Courses for DAcCHM & MAcCHM Programs

Required Courses

Note: Courses designated with an * are required in the DAcCHM curriculum, and available as electives to MAcCHM students having met the course prerequisites.

Classical Texts I-III*
The first three courses in the Classical Texts series introduce basics of the spoken and written classical Chinese language, including the fundamentals of classical Chinese grammar. Students learn how to use a Chinese dictionary. Included in this series is an introduction to the seminal text of classical Chinese medicine, the Huangdi neijing.

Classical Chinese Medicine Immersion Retreat
Beginning students are introduced to traditional Chinese language and culture, with the aim of enhancing sensitivity and appreciation for the cultural context of classical Chinese medicine.

Foundations of Classical Chinese Medicine I – III
This course series introduces the common principles that underlie all traditional nature sciences, in this case observed from the perspective of classical Chinese medicine. Core concepts include the holographic quality of nature, dynamism, complexity, the symbolic pattern language of the universe, and the relationship between matter, energy and spirit.

Chinese History and Culture I-III* 
A foundation for the whole program, this course series gives an overview of Chinese history and culture to help students understand the worldview and mindset that created this unique form of medicine. In the final course, students learn about the major medical classics and their authors as keystones in the development of medical theory. (The first course in the series is also part of the core MAcCHM curriculum.)

Acu-Moxa Points I – VI
This series starts with two quarters of point location integrated with the therapeutic actions of the points. The next two quarters focus on a more detailed exploration of channel pathways and point combining principles. The final two quarters focus on the art of individualized point prescribing using appropriate treatment principles.

Acu-Moxa Techniques I – VI
This series focuses on developing acupuncture diagnosis and treatment skills. The class format typically includes lecture and demonstration, followed by a practice session in which students work on each other under the observation and guidance of experienced supervisors.

Acu-Moxa Anatomy I & II
In this innovative course series, which includes a cadaver laboratory component, students learn the anatomy associated with specific acupuncture points and gain an appreciation for the structure and organization of the tissues associated with the Chinese organ networks.

Palpation and Perception I – III Practicum
Through supervised hands-on experience, students develop the ability to sense and palpate the physical and energetic bodies. Students become familiar with internal and external anatomical landmarks and practice palpating the mobility and motility of various body fluids and tissues, including bone, connective tissue and organs.

CCM View of Biomedicine*
The content of this weekend seminar includes a comparison of Eastern and Western epistemology, and a discussion of how the information in the upcoming biomedicine series can be viewed from the perspective of CCM. It includes a consideration of how insights gained from the classical texts of Chinese medicine can illuminate the understanding of modern scientific discoveries, and vice versa.

Herbs I – VI with Practicum
This series begins with the method and rationale for Chinese herbal classification and focuses on individual herbs including their Chinese, Latin and common names. Students then learn the logic and principles of herb combining before moving on to study the most important formulas of the classical Chinese formulary. Special attention is given to the art and principles of modifying herbal formulas to more truly meet the needs of individual patients. Through the practicums, students gain experiential knowledge of the herbs and formulas.

Evidence-Informed Practice
Upon completion of this course, students will be able to read medical research material and critically assess clinical studies.

Chinese Diagnostic Techniques I & II
Through this lecture/lab series, students learn and practice the basic diagnostic procedures of Chinese medicine, including visual observation (wang), olfactory perception (wen), questioning (wen) and palpation (qie, including Chinese medicine physical diagnosis and pulse diagnosis).

Business of Chinese Medicine I – IV
This course series is designed to equip each student with the understanding, skills and resources needed to conceptualize, start-up and successfully manage a profitable practice that resonates with their personality, ethical standards and the heart of the medicine.

Imaginal and Experiential Inquiries I-XIII*
This course series emphasizes reflective learning, appreciative inquiry and self-awareness exercises to promote each student’s personal engagement with the curriculum and support their professional development. In small groups facilitated by faculty advisors, students continuously define, achieve, and refine their learning goals. Through the process, they choose and hone their doctoral capstone topic, and create a professional portfolio.

Introduction to Clinic
This first year course introduces students to the fundamentals of working in the CCM clinics. Topics include clinic policies and procedures, hygienic standards, charting, patient confidentiality and multicultural awareness.

Qigong Retreat and Practicum I – IX
Through this three-year series, students are immersed in the fundamentals of the Jinjing (tendon and channel) School of Qigong, one of China’s true alchemical life science traditions. By way of traditional lineage instruction, students experience the elements of a deeply nourishing qigong practice and learn to apply their skills and knowledge to the education and treatment of others.

Shanghanlun/Jingui yaolüe*
In this second year series, students translate two of the major classical texts of Chinese medicine.

