The DAcHM & MAcHM Degree Program curriculums offer comprehensive instruction and practical clinical experience in the “five branches” of Traditional Chinese Medicine (Acupuncture, Herbology, Tuina Massage, Energetics and Chinese Dietary Medicine). The curriculums emphasize comprehensive clinical training, the practice of integrative patient-centered care, and the latest TCM research.
To learn more about the hours, prerequisites, and other details of courses in the departments below, please refer to the links attached to the end of each department description.
Gain a thorough knowledge of the language and theories of TCM’s unique and timeless approach to understanding health and the treatment of disease. Drawing from both classical and modern texts, the TCM Theory curriculum creates the framework for the application of clinical methods, including acupuncture and herbology.
The TCM Acupuncture curriculum effectively merges the theoretical and practical aspects of acupuncture. You will gain a thorough knowledge of traditional and modern meridian theory, including point location, functions, indications and treatment planning. In addition, you will receive comprehensive training in moxibustion, cupping, Guasha, and electrical stimulation.
Six trimesters of in-depth herbology study provides you with a solid working knowledge of more than 500 individual herbs and 350 classical and modern formulas. You will receive extensive training in the clinical use of the traditional Chinese herbal pharmacopoeia, one of the world’s most sophisticated medical herbal systems. Advanced courses instruct you how to modify and use classical formulas in response to specific variants in a patient’s diagnosed condition. All herb courses are taught using the Pinyin names of herbs.
Modern practitioners of TCM must have a basic understanding of Western biomedicine. An overview of diagnosis and pharmaceuticals will aide you to effectively communicate with medical doctors and other healthcare professionals. At Five Branches, we take the highest standard of practice as a Primary Care Provider seriously.
Starting in your first trimester, in-depth clinical training prepares you to practice the theoretical knowledge you gained in the classroom. You will work with highly-skilled faculty in the Five Branches health centers in Santa Cruz and San Jose to gain hands-on experience with patients. By the end of clinical training, you will have performed at least 400 patient treatments under the direct supervision of a faculty member, a basic requirement for graduation.
These courses focus on the cultivation of your inherent energetic capacities. The specific practices are taught by accomplished practitioners who passionately share their wisdom with students. Energetics include meditation, Medical Qigong, Qigong, various styles of Taijiquan, and other forms of traditional Chinese martial arts.
These practices are designed to harmonize the energies of the body through proper use of breath, movement, and meditation, leading to a greater sense of awareness. The skills you develop will have an impact on your personal health, the treatments you provide in the clinic, and your overall success in the program.
Learn how to practice TCM professionally, ethically, and successfully. The curriculum includes exposure to professional career options, clinic management, marketing, public relations, professionalism and ethics.
At key stages in the program, you will review the materials you have learned and receive assessment of your progress. Clinical skills in diagnosis, acupuncture and Chinese herbology are assessed through a series of staged clinical examinations. This evaluation assists you in developing good study and test-taking skills, ensuring full comprehension of courses, and the ability to pass the national certification and California licensing exams.