Didactic Course Descriptions
Following is a detailed description of each course taught at Jung Tao School. To view an outline of courses offered in each year of the program, see the curriculum page.
B-100 Anatomy and Physiology
This course encompasses introductions and in-depth analysis of the basic biomedical sciences as foundational to the clinical science and their applications. These encompass anatomy and physiology (including gross and regional anatomy, basic and integrated human organ structure and function, their homeostatic and integrated regulatory functioning, and basic medical terminology); neurosciences (including brain and neuronal structure and function, electrochemical gradients and propagation, integrated brain and spinal function, and basic psychological principles); and reproductive and endocrine physiology and genetics (including basic endocrine and gonadal anatomy and physiology, gamete production and fertilization and the structure of DNA and its transmission, feedback endocrine regulation, and integrated end-organ function). This course includes medical terminology, especially commonly utilized abbreviations, which are organized to correlate with the systems studied in this course. The student will manipulate prefixes, suffixes, and roots to create and interpret terms related to organ systems, physical variations, and pathological conditions. Mastering common medical terminology will add the graduate in their clinical assessment skills and their communication with other health care providers.
B-101 Biomedical Sciences
This course begins with a survey approach to three major biomedical sciences: biology, physics, and chemistry. Major theories and thoughts from these subject areas are presented and discussed in relationship to the understanding of medicine. The students are also given a module on pharmacology and nutrition. In addition, this course includes a module designed to present common anatomical reference terms and to provide the student the opportunity to recognize and palpate structures that are used for location. Students will develop skills in palpation to allow differentiation between bone, tendons, muscles, and soft tissue.
This course includes the study of cell and organ abnormal physiology and pathology and an introduction and in-depth analysis of Western disease mechanisms and processes. Basic concepts discussed include the inflammatory process; cell injury, repair, and degenerative processes and wound healing; and vascular, autoimmune, infectious, genetic, and neoplastic disease mechanisms. A survey of organ/system pathological processes is presented.
Students are taught standard Western techniques to evaluate and diagnose illnesses. Procedures covered include the physical examination, taking the patient’s temperature, pulse, respiration, and blood pressure, as well as height and weight. Simple vision and hearing tests are taught, as well as commonly used laboratory test procedures. Additionally, students are instructed in Western pharmaceuticals, their uses, and their physiological and energetic functions and ramifications. Students learn how to interpret basic laboratory reports and indications that should alert them to refer patients to a western medical doctor.
E-100 Energetic Anatomy and Physiology
This course provides students with a thorough understanding of Energetic Anatomy and Physiology in the healthy state.
Chinese Medical Philosophy and Theory: Philosophy and theory are covered as well as a survey of the nature of Taoism and why the Taoist perspective provides the more dependable vantage point from which one may begin an exploration of Chinese medicine. In this course, the roots of Chinese medical philosophy are examined in the context of Taoist philosophy, utilizing the Tao Te Ching and some of the writings of Chuang Zi.
The concept of the human organism as a microcosm of the macrocosm is discussed.
“In order to truly understand Chinese medicine in a way that makes it real for us, we must understand it at the same level that the originators of the system understood it.” S. Marshall
History of Chinese Medicine: Here we explore the impact Confucianism had on the stability and continuity of Chinese medical concepts. This section examines the application of ethical, familial, and political analogies to biological phenomena. Also discussed are the following “schools of thought”: TCM and Eight Methods; Channel, Wrist, Hand, and Ankle Acupuncture; Constitutional Acupuncture; Shallow Technique; Five “Element” Acupuncture; and micro Systems. Finally, the distortions of Western criteria upon Chinese medical theory are explored. Students and faculty, in dialogue, examine the difference between the methods and standards of quantitative Western causal analysis and the qualitative Chinese system of inductive synthetic reasoning (e.g., yinyang, the wuxing, the bagua).
Physics and Chinese Medicine: An introduction to current concepts, theories, and discoveries of modern physics and the contemporary understanding of cosmological forces that determine the behavior of all matter and energy in the universe. We then correlate these forces with the ancient concepts of Chinese medicine.