Cosmology and Symbolism I – III
This course series delves into the time-honored system of Chinese symbol science, which describes the physiology of the microcosm in terms of macrocosmic processes, involving such phenomena as stellar constellations, months of the year, earthly branches, hexagrams, and rivers in the sacred landscape of ancient China.

Chinese Pathology I – III
This course series introduces the models employed throughout the classical medical literature for the study of human pathology, and includes important lines and passages from the classical texts of Chinese medicine to develop an understanding of Chinese medical pathology. Emphasis is placed on synthesizing multiple approaches into a cohesive understanding of pathology that can be applied to more advanced clinical material.

Asian Bodywork
This course builds on the manual and perceptive skills learned in the palpation and perception series as it introduces the energetic, theoretical and practical aspects of several systems of classical Chinese bodywork.

Biomedicine I – VI
Students learn the basic pathophysiological mechanisms of disease as understood through the biomedical perspective, and develop an understanding of important laboratory markers, diagnostic imaging and clinical findings relevant to each of the major body systems. Students learn how to view biomedical knowledge from the perspective of whole-systems science.

Practitioner Cultivation I & II
Students reflect on their personal goals and motivations for becoming CCM practitioners. Self-reflection exercises provide the opportunity for students to study their personal histories and identify their strengths, limitations, values and core challenges. The series concludes with a focus on relationship dynamics between the practitioner and patient, with a strong emphasis on listening, connection, communication, boundary definition, and understanding transference/counter-transference.

This course focuses on the basic functions of the immune system with emphasis on its role in protecting against microbial infections and tumors. Also considered are immune deficiency states, autoimmunity and psychoneuroimmunology.

Clinical Observation Rotation I – III
In this introductory type of clinical rotation, five student “observers” learn as they watch a seasoned faculty supervisor in session with a clinic patient. While observing, the objective is to absorb as much of the method and process of clinical practice as possible.

Neijing Seminar I-III*
This course series focuses on translation of portions of the Huangdi neijing, with an emphasis on understanding the clinical insights revealed by this seminal text of Chinese medicine.

Advanced Cosmology and Symbolism  I – III* 
Students gain insight into the profound ancient understanding of the acupuncture channels by studying the symbolism associated with the acupuncture point names. The third course introduces the functional symbolism of the most important herb names.

Clinical Medicine I – III
In this course series, students develop their clinical reasoning skills, integrating biomedical, TCM, and classical approaches to patient diagnosis and treatment. Using modern case studies, as well as the analysis of cases from the classical literature, students learn how to approach modern disorders such as Lyme disease, multiple sclerosis, cancer, and other types of chronic and recalcitrant diseases.

Auricular Points
Students gain hands-on experience with the most used and researched microsystem in Chinese medicine, the ear. The Chinese system of auricular therapy is presented, along with some French auriculomedicine. The focus is on learning the anatomy of the ear and the identification of acupuncture points that are useful for both diagnosis and treatment.

Advanced Acu-Moxa Techniques I & II
Students refine their hand-skill and acupuncture technique, and learn a variety of additional adjunct therapies, including different styles of moxibustion, cupping, guasha, bleeding and teishin. Using knowledge gained in the concurrent clinical medicine courses, students learn to assess which techniques and modalities to select for optimal clinical benefit in different clinical scenarios.

Chinese Medical Psychology I & II
This series provides an introduction to Chinese medical systems of five-phase element healing, with an in-depth analysis of the “spirits” and pathological emotions associated with each organ network. An emphasis is placed on the practical application of therapeutic techniques (including herbal prescriptions) that facilitate physical and emotional healing.

Diet and its relationship to health and disease are explored, with an emphasis on the health effects of different foods and specialized diets. The course covers recommended daily allowance, food labels and hidden ingredients, and organic foods and GMO foods. Each week, students cook healthy whole-foods meals.

Applied Palpation and Perception
Students refine their palpation and bodywork skills, and learn how to apply them clinically.

Clinical and Physical Diagnosis
Students learn to perform and interpret basic integrative physical examinations of the major body systems. A strong emphasis is placed on the recognition of “red flag” signs and symptoms indicating the need for urgent medical intervention and/or co-management.

Public Health Policy
Students learn how policy plays an important role in public health and governmental responses to public health issues. Social justice and health access are discussed, as well as integrative medicine strategies to address these concerns. Guest lecturers provide perspective on the issues facing public health, including addiction, mental health, vaccination, obesity and tobacco use.

Clinical Case Presentation I – III
This series provides a forum for students to apply and integrate the concepts and information learned in their academic courses to clinical scenarios.

Clinical Mentoring Rotation I-VI
The third year of the curriculum focuses on clinical reasoning and the refinement of diagnosis and treatment skills. In the clinic, students become more directly involved in the patient intake, diagnosis and treatment, under the direct guidance of a clinical supervisor.

