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New Perspectives on Qi and the Channels

3 hours CPD/ CPE

This online course offers a contemporary perspective on the acupuncture channels, points and the mechanism of Qi. Traditional point actions and channel functions will be compared to the contemporary biomedical model from a neurological and anatomical point of view. The traditional notion of Qi is compared to contemporary ideas along with the clinical relevance and experience. This course is delivered in 3 separate parts and can be completed individually or together.


course outcomes

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To help bridge the gap between ancient and modern understandings of acupuncture and to arm the practitioner with a comprehensive understanding of acupuncture and the body from an anatomical and physiological point of view. This information is designed to complement their TCM knowledge so they are best equipped to speak with patients and practitioners of other modalities.


At the end of this course, the practitioner will have gained an understanding of:

  • How the nervous system plays an integral role in acupuncture mechanisms, the channels and point functions.

  • A new perspective of Qi as an active aspect of the treatment process.

  • The anatomy and physiology of acupuncture points and channels.

Course outline


Part 1 - History & Development  (1 hour/ CPD/ CPE point)


Brief history of the acupuncture channels/ meridians


A look at the historical and philosophical development of the channels as conduits for Qi and Blood and their relevance to modern-day acupuncture. Various sources will be used to highlight how the ancient Chinese conceived the idea of the channels primarily through observation. 


Outline of the contemporary concept of the channels

Review of how the channels are viewed in the contemporary practice of acupuncture. Using A Manual of Acupuncture, functions of the primary, luo-connecting channels, and minute collaterals are revisited.


Comparison of physiological systems to the functions of the channels


By comparing the ancient Chinese view of the body and the modern biomedical model, we look at how the masters of the past created a comprehensive model of human anatomy and physiology without having a great deal of direct experience of the inner workings of the human body. Traditional channel functions are compared to the functions of the cardiovascular, fascia, lymphatic and nervous systems.


Part 2 - Mastering the Mysteries (1 hour/ CPD/ CPE point)


Neurological explanation for the functions of the channels


A look at the neurological basis of the acupuncture points and channels by exploring similarities between acupuncture points, channels and anatomy. The mechanisms of afferent sensory and efferent motor pathways are explored.


Reflex arcs


Using examples of the different types of reflex arcs to explain common occurring events experienced in an acupuncture treatment.




Using the nervous system to explain how deqi is a result of nerve impulses and how this relates to clinical practice from both the patient’s and practitioner’s perspectives.


Acupuncture analgesia


A list of the neurotransmitters involved in analgesia are explored as well as the chemical and mechanical mechanisms.


Referral patterns


How referred pain works and how it relates to acupuncture in order to help explain the mysterious actions of certain channel pathologies and acupuncture phenomena.


Part 3 - A New Perspective (1 hour/ CPD/ CPE point)


Comparing the Primary Acupuncture Channels with Major Peripheral Nerves


A demonstration of the comparisons of the primary acupuncture channels to major peripheral nerves. E.g., comparing the course of the Lung, Pericardium and Heart channels to the radial, median and ulnar nerves respectively.


A New Perspective on Qi


Comparing the ancient Chinese understanding of Qi with the contemporary understanding of matter and energy, Dr. Chris offers a new perspective on the concept of Qi and how this applies to the practice of acupuncture.


A New Perspective on the Channels 


Building on the information provided earlier, Dr. Chris offers a new way to view the concept of the acupuncture channels that provides an explanation as to why they cannot be physically seen, yet also why they are more than just “energy” pathways. This perspective aims to elucidate the comparisons and contrasts that exist between the ancient and modern models of the body.

***This course content is advised to be applied to clinical practice only by registered acupuncturists or students and practitioners with a level of skills competency required to perform these needling techniques. For practitioners and students of all other modalities, this information is considered for general educational purposes only.***

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