Become a Healer
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 email@example.com or give us a call at (408) 260-0208 ext. 217. … Continue reading
Our student-organized experience-sharing forums have received much attention and attendance! The event envisions a closer knitted student community where all could benefit from mutual experience and knowledge sharing. Sign up and join this event on Tuesdays at 12:15pm in Orchid Room!
Our students, alumni, and staff have been participating in Functional Movement sessions coached by Son Doung. Son majored in Kinesiology, and also works as a Physical Therapy Aide (PTA) at the Sutter Health Palo Alto Medical Foundation. “We learn about health every day; we should at least keep ourselves fit and healthy,” Son remarks. Utilizing foam rollers and Thera-Bands, Son leads the exercises, incorporating techniques from his experiences in physical therapy. Sign up and join on Mondays at 12:00am!
Come learn and practice Taichi with Donna Tse, a Certified Taichi instructor, also winner at Taichi competitions. Taichi is a gentle exercise regimen derived from Traditional Chinese Medicine and Martial Arts. It is a smooth, graceful form of exercise focusing on balance, body awareness, and deep breathing. Tai Chi is sometimes known as “meditation in motion”. Join on Fridays 6:00pm ~ 7:00pm.
No dancing shoes nor dance talents needed. All are invited to come and participate in an enjoyable half hour experience in between lunch break. Fill your being with beauty. Cued by Maryam, students move rhythmically with coordinated steps to the background of Persian music. Join Maryam as she leads students to engage physically with music, inhaling and exhaling with each movement. Do you feel your music?
“You don’t have to be Chinese to do Chinese Medicine. It was like an epiphany”, she said. Amy is at Five Branches University on her way to becoming a one-of-a-kind acupuncturist and Doctor of Chinese Medicine.
She has identified a very important linguistic obstacle that rules out the chance of people thinking about or pursuing a wonderful, holistic, meaningful and highly rewarding career in Chinese Medicine.
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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.
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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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
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!
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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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
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
You will learn about our First Professional Doctorate Program, the Dual DTCM/MTCM Program, and how to apply. We will also demonstrate TCM diagnosis and Treatment as well as have a campus tour.
“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
“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.”
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
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 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.”
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 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.
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.
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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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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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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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: https://theconversation.com/is-the-2015-nobel-prize-a-turning-point-for-traditional-chinese-medicine-48643
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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
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.
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
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
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.
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
The seed was planted early in his family’s herb shop in Taiwan. Young Po-Lin Shyu spent many weekends working there, observing the treatment of patients and the preparation of herbal formulas. … Continue reading
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.
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.
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
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
“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
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 University was one of more than 40 groups offering services at the fourth annual Project Homeless Connect event in Santa Cruz, CA. More than 700 low income and homeless individuals attended the event seeking free services including medical care, legal help, food and haircuts.
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.
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.
For the second year in a row Heerei Park, our Director of the Korean Language Master’s program, led a group of Five Branches students on a Study Abroad externship at Dae Jeon University and Dun San Oriental Medicine Hospital. This time around, students from the English program and the Chinese language program joined the Korean MTCM students. Students had two very packed weeks with activities scheduled from 9am-6pm including visiting each hospital’s various clinical departments.
On December 16th, 2012 Five Branches University graduated 60 students from its Master of Traditional Chinese Medicine program, its largest graduating class to date. Accompanied by the lovely piano melodies by Joanna Zhao, Five Branches Academic Dean and accomplished concert pianist, the faculty and graduates from both campuses, English, Chinese and Korean programs entered the hall to take their seats. The graduation ceremony took place at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk’s magnificent Coconut Grove Ballroom. With Lion Dancing and heartfelt speeches by Ron Zaidman, Five Branches President & CEO, Dr. Angela Tu, Chair of FBU’s Board of Directors, and student elected class speakers; the graduates moved on to celebrate with their proud families and friends.
On Saturday, November 10, 2012, Dr. Shi Xuemin and Five Branches University celebrated the cooperation between Five Branches and the Tianjin University of TCM with an inauguration of the new Five Branches University Stroke Research Centers in San Jose and Santa Cruz, California. … Continue reading
On September 15th, 2012, President Ron Zaidman exchanges a gift of gratitude with Dr Li Candong, Vice-President of the Fuijan University of Traditional Chinese Medicine at the signing of our Cooperation Agreement.
Master’s and Doctoral students of Five Branches are invited to study with leading TCM practitioners in the hospitals of the Fujian University; and Five Branches will continue to invite their leading faculty to teach at the University. Dr Li complemented Five Branches University for our diverse and unequaled quality of Doctoral faculty.
Thank you to Five Branches faculty, Carol Wang and Susanna Shen, graduates of the Fujian University of TCM, for arranging this cooperation.
Five Branches University is proud to have earned the highest level of institutional and programmatic re-accreditation, 7-years, for its Master of Traditional Chinese Medicine degree program in Santa Cruz. In parallel, the Doctor of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine program in San Jose is now fully accredited by ACAOM, the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. We congratulate the Board, administration, faculty and students of Five Branches for this double accomplishment and recognition, and thank you for your contributions to the continued growth and development of the University.