Pre-Internship Rotation
Students pair with soon-to-be graduating interns in order to learn the flow and responsibilities of this role.

Physiology of Acupuncture
This course reviews the leading-edge scientific literature on how acupuncture exerts its effects, and relates the physiological mechanisms of acupuncture action to both the classics and everyday clinical practice.

Acu-Moxa Board Review
In preparation for national board exams, this course highlights all essential aspects of acupuncture and Asian medical theory through a series of mock exams, discussion and question/answer sessions.

Taiji I – III Practicum
Precisely choreographed movements create a relaxing mind-body dance that stretches and strengthens the entire body. Taiji’s slow, deliberate moves develop balance and grace. Its meditative style facilitates harmonious breathing and a focused mind. It is, in short, meditation in motion. From a Chinese medical perspective, taiji harmonizes the “three treasures,” jing, qi and shen (essence, energy and spirit).

Traditional Mentorship Tutorial I – III
A hallmark of the MAcCHM program, the tutorial classes are designed to facilitate direct and personal contact between students and instructors, and thereby the culture and lineage system of a classical Chinese medicine education. Topics are discussed from the unique perspective of the mentor’s own path of learning and knowledge integration.

Internship Case Presentation I – III
In this seminar-format series, interns present case histories of chosen clients, and receive feedback and critique by fellow interns and a clinical faculty member.

Herbs Review/Medicinary Practicum
This course supports the synthesis of herbal knowledge by reviewing all categories of the science of Chinese herbal prescribing incorporated into most national and state exams. In addition, it prepares students for herbal practice and running an herbal dispensary.

Bridging East and West*
Through short lectures, discussion, and case review, students explore how to more fully integrate material previously covered in the Biomedicine series with their deepening understanding of Chinese medicine. Students are challenged to articulate concepts in a manner appropriate for audiences ranging from Eastern and Western healthcare professionals, to patients and the lay public.

Healthcare Landscape* 
This course surveys and prepares students to navigate the current and projected state of health care in the U.S. With an emphasis on systems-based medicine, it considers the implications of the Affordable Care Act and the coordination of care within the broader biomedicine-based healthcare system.

Community Education
Students learn the skills necessary to interact with the public and convey information with the aim of building and maintaining a practice and/or professional community.

Doctoral Capstone Tutorial and Mentorship*
These two courses provide training in CCM scholarship, and mentor students through the research, writing and presentation of a doctoral capstone project.

Clinical Internship Rotation I – XIII
During clinical internship, the student assumes primary responsibility for the diagnosis and treatment of patients under the supervision of experienced practitioners.

Elective Courses

This is a sample list, additional electives are available.

Yijing I & II (I Ching)
Students embark upon and develop an enduring and productive relationship with the Yijing, a world famous text from ancient China. The second course examines the characters that comprise the name for each of the 64 hexagrams.

Bazi Suanming I & II
These two courses provide an introduction to “The Calculation of Life According to the Eight Signs”—a highly sophisticated model of Chinese constitutional and medical chronobiology and chronopsychology that has very practical implications for clinical practice.

Shan Ren Dao Retreat
In this two-week retreat, students become immersed in the theory and practice of the healing system created by the modern Confucian educator Wang Fengyi (1864-1937). This system remains the most complete emotional healing system of Chinese medicine still in practice today.

Five-Element Wilderness Retreat
This retreat facilitates the practitioner’s journey toward a more intimate connection to nature, including a deeper connection to each other, as well as the hidden layers of one’s own healing potential. More specifically, this course presents an immersion in the natural manifestations of the five-phase elements.

Shiatsu I – VI
The shiatsu series presents a thorough grounding in the principles and style of Asian bodywork, the energetic anatomy upon which it is based, and the fundamentals of touching with quality. Students learn a variety of techniques and maneuvers in the context of a complete, full-body kata.

Chinese Calligraphy I & II
Students learn how to use the basic tools of calligraphy, namely brush, ink and paper. Progressing through the basic strokes of Chinese writing to the writing of specifically chosen characters, this process is designed to facilitate their understanding of the relationship between characters, philosophy and universal qi. In the process, students learn to harness and control their own internal qi.

Students learn the history, philosophy and principles of weiqi (Chinese chess, also known as “Go”). This course develops the critical thinking skills of students, as they learn to apply the strategies and techniques of the game to the art of treating disease.

Introduction to Chinese Tea
In this two-day retreat, students are introduced to using Chinese tea in service of healing and self-cultivation, and understanding the energetics of tea. Students learn the six classes of teas in the world and how to brew each type.

Qigong Teaching Practicum I – III
This advanced elective series is designed for the serious qigong student who wishes to continue formal training in qigong and integrate the teaching of qigong into their clinical practice.