
  • (408) 260-8868 San Jose

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Current Students

We are taking all possible courses to an online format. Those courses that cannot be taken online will be postponed until a later date.

We will be taking registration for summer courses either over the phone or online. Please contact your advisor for more information.


The DTCM/MTCM program is now being taught online on the Google Classroom and Google Meet platforms allowing students to receive all course materials and to meet live through video conference with their faculty member and fellow students 
For assistance:

DAOM Program

The DAOM program is now being taught online using Google Drive for course materials such as PowerPoints and class notes, and via Google Meet for live video conferencing with the faculty member and fellow students.

For assistance:

Bridge Program

The Bridge program will continue to be taught fully online, as it was from its inception.

For assistance:

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DTCM/MTCM Dual-Degree Program

The admissions offices for the DTCM/MTCM Dual-Degree programs in San Jose and Santa Cruz remain open online and applicants interested in receiving information or speaking with an admissions advisor may call or email:

Postgraduate DAOM Program – English and Chinese

The admissions offices for the DAOM English and Chinese programs in San Jose is open and applicants interested in receiving information or speaking with an admissions advisor may call or email:

Bridge Program

The admissions office for the Bridge program is open and applicants interested in receiving information or speaking with an admissions advisor may call or email:

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Military Veterans, An Opportunity to Study TCM and Acupuncture

If you or your dependent is a veteran with an undergraduate degree, Five Branches University makes education accessible to you.  Our DTCM/MTCM program offers Traditional Chinese Medicine(TCM) and Acupuncture degree, academic classes and clinical training included and the Post-9/11 GI Bill®, and Yellow Ribbon can be arranged to cover your tuition fees and other benefits.

To get started, please read our Veteran Education Policies. For specific questions, fill out our contact form and an Admission Adviser will contact you.  We are glad to talk with you about the benefits eligibility, financial aid, and how to navigate the admissions process.

At Five Branches University, our top priority is to prepare our graduates to become exceptional practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Our nationally accredited degree programs provide students with a strong foundation in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) diagnosis, acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, the latest TCM research, extensive clinical training, and comprehensive education in integrative medicine.

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Acupuncture School on Point!

Nothing proves the point more sharply than a well-placed needle, a well thought out treatment strategy, and a quickly recovered patient.

“What was the most amazing thing that you have witnessed with acupuncture?” the person lying face down had just learned that I am a student of Chinese Medicine at Five Branches University and that I had practiced acupuncture in Johannesburg, South Africa, for almost twenty years. … Continue reading

Coronavirus: TCM Prevention Against Infection

Watch the video archived

Lunchtime Student Forum:
Coronavirus: Traditional Chinese Medicine Prevention Against Infection
– Prepared for the TCM Students and Practitioners

Live Broadcast on Facebook and YouTube.
Time: 12:00pm noontime, March 2nd, 2020

To watch more about about our Online Seminar, Please subscribe our channel

A Chinese Proverb says, “The superior doctor prevents sickness…”.
In face of the Coronavirus outbreak, what role can TCM play in prevention and treatment? What measures can be taken to reduce the chances of infection? Learn how to take better care of yourself and your patients.

About the Presenter:
Dr. Ching Ching Chi is a DAOM, PhD Graduate of Zhejiang TCM University and licensed acupuncturist and herbalist in the state of California. Ching specializes in pain management, diabetes and its complication, stroke rehabilitation, cancer care, and autoimmune disease.

Standing Together

Dear Five Branches University Colleagues 

In these uncertain times, our nation is faced with multiple crisis all at once. In the wake of George Floyds murder by Minneapolis police, there has been a worldwide outpouring of remorse and rage at the perpetuation of anti-Black violence and discrimination from all corners of American society and institutions. Coupled with the challenge of the global pandemic, which has disproportionately impacted the Black community in the United States, we are shocked. Five Branches University fully supports the Black Lives Matter movement. We demand changes for equal rights and justice. We need fundamental change in culture to manifest this.

Beyond the Black Lives Matter movement, other civil rights movements are observed now. May was Asian American Pacific Heritage month in honor of the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad in May 1869. This is of special interest given that our practice is a Chinese tradition and that the Chinese origins of COVID has triggered xenophobic reactions in our country, which may have fallout in our practice. Now, June is LGBTQ Pride month commemorating the Stonewall riots of June 1969. Five Branches University supports all these wholeheartedly, now more so than ever.