Matter and Energy – Yin Yang Science: An introduction to the polar nature of the cosmos from the particular to the whole, the inseparably relative nature of, the infinite divisibility of, and the transformative nature of yin and yang.
The Wuxing and The Bagua: A clarification of the purposely ambiguous nature of the transitional emblems of the wuxing (wood, fire, earth, metal, and water) is made to dispel the misconception of any material relationship to elemental substances. We then explore the observations of the natural cycles of nature upon which these five movements are based, and how those same cycles and their corollaries are expressed in the internal environment. The sheng and ke (generatory and governing) cycles are also discussed as the internal homeostatic mechanism by which the internal and external environment is kept in balance. Also discussed is the bagua, or the eight phenomena, as a representation of the three dimensional nature of the universe, the place where events occur, and how that manifests in the human being.
The Nature of Qi: An introduction to the concept of qi. Clarification of its common misinterpretation as “energy”, rather than as “force” or “impetus”. Discussion of the three primary types of biological qi: yuan (ancestral), ying (nutritive) and wei (defensive), as well as their sources.
Visceral Fields – Zangxiang: Here the anatomy and physiology of the body is explored as a function of the field effect of the organs (orbisiconography). The interactions of those fields are responsible for erecting the form and orchestrating the function of the human being. An introduction to the terms resonance, induction, accretion, and coercive forces, and an explanation of why these terms from physics, electronics, acoustics, and metallurgy have surprisingly useful application in Chinese medicine and Taijiquan.
The Channels and Vessels of Acupuncture: A complete overview of the channels and collaterals of acupuncture, including an introduction to the energetic effects of their functions. Systems of nomenclature, cartography vs. physiology (meridians vs. channels), and the 72 channels and vessels of acupuncture are introduced. In addition, the anatomical location and palpation of the channels and vessels, as well as an introduction to body measurements, cun and fen, are discussed.
Classical Order of Jings: The “circulation” and energetics of the twelve principal channels is discussed, as well as the dynamics of the transversal luo connections and the defensive network: the capillary channels, the tendinomuscular channels, and longitudinal luos. The cyclical nature of these systems is further explained, as is the concept of the channels as “fields” of the organs in addition to flowing rivers of energy.
Phase Relationships: An introduction of the relationships and concordances of the five “body parts” of Chinese medicine: wood, fire, earth, metal, and water. An understanding of the continuum of each of the phases, from the most yin organ to the most yang mentation, is discussed.
The Liu Qi: An introduction to the six concentric fields of the organism: the taiyang, shaoyang, yangming, taiyin, jueyin, and shaoyin. The concept of increasingly vital and dense spheres of qi as an integral part of the health of the organism is discussed at length, as well as the association of the energetic “layers” as a fractal representation of the heaven, life, and earth of the body.
The Energetic Striations: A discussion of the four energetic striations in the body: wei, ying/wei, ying and blood, and their associations to the various tissues in the body and the liu qi.
Yuan Qi and the Eight Curious Vessels: An exploration of the origin and distribution of yuan, or ancestral, qi. The energetic lodge of the kidneys, the common internal channel, and the eight curious vessels are discussed. Also covered is the role of yuan qi as the intelligence of the body, tissue and cell specialization and differentiation, regulation of the rhythmic properties of the body, and orchestration of the reproductive and endocrine systems.
Sanjiao Energetics: A detailed elaboration of the serial decantation, distribution, and utilization of matter transformed into the varied forms of qi (wei, ying, jing, shen) via the metabolic refinements of the upper, middle, and lower jiao. The role of the sanjiao in the distribution and decantation of the pure and impure body fluids, the jin-ye, is discussed in detail, as well as the production of blood and the 10 organic liquids.
The Shu Antique points: Students are introduced to acupuncture points by studying the energetic functions and locations of these important and commonly used points.
