Understanding Stems and Branches

New course for 2014

This 12 day course will be taught in 6 two-day blocks:- April, May, June, September, October and November 2014


This course is for those who want to :-

  • Learn how to creaste focused, powerful treatment
  • Have a better understanding of classical concepts
  • Integrate 5 Element, Heaven-Earth-Man, yin and yang and the Six Divisions
  • Work with the Tao of the person and the Tao of now!


April 2014 – 2 days

Acupuncture and the Role of Time

You will learn how time is integrated into the core concepts of acupuncture. You will learn how to use the rise and fall of yin and yang in a day and in a year to best effect and about seasonal effects on the levels of qi, meridians, and the pulse. You will learn how to apply these important considerations by choosing the right needle techniques, element points and meridians. You will also learn how the waxing and waning of the moon has specific effects on blood and qi in both men and women.

The Farmer’s Calendar, the Xia Calendar and the Lunar-solar (yin yang calendar provide the basis for knowledge of Stems and Branches theory and these will be explained in detail.

The basis of the five elements and the position of the earth element will be fully explained.

May 2014 – 2 days

Heaven, Earth and Humanity

Heaven, Earth and Humanity incorporate the cosmological ideas that go to the core of acupuncture theory. A thorough grounding in this is an essential prerequisite for understanding the six divisions, Heavenly stems and Earthly branches. You will learn precisely where in the body Heaven, Earth and Humanity are reflected. You will understand the difference between Heaven and Earth on the one hand and Yin and Yang on the other. You will also learn about reproduction and the production of energy within the context of Heaven, Earth and Humanity and how to use this knowledge in treatment.

You will learn the pulses of the three regions of Heaven, Earth and Humanity, their rationale and appropriate treatment. You will also learn how a disruption between these three levels cause such symptoms as stroke, depression and infertility, and how best to correct this disruption.

June 2014 2 days, and September 2014 2 days

Six Divisions

The six divisions provide spatial divisions of the body, divisions of time, and divisions of blood and qi. You will learn how all of these relate to the Farmer’s calendar. You will learn their five elements associations, their climates and attributes, and the disharmonies that can arise when there is conflict between the divisions. You will learn the host division sequence and guest divisions of heaven and earth and how these are reflected in the body. This also covers the rationale behind the progression of fevers as described in the he Nei Jing and expounded in Shang Han Lun.

We will go on to learn how guest heaven and guest earth energies interact with each other and with the host energies and the typical symptoms that are produced. You will learn how to treat using the divisions; their concentration points, internal/external balance, heaven earth balancing, left and right guest energies, as well as the compatibility between divisions. You will discover the relationship between guest earth energies and reproduction.

October 2014 2 days

Ten Great Movements and Ten Heavenly Stems

You will learn the ten great movements of the five elements, their arrival times and their changes. You will also learn the qualities of the pure energy of the five elements at the level of Heaven. You will learn about their balanced energy and the imbalances caused by an excessive (yang) or deficient (yin) yearly element. You will also learn about important interactions between he six