Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture Theory

Our acupuncture course gives you the opportunity to study Chinese Medicine, its philosophies and applications, in the greatest possible depth. Here’s how it’s taught based on the three year full time programme:

During the first year, you’ll explore the Yin/Yang concept and the Five Elements. The general Acupuncture Meridian system is taught and further explored during Point Location classes. You’ll also be introduced to the Zang/Fu (the organ system) and diagnosis in the first year. During the first year Observational Clinics commence where you will have the opportunity to participate in patient treatment by observing an acupuncture practitioner.

In the second year, the Zang/Fu, which forms the basis of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) taught in many other Acupuncture Colleges, is covered in more depth. You’ll also revisit the Meridian system in much greater detail.

Further diagnosis and ‘needling’ are taught in theory at this stage. Acupuncture Clinical Observation continues throughout this year. During the second semester, you are ready to learn the theory of Stems and Branches and how the previous semesters’ study is brought together.

Additional acupuncture theory is also taught in Chinese Pathology. One of the most exciting aspects of this year is that you will begin to treat patients in a group practical clinic, with the support and supervision from an experienced licensed acupuncture practitioner. Clinical Observation also continues throughout this year.

Throughout the final year, very much a ‘Clinical’ year, you will treat patients on your own, but always with the readily available support of a licensed acupuncture practitioner in our on-site Acupuncture clinic.

There is frequent opportunity to discuss your case studies and to explore treatment possibilities. Additionally, in this year you will learn Practice Management offering very valuable information for when the time comes to set up in practice.

The support of the personal and clinical development module through the final year also prepares you for continuing learning throughout your career as an acupuncturist.

Yin Yang Theory

Yin Yang 陰 陽 Yin Yang are the two the most fundamental concepts of East Asian culture and pervade extensively the entire corpus of Chinese Medicine. Although there are several different ways of interpreting yin yang, their Chinese characters are generally described as portraying the sunny (yang) side and and the shady (yin) side of an [...]

Five Elements Theory

Five Elements Theory 五行 Five elements theory is sometimes known as the Five Phases. Five Elements theory is one of the most important systems of Chinese medicine. It underpins medical theory and serves as one of the major diagnostic and treatment protocols. In clinical practice the five elements theory is used in varying degrees depending [...]

Stems & Branches

Stems and Branches Wu Yun Liu Qi  五運六氣 ICOM is the only acupuncture college in the UK to incorporate Stems and Branches theory into its licentiate course, providing the broadest based education in classical and contemporary acupuncture. What is Stems and Branches? Stems and Branches theory is about cycles, transformations and interactions of qi that affects [...]


TCM Traditional Chinese Medicine TCM is the modern Chinese Medicine: an attempt to find a harmonious integration between the Chinese Medical tradition and Western Medicine. In 1956, shortly after the communist revolution, the Chinese Prime Minister Zhou Enlai authorised the establishment of the first four colleges of Chinese medicine. Two thousand first rate Western medicine [...]

Your First Year of Chinese Medicine at ICOM

What to Expect in your First Year at ICOM Joining our friendly Acupuncture college is an exciting time. In your first year you’ll be bonding with your cohort, many of whom will likely become lifelong friends. You’ll also get to know your teachers and the staff at the college. The college is a warm and […]