E-101, E-201, E-301 Taijiquan and Personal Cultivation
Taijiquan is a means of directly experiencing, on a physical and emotional level, some of the principals on which Chinese medicine is based. Students have the opportunity to explore the application of Yin and Yang, the Five Movements (WuXing), and the 8 Marvels (BaGua), as well as the effects of Taijiquan on all body systems, including emotional and psychological states.
Taijiquan (Tai Chi Chuan), Grand Pivot or Grand Ultimate Boxing, is a martial art and the physical embodiment of the philosophy of Taoism. The art of Taijiquan gets its name from the alterations of yin and yang around a central pole throughout the form. We strive to use the physical practice of Taijiquan to cultivate an embodied understanding of yin and yang, of how to hold one’s own center, for character development, to build physical skill, as a tool to hone health related self-discipline, as a tool for personal wellbeing which may include reducing stress symptoms. And by working together to practice in harmony, Taijiquan serves as a means to cultivate collaborative relationships. The practice and discussions around learning the form are based on principles that were presented in the Tao Te Ching. To accomplish the learning goals it is not enough to just go through the movements of the Taijiquan form; but rather to glean metaphorical and embodied understanding of Chinese medicine principals from the practice of Taijiquan, the student commits to practice the form as well as to explore techniques for meditation, and spend time in contemplation and study.
A few skills students gain through contemplative exercises and the practice of Taijiquan, are:
- self-awareness “Knowing others is wisdom; Knowing the self is enlightenment” (Tao Te Ching, Ch. 33). This self-awareness can emerge from practices that foster:
awareness of the position of the whole body,
- understanding of the relation of each part of the body to everything else,
- the ability to distinguish between full and empty and relaxation and tension;
- experiential understanding of the unity of the mind and body;
- application of the ideal of softness overcoming hardness, which has been found to be as much of an attitude as a skill;
- the experience of getting “self” out of the way, which supports clinical skills. Examples of this include:
- humility as expressed through “Daring not to be ahead of others” when practicing the form (Tao Te Ching, Ch 67),
- firsthand experience of moderation or not going to far or over-reaching one’s actual physical and metaphorical balance,
- cultivated emptiness in practicing the form by having no intention, or “going with the flow”,
- experimentation with the concept of Wuwei or of an action that arises in harmony with what is occurring instead of in opposition to it;
- improved tactile sensitivity, known as Teng Jin in Chinese.
E-200: Energetic Diagnosis
This course is split up into two sections: lecture and clinique.
Lecture: The lecture portion provides an in-depth study of the diagnostic process, which can be subdivided into two main categories:
Gathering Diagnostic Information: Communicating with and interviewing the patient is covered, including listening, counseling, explaining, and teaching the patient, as well as the issue of patient compliance. The crucial process of gathering information from the patient interview and examination is thoroughly demonstrated and amply rehearsed to give the student complete fluency with this diagnostic method. Use of the pulse and tongue as diagnostic tools is discussed and practiced, including pulse positions, rate, amplitude, and quality, as well as areas and qualities of the tongue as diagnostic indicators. Observation of odors, skin, nail and hair color and quality, and sound of the voice is also discussed.
Arriving at a Diagnosis: By first exploring what causes health, the origins of illnesses become evident in terms of their external and internal influence on the energetic field of the human being. We observe their original symptomatic manifestations from both Chinese and Western perspectives and chart the natural homeostatic mechanisms that return the system to a state of health. Etiology of energetic disease, progression of external pathogenesis, progression of internal pathogenesis, latent pathogenic qi, continuum of soma through psyche, and yin through yang are discussed.
We examine the criteria applied to the presenting case information to arrive at an accurate diagnosis: the wuxing, classical order of jings, the energetic layers, sanjiao energetics, the eight curious vessels, and the eight parameters (internal/external, hot/cold, empty/full, yin/yang).