Five Branches University has always been an advocate for diversity. Chinese medicine is an immigrant discipline and has always been open to any applicants regardless of race, creed, color, religion, or gender. A founding teacher, Sun Si Miao, wrote: A Great Physician should not pay attention to status, wealth or age; neither should they question whether the particular person is attractive or unattractive, whether they are an enemy or friend, whether they are Chinese or a foreigner, or whether they are uneducated or educated. A physician should meet everyone on equal grounds. A physician should always act as if they were thinking of their close relatives.”

We take pride in the fact that our faculty, student body and staff are diverse, with a high proportion of Asians and female students. However, the Black community is underrepresented across Chinese medicine in general and this reflects within our University. This is not a case of exclusion on the part of our university. The truth is that very few Black candidates apply. With fewer students, there are fewer practitioners and fewer individuals qualified to serve as instructors. When the pandemic subsides, Five Branches University is looking at launching a team to analyze why TCM is not attracting Black applicants. We are confident that increasing the inclusion of the Black community as well as other minorities within TCM will bring fresh insights to our field and further propagate the acceptance of TCM in America.

As healers, the Five Branches community has always sought the compassionate approach. Our overarching mission is to heal. This healing starts with us. We must heal ourselves, then our community, and inevitably the world. We truly hope that the world overcomes the present crisis and comes out stronger and equally inclusive.

The effects of trauma and stress impede learning and we realize what a strain this is on all our students, staff, and faculty. Five Branches University is doing everything possible to maintain the quality of instruction as always under the Shelter in Place.  Many of you may also be at the forefront of the protests supporting these important and history-making movements. Please take care of yourselves. Be strong and safe. We remember that to heal others and the world, we first heal ourselves. We must each tap our own inner heart qi, and share that with the world.

Be well.

Five Branches University

Paths to TCM

Whether or not you have a background in healthcare, our program strives to equip students with Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture knowledge required for competent care and management of modern patients.Who are those studying at Five Branches University? What motivates them to invest their time in learning Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture?Catch a glimpse of our student and alumni population. Get inspired by the experiences they have and begin where you’re at!
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Experience Five Branches 2019

Five Branches University has been at the forefront of Traditional Chinese Medicine education and clinical services in the San Francisco Bay Area for thirty-five years. We provide winning opportunities to advance your knowledge in Traditional Chinese Medicine where you could start an amazing career, or simply benefit yourself and your loved ones.
Come find your unique experience in Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine. Grab your free spot now; spots are limited.

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Enrollment Info Session for 2019 Spring (Online Video)

Watch the webinar on YouTube Streaming


Introducing our new DTCM/MTCM program: Through a single program, earn your Doctor and Master of Traditional Chinese Medicine (DTCM/MTCM) and become a licensed acupuncturist and herbalist. Students earn the Doctorate degree, and are given the Master’s degree that is required to sit for State and National licensing and certification exams.
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Sterling TCM Clinicians, Effective Treatment To The Point.

The twelve-year-old girl who came in to see Dr Julie Zhu at the Five Branches Clinic was faced with not just the challenges endured by all the other girls of her age, she had had the added stress, trauma and fear as a result of things going horribly , horribly wrong.

For many young girls, the arrival of their first menstrual period can be a bewildering and frightening experience which foists upon them a whole range of challenges and changes.

Puberty is a daunting time for any teenager, the way one’s body changes, the awkwardness, the clumsiness, the embarrassment of sexual changes and sexual awakening confuse and challenge their  self image and sense of identity.

The onset of her first menstrual period had been marked by dysfunctional uterine bleeding,  a gynecological condition which had thrown the poor girl and her parents pell mell into a battery of medical tests and gynecological examinations and pharmaceutical and hormonal interventions which, save to mortify and traumatize the young girl and her family, didn’t help.  The doctors were stumped!  Expensive scans and blood tests and examinations revealed nothing abnormal. The family was desperate, the young girl disconsolate.  The ongoing blood loss had lead to anemia , with the concomitant fatigue and the emotional and psychological impact that it brings.

Dr Julie Zhu is one of the sterling team of doctors at Five Branches University clinic, bringing a wealth of knowledge from long years of experience both in China and the United States to what is rated the best acupuncture school in the bay area, teaching students and treating patients with incredibly good results.

After just a couple of sessions the bleeding had stopped, the young girl had begun to recover her strength and energy, the family had hope restored, and within two months thereafter the young patient’s menstrual cycle was normalized and she has since been completely recovered.

Ten months of this nightmare had brought her parents to seek some other approach.  They came, not so much looking for or expecting answers, so much as hoping for something  miraculous, anything, to help their daughter.  They were not disappointed.  The treatment was short, and to the point!

Doctor & Senior Professor Lucy Hu, LAc: A Life Dedicated to Service

Twenty-seven years later, Dr. Lucy Hu is still teaching at Five Branches University and treating patients in the university’s health clinics, her private clinic in Palo Alto, and consulting with Stanford University pediatricians on difficult cases. She is the embodiment of the hero physician, tirelessly pursuing excellence to be of service to so many in need.
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Cupping Therapy: An Ancient Chinese Therapeutic Technique With Modern Day Efficacy

The popularity of cupping has recently exploded with the recent images of Olympians, most notably USA swimming star Michael Phelps, covered in several dark colored circles on their bodies. Besides looking like they were attacked by giant octopi, these elite Olympic athletes and their trainers provide anecdotal evidence that it aids in post workout recovery, rehabilitates injured muscles, and most importantly, gives them a competitive advantage by allowing them to be in optimal physical fitness. Let’s go a little deeper than the superficiality of these marks and testimonials and look at the history and context behind this ancient East Asian medical modality. … Continue reading

Partnership with leading TCM Pharmaceutical

Five Branches University is proud to announce a partnership with Sun Ten Pharmaceutical. Five Branches University and Sun Ten Pharmaceutical signed a Cooperative Letter of Intent stating this partnership which will see an increase in teaching faculty from this California and Taiwan-based TCM Pharmacy. Both parties agree to cooperate in the development of clean herbal medicine which includes proper cultivation, development, safety against pollutants and heavy metals, regulation, education, internships for our students and alumni as well as future employment.

By partnering with Sun Ten Pharmaceutical, Five Branches University is looking to be the leader of education in TCM Herbology in addition to many other of the traditional modalities such as Acupuncture, Tui Na Massage, Qigong, and Dietary Therapy. TCM Herbology is as important as any of these other modalities and is part of our five branches. … Continue reading

Earn Your Doctorate and Masters at the same time

Thank you, everyone, for your passion and excitement for Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine. We had a wonderful open house this past weekend on Saturday, July 23rd and on Sunday, July 24th. We hope that you enjoyed your visit with us. Whether you were able to attend, or if you were unable to, here are some great photos that we are thrilled to share.

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The Forerunners of East West Integrative Medicine

“No matter what flavor of medical evolution we take on—all of us are graduating bilingual. We are versed in both eastern and western medicine, we are the forerunners to communicate and utilize both languages—to bridge the gap and bring the medical integration of east and west to full fruition in our country.”

“We are graduating from a rigorous training, unique to California and Five Branches University, of a 32-hundred hour program. Did you know that we are not only graduating as Traditional Chinese Medical practitioners with expertise in Acupuncture, Herbology, Massage, Qi Gong, and Diet & Nutrition? We are also graduating as Primary Care Physicians. Again, We are the ones walking the line between both medicines. We are those who are filling the gap, to bridge all worlds, one by one.”

— Melinda Phoenix, 2016 Graduation Commencement Speech

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Faculty Snapshots

Selected from a community of prominent Traditional Chinese Medicine and Western medicine practitioners, teachers, authors and international lecturers in the United States, China and Taiwan, the faculty at FBU is dedicated to being at the forefront of teaching and provide a supportive learning environments, both in academic and clinical experiences for students to graduate as competent TCM practitioners.
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An Interview with Sarah Holloway, ND

For the second installment of our FBU student, alumni & faculty profile series, we sat down with senior Five Branches student and Naturopathic doctor, Sarah Holloway, at Twin Lakes beach to learn what it takes to be an Integrative Medicine practitioner in 2016.


“I feel like Chinese medicine gives me a great way to treat patients with chronic and complex illnesses because it provides a strong and scaffolded structure in which to categorize symptoms. When patients come in with conditions where no immediate diagnosis can be given, or a definitive answer of what they have and how to treat the condition, you really have to back up, look at the tissue states, the nuances of the presenting disease, examine whether there is excess or deficiency, hot or cold and start from there. It’s best to begin with just balancing what you see out of balance today, because if you try to fix the whole thing at once it can be overwhelming.”

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An interview with Caroline Wilkerson

In this series, we meet with current students and alumni to get a deeper look into why they chose to study Chinese Medicine at Five Branches and dedicate their lives to being of service to those in need of high quality, holistic healthcare.

[Editor]] Hi Caroline, it’s great to meet with you today and learn a little bit more about you. Do you mind telling us a little bit about your background?

[Caroline] Hi, of course. My name is Caroline Wilkerson. I grew up Illinois. When I was 22, I joined the US Navy as a Crypto-linguistic analyst. I went to the Monterey Peninsula Defense Language Institute to learn Russian and then later Chinese. I moved to Hawaii to further learn Chinese language and culture with the Navy. While studying Chinese language and culture I fell in love with it. So many of my teachers were amazing. That was such a great experience. That was where I started digging deeper into Chinese Medicine and learning more. … Continue reading

Highland Hospital Welcomes FBU Students in Residency Program

Five Branches University students complete clinical residency requirements alongside Western medical students in outpatient and inpatient rounds.

The Picture above shows Ms. Angela Tu, LAc, Five Branches University Board Chair and Dr Amy Matecki, ICMI President and Chief of Integrative Medicine at Highland Hospital, surrounded by students of Five Branches University during hospital residency.
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The Making of a TCM Doctor

The first U.S. hospital residency, numerous clinical externships, and two university health centers train Five Branches University students to be the best primary care doctors.

“In addition to the clinical training at the Five Branches University health centers, we provide offsite acupuncture and Chinese medicine treatments to patients at the Mental Health Client Action Network, to individuals with HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C at the Santa Cruz AIDS Project, to elderly patients at the Akiyama Wellness Center, as well as onsite veterans and community clinics. These exceptional clinical externships have prepared us Highland Acupuncture Residents with the skills and training necessary to deal with conditions ranging from colds & flus, pain, chronic illness and degenerative diseases to stress, insomnia, mental health and reproductive health disorders.”

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First TCM Pharmacy School in America

Our new program will offer courses that fill crucial gaps in practitioner knowledge. The focus will center on topics related to herbal quality control and cultivation, with additional courses on clinical and cultural topics. Courses on quality control will cover identification, quality discernment, and safety concerns related to Chinese herbal medicines, with attention to traditional macroscopic assessment as well as microscopy and analytical testing techniques.

Five Branches University is honored to announce that we have partnered with three prestigious institutions from China, and Hong Kong to inaugurate the first TCM Pharmacy School in the United States specializing in Chinese herbal pharmacy and quality control. … Continue reading

Medi-Cal Ups Acupuncture Payments For Addiction

Medi-Cal supports acupuncture for the treatment of pain to address problem of opioids

Five Branches University of Traditional Chinese Medicine completes a successful pilot program with the Central California Alliance for Health examining the efficacy of acupuncture & Traditional Chinese Medicine for pain management. Results allow Medi-Cal patients to use acupuncture instead of opioids and reimbursement rates to acupuncturists double.

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Five Branches University Ranked the Best Acupuncture School in Northern California

Based on a peer review among ACAOM (Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine) accredited schools in the US, Five Branches University was ranked as the best acupuncture school in Northern California and the second best in the state of California.
[apss-share] The ranking is based on the following criteria:

  1. Quality of academic curriculum, faculty and comprehensiveness of the program. Consider the program’s components in acupuncture, Oriental medicine, herbal medicine and western medicine.
  2. Quality of clinical education, including quality of the faculty, clinic, the herbal pharmacy, clinical externships and clinical community service opportunities.

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Five Branches University Launches New Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine (DTCM) Program

Starting in Spring 2016, students entering Five Branches University to become Licensed Acupuncturists and Herbalists will earn the Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine degree. Students will also be granted the Master of Traditional Chinese Medicine degree in order to sit for the National and State Certification and Licensing exams.

With this development, the profession of Traditional Chinese Medicine joins other healthcare professions with an entry-level first professional doctorate degree — such as MD’s, DC’s, and ND’s.
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Five Branches University Offers Residency Internship at Highland Hospital in Oakland

Beginning January 14, 2016 Five Branches students will join LAc’s, MD’s and western medicine students in residency training in both the outpatient clinic and the inpatient wards in Highland Hospital, a leading community hospital in Oakland, California. This residency has been six years in the making and marks an important milestone for TCM students to receive hospital training. Students will receive orientations on hospital procedures and will have the opportunity to observe the treatment of hundreds of patients in outpatient and inpatient settings. We anticipate that this experience will open many doors for work after graduation.
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The World Health Organization Meets at Five Branches University for Field Trials on New ICD-11 Traditional Medicine Codes

On December 10, Five Branches University is honored to host the World Health Organization (WHO) at our San Jose campus for the field trials of the new ICD-11 codes which will include ™ Codes (Traditional Medicine).

ICD codes, the International Classifications of Diseases codes, is the international standard diagnostic tool for epidemiology, health management and clinical purposes. The ICD is maintained by the World Health Organization (WHO), the directing and coordinating authority for health within the United Nations System.
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2015 Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine is granted to a Chinese Medical researcher

Groundbreaking and historical news for the Traditional Chinese Medicine community. For the first time in history, the Nobel Prize committee has granted an award to a Traditional Chinese Medicine researcher, Dr. Youyou Tu, for her work in Physiology and Medicine.

In response to failing Malaria treatments,  Dr. Tu and her team from the China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences in Beijing created an effective alternative treatment using the Chinese herb Artemisia annua (Qing Hao Su 青蒿素). You can read more about this exciting development by clicking on the link provided:
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A Great Place To Become A Doctor & Acupuncturist

Thank you everyone for your passion and excitement for Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine. We had a wonderful open house this past weekend on Saturday, July 23rd and on Sunday, July 24th. We hope that you enjoyed your visit with us. Whether you were able to attend, or if you you were unable to, here are some great photos that we are thrilled to share.
For those of you considering to apply for the Fall or Spring Trimester, there is still time to send in your application before the start of the term. Contact an admissions representative for further details on becoming a Five Branches student!

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Five Branches University Students Awarded Henan TCM University Scholarship

Five Branches University is one of only three TCM universities in the U.S. that were awarded the opportunity to receive a scholarship for advanced clinical studies in Henan, China.

This Chinese government sponsored scholarship is offered through Henan TCM University.  The University was founded in 1958 and is located in Zhengzhou, the capital city of Henan province (north of Beijing).  It is one of the earliest established TCM universities in China and is the base for international promotion of Chinese culture and TCM including the qualification test department and education base of World Federation of Acupuncture-Moxibustion Societies. … Continue reading

Chinese Medicine: Treating High Blood Pressure with Acupuncture

Researches from the Center of Integrative Medicine, U.C. Irvine in collaboration with East Hospital in Shanghai, China, and the Southern CA University of Health Sciences recently published an article on the long term effects of weekly electro-acupuncture on mild to moderate hypertension.

Researches from the Center of Integrative Medicine, U.C. Irvine in collaboration with East Hospital in Shanghai, China, and the Southern CA University of Health Sciences recently published an article in the Medical Acupuncture Magazine on the effects of electro- acupuncture on reducing blood pressure among patients with hypertension.

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Faculty Spotlight: An Interview with Janice Walton-Hadlock DAOM, L.Ac

Janice has been teaching at Five Branches University since 1999. She received her Master’s in Traditional Chinese Medicine and Doctorate in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine from Five Branches University, and her B.A. in Biology from the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Janice is the founder of the Parkinson’s Recovery Project, a non-profit organization that provides free information about the latest findings regarding the cause and treatment of Parkinson’s disease from the perspective of Asian medicine. … Continue reading

Recording of August 6th Webinar/Admission Info Session!

Webinar Topic:

Traditional Chinese Medicine Foundation

It featured Nancy Burns, Rose Gardner-Stadler, and Dr. Florence Chen.


   In this session you will learn how to apply and get financially ready for school. Featuring Nancy Burns, LAc who reviewed the application process and Rose Gardner-Stadler who gave a comprehensive guide of getting financially ready for school.

Also presenting for the webinar is Dr. Florence Chen, LAc, DAOM who presented an lecture on tongue diagnosis and an introduction of TCM facts beneficial to incoming students! … Continue reading

Compassion Connects Medical Practitioners with Those in Need, by Margaret Shao

Volunteer service is a rewarding and profound experience which has shaped much of my life. I began volunteering at the age of 13 for the San Francisco Zoo and continued on for many years as a docent, giving school and public educational tours. Later in life, my love for travel and volunteering, led me to a rural village in northern Ghana, West Africa as part of the Peace Corps Master’s International Program. I received a Master’s degree in Forestry, and later pursued a career in Utah working in Natural Resources management.

While living in Utah, I became a certified Qigong practitioner. My teachers were all acupuncturists and medical arts practitioners; they taught me that the basis of Qigong and Chinese medicine, is understanding Qi.

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Five Branches University – Celebrating 30 Years as a Leader in TCM

Thirty years ago, we embarked on an ambitious venture. We founded Five Branches University with a mission to set the standards for Traditional Chinese Medicine education and healthcare in the West. 1984 marked the beginning of an auspicious 60 year cycle on the Chinese calendar, and halfway through that cycle we could not be more proud of what we’ve accomplished so far. … Continue reading

FBU Treats 100 At Another Successfull Community Wellness Fair

Five Branches University was one of more than 25 organizations offering complimentary services  and samples at the 9th annual College of Botanical Healing Arts (COBHA) Wellness Fair in Downtown Santa Cruz, CA. More than 1,000 attendees flocked to the event to experience the health and wellness business offerings in the area.

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“How I Found TCM” with Mary Lyell, L.Ac.

Mary is a faculty member at the Santa Cruz Campus since 2007, practicing Five Element Acupuncture along with TCM. During her time here, Mary also founded the Veterans’ Clinical Externship, which provides complementary treatments to veterans.

“I got my law degree and was practicing law for several years.  It seemed that I went straight from undergrad to Law school and then right into litigation….  In my first job, I was not even working for a month when I tried my first case… Two months later,  the judge made a decision on my  first case, but by that time, I had  been in court so many times that I forgot what my first case was about”… She recalls.  

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Five Branches meets with the Consul General of Korea

On March 11, 2014, Ron Zaidman, President of Five Branches University, Heerei Park, Director of the Korean Program, and the Korean Student Council President Saul Tak met with Dongman Han, the Consul General of Korea,in San Francisco, California to discuss the Korean Traditional Medicine program and the Five Branches graduates currently serving the Korean community in the Bay Area.

The Consul General confirmed that there are a large number of Koreans now studying abroad. New scholarship opportunities for existing and potential students were discussed. … Continue reading

Visit to Consul General of China in San Francisco

In August, Ron Zaidman, President of Five Branches University (photo: middle row, furthest to the left) joined leaders of the Traditional Chinese Medicine profession for a private meeting with the Consul General of China,Yuan Nansheng (photo: middle row, center), in San Francisco, California. … Continue reading

Faculty Spotlight: Kevin Zhu’s New Book

“I have always known that I wanted to be a doctor when I grew up, but I was afraid of blood.” This is what brought young Kevin Zhu to the University of Beijing to study Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). “Chinese medicine and acupuncture are gentle, yet powerful forms of medicine that suit my character better. Unlike other TCM programs in China, the University of Beijing offered a six year program which included many elective courses and options to graduate with a medical specialization.” … Continue reading

Faculty Spotlight: Senior Professor Jeffrey Pang

Last year Five Branches University’s Senior Professor Dr. Jeffrey Pang, L.Ac., MD (China), collaborated with one of the University’s oldest alums, Adam White, L.Ac, to write and publish a textbook on nutrition from a Chinese medical perspective titled Chinese Medicine Dietetics (Volume I).The text explores Chinese medical dietetics, food preparation techniques, theory and detailed information on many types of individual foods including a wide variety of grains, tubers, oils, condiments, liquor, beans, tea, mushrooms, fruits, vegetables and herbs. Chinese Medicine Dietetics (Volume I)presents both a Chinese and a Western medical perspective on nutrition, and offers integrative approaches to healthy eating and food remedies. … Continue reading

Five Branches Establishes New Hospital Externships in Vietnam and China

Ron Zaidman, President of Five Branches University and Joanna Zhao, Academic Dean traveled to Vietnam in March to establish two new hospital externships in Saigon and Hanoi, Vietnam. Vietnam has a rich history of Traditional Medicine and is a beautiful country. Our graduate and faculty member, Phu Tran, DC., L.Ac., and graduate Diem Nguyen traveled to Vietnam with Ron and Joanna after helping to facilitate relationships with these hospitals.

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Leaders of the Northern California Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine Profession Attend a Press Conference


On February 21, 2013, leaders of the Northern California Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine profession, including  Ron Zaidman,  President and CEO of Five Branches University, held a press conference in San Francisco, California to announce the benefits California residents will receive with the inclusion of Acupuncture in Obamacare (effective January, 2014). This is an important and significant development, as Acupuncture joins Western Medicine as an essential healthcare benefit to be included in private insurance plans.

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