Clinique: In clinique format, the areas of study set forth in the lecture portion of this course are applied to live patients. Under the supervision of the instructor, students interview and collect all relevant diagnostic information from the patient. All information is then examined by the group according to the previously mentioned criteria, and a diagnosis is reached. Students then engage with and observe as the instructor develop plans and treats patients.
E-202 Point Location (with Introduction to Point Energetics)
This course is designed to provide the student with a thorough introduction to point location, palpation, and basic point energetics. Course emphasis is on body-centered learning. Emphasis is given to 100 “commonly used points,” plus more than 100 frequently used points and 34 extra points most commonly found in the NCCAOM examination. Basic, general knowledge of categories of points and their special characteristics are taught. Differences in point locations, terminology, and notation among traditions of acupuncture are introduced, as well as the concept of alternative, unique, or idiosyncratic point locations.
Students are given their first guidance in palpatory detection of abnormal tone, temperature, or texture along channel pathways, and finding ashi tender points. Forbidden points, hazards, cautions, and contraindications are introduced. Pathways of the 72 channels and vessels are discussed.
By working with each other, students will begin developing professional skills and manner needed with patients; the use of the treatment table, positioning the patient, and the draping and exposing of body parts for treatment purposes. The course also provides a supervised introduction to clean needling technique and needling application, giving students their first needling experience, prerequisite to CCAOM’s Clean Needle Technique course. (Students will attain a more in depth experience with needling techniques, point energetics, and point combinations in the subsequent courses presented in the third academic year.)
E-300 Energetic Treatment
As with the year two diagnostic course, E-300 is split up into two sections: lecture and clinique.
Lecture: The lecture portion of this course focuses on treatment strategies from an energetic perspective, and can be subdivided into three main categories: acupuncture point energetics, point selection, and the treatment process.
Acupuncture Point Energetics: The energetics of the points of acupuncture are covered in detail. We discuss their therapeutic functions and interconnections, as well as their contraindications. The major classifications of points are covered, including the shu antique points, front mu points, back shu points, jing shen points, xi cleft points, luo points, yuan points, and points of special action.
The Art of Point Selection: The acupuncture points previously introduced are reviewed in the context of an appropriately designed treatment strategy, taking into account the energetics and the function and interrelationships between the points, as well as economy of point selection. The process of point selection as an art form – “creating a symphony” with each treatment – is taught. The musical concepts of harmony, rhythm, counterpoint, and chords are discussed in the context of the field effects of the acupuncture points.
The Treatment Process: The previously introduced diagnostic criteria are utilized in determining an effective and logical course of treatment and case management. The eight therapeutic methods are introduced: tonification, sedation, calorification, refrigeration, purgation, vomitorization, sudorification, and regularization. Elaboration of treatment strategies specific to the presentation and etiology of the condition of imbalance is also discussed: the wuxing, classical order of jings, the energetic layers, sanjiao energetics, the eight curious vessels, and the eight methods (internal/ external, hot/cold, empty/full, yin/yang) are used to track the progression and properties of the energetic distortions.
Clinique: The areas of study set forth in the lecture portion of this course are applied to live patients in clinique format. Under the supervision of the instructor, students interview and collect all relevant diagnostic information from the patient, and, upon reaching an accurate diagnosis, the class then discusses possible treatment strategies until an appropriate treatment plan is reached. Patients are then treated by the instructor while students observe to ensure the students receive complete instruction in the full treatment process.
E-302 Treatment Skills
This third year course prepares students for the actual, hands-on treatment of patients and interviewing techniques. The various modes of achieving therapeutic effect (acupressure, acupuncture, electroacupuncture, moxibustion) are introduced, as well as the appropriate uses and applications of each modality. Students are instructed in proper technique and practice under supervision in a laboratory setting. Other techniques such as tuina, quasha, anesthesia (analgesia), bleeding, plum blossom, and cupping are also discussed and practiced. Students are instructed in proper selection and maintenance of equipment, state and federal regulations concerning equipment, safety, cleanliness, and hygiene, sterile field, and clean needle technique.
Students are also familiarized and instructed on dealing with high risk factors, including pregnancy, special risk pathologies, and pediatric concerns. Medical red flags that may require the acupuncturist to refer patients to other health care providers are covered in depth. Knowing when, how, and to whom to refer is covered, as is written and verbal communication skills and standards. Instruction is given on complications such as fainting, seizure, and emotional release, with effective methods for their resolution.
P-300 Professional Skills
This course explores the following issues the student will likely encounter while setting up and conducting an acupuncture practice.
Medical Ethics and Jurisprudence: Patient confidentiality, privileged information, professional and appropriate behavior, ethical and legal aspects of referrals, and recognition and clarification of patient expectation are discussed. Malpractice, liability, negligence, professional misconduct, and scope of practice are detailed. Standards for written communication about patient diagnosis and care are reinforced.
Practice Management: How to set-up and maintain an efficient and legal acupuncture practice is explored. Topics such as starting a business, hiring staff, taxes, use of electronic health records, considerations important for use of lab tests and supplements in practice, writing profit loss statements, and financial recordkeeping are discussed. Issues associated with state licensure, market assessment, online presence and marketing strategies are explored.
Counseling: Effective interaction and counseling of patients is reinforced and includes practicing interview skills, introduction to mental health first aid, and instruction in motivational interviewing skills.
Professional Development: Activities designed for self-assessment of professional goals and areas requiring additional study are covered. Finding integrity between personal and professional values and goals and business plans are supported through assignments and discussion.
Clinical Course Descriptions
The clinical training is the culmination of the entire Jung Tao experience. Here the students become practitioners of the art of Chinese medicine, synthesizing and applying the subtler aspects of patient interaction. Under the guidance of experienced acupuncturists, they will begin by observing acupuncture procedures and later care for patients in the school’s public clinic, taking full responsibility for all aspects of patient care and case management.
The main purpose of the clinical training is to affect a transfer of knowledge from theory learned in the classroom to the actual acquisition of skills in clinical acupuncture, with the ultimate goal being the attainment of professional competency for each student graduating from Jung Tao School. This transfer is accomplished by ensuring that each student receives a continuum of clinical experiences that correlate close to the classroom and clinique experiences previously obtained. Students will be exposed to a wide variety of patients and experiences to give them a solid foundation in the application of the principles and doctrines of Classical Chinese Medicine.
C-100 Clinical Observation (Grand Rounds)
The clinical component of the curriculum, and meeting total required clinical contact hours, begins in the first three years with observation in the form of Grand Rounds. C-100 is the first in the series of these three clinical observations. The students will complete three 2-day sessions of observation in the classroom where they gain from the experience of watching an experienced, licensed acupuncturist interview, evaluate, and treat two to three or more patients a day. After the process, the acupuncturist discusses each patient with the students and provides his/her diagnosis and treatment.
C-200 Clinical Observation (Grand Rounds)
C-200 is the second in the series of three clinical observations. The weekends are carefully scheduled to ensure completion of the mandatory educational weeks, and the students begin to more fully participate by asking targeted questions of the patient and evaluating pulses in small rotating groups. The acupuncturist guides the questioning and focuses the students, but allows for greater participation. The patient leaves the room to allow students to discuss a diagnosis and arrive at a treatment strategy. The patient is then treated in the laboratory setting with students observing.
C-300 Clinical Observation (Grand Rounds)
C-300 is the third in the series of three clinical observations. The weekends are again carefully scheduled to ensure completion of the mandatory educational weeks, and the students have more involvement in the questioning and evaluation of pulses and tongues with supervision by the licensed acupuncturist. The students then determine the diagnosis and treatment strategy with input and supervision by the acupuncturist. The licensed acupuncturist has final say for the best treatment for the patient. The patient is treated in the laboratory setting with the students assisting. In addition to the Grand Rounds observations, the students must schedule and complete 45 hours of direct observation in the intern clinic. This time can be scheduled before or after their scheduled class week.
C-400 Clinical Observation
C-400 is an opportunity for students to observe a clinical supervisor in Advanced Grand Rounds interviewing a patient. Students are then provided an opportunity to check the pulse and tongue. Using this diagnostic information, students not only provide a succinct synthesis of information gained from the instructor’s diagnosis and treatment, but cultivate their own ideas from the information they have gathered. The patient is then treated by the interns with supervision by the acupuncturist. It is an opportunity for supervisors to clarify treatment strategies and symptom interpretation to assist interns in providing patients with more sophisticated diagnoses and treatments. The patients selected are often those with particularly difficult, complicated, or challenging conditions. C-400 may not be required for interns when all clinical hours are covered by additional supervised patient care.
C-401 Clinical Internship
Under the direct supervision of a licensed acupuncturist, students interview, diagnose, and treat patients in the Jung Tao School Clinic. Interns work with patients one to one, and are given increasing responsibility with their patients until the supervisor feels the intern is competent in seeing patients on their own with minimal supervision. Completion of C-401 is required before attempting C-402.
C-402 Clinical Internship
Under the indirect supervision of a licensed acupuncturist, students interview, diagnose, and treat patients in the Jung Tao School Clinic. Interns work with patients one to one, and are given increasing responsibility with their patients until the supervisor feels the intern is competent in seeing patients on their own with minimal supervision. All interns must complete at least 630 hours of clinical training while performing designated numbers of new patient intakes and total treatments.
C-500 Clinical Apprenticeship I (elective course)
Under the direct supervision of a licensed acupuncturist, the student will deepen their understanding of diagnosis and treatment and will enhance treatment skills. The student may serve as a team leader for entering interns, demonstrating proficient techniques of interviewing, diagnosing, and treating patients. When teamed with an entering intern, the student will work with the new intern and share responsibilities of patient care and assist them in adapting to the clinical process. The apprentice will share with the supervising acupuncturist observations and areas in which interns may need additional assistance. This is an elective course and requires successful completion of C-401 and C-402. Students interested in completing this course must make application to the Clinical Director and undergo an evaluation by clinical faculty to determine suitability for the role. Students must be recommended by the Clinical Director to be considered for this course. (210 Clock Hours /7 Credit Hours)
C-600 Clinical Apprenticeship II (elective course)
Under the indirect supervision of a licensed acupuncturist, the student will deepen their understanding of diagnosis and treatment and will enhance treatment skills. The student may serve as a team leader for entering interns, demonstrating proficient techniques of interviewing, diagnosing, and treating patients. When teamed with an entering intern, the student will work with the new intern, sharing responsibilities for patient care and helping them adapt to the clinical process. The apprentice will share with the supervising acupuncturist observations and areas in which interns may need additional assistance. This is an elective course and requires successful completion of C-401, C-402, and C-500. Students interested in completing this course must make application to the Clinical Director and undergo an evaluation by clinical faculty to determine suitability for the role. Students must be recommended by the Clinical Director to be considered for this course. (210 Clock Hours/ 7 Credit Hours)
E-601 Classical Tui na and Traumatology (elective course)
This is an advanced elective course at Jung Tao School that is open to alumni and current interns for academic credit. The class size is kept intentionally small to allow for ample student feedback on techniques. Methods of instruction are lecture, discussion, demonstration, hands-on practice, tui na lab. Upon completion of this course, the students will be able to understand the function and principles of tui na hand techniques; perform basic tui na protocols and understand their application; be able to assess clinical presentations of common injuries and how to treat them successfully with tui na and external applications; be familiar with the breadth of Chinese internal herbs and external applications for traumatology and be able to confidently use a Chinese medicine “First Aid Kit”; experience and understand the function of Qi gong exercises and their application to the; practitioner’s ability to perform tui na as well as the patient’s recovery from injury or mis-use patterns; apply Chinese medical theory to internal and external conditions in conjunction with or in the absence of acupuncture. On an “as space available”, licensed community providers can attend the lap portion only of the class for CEU/PDA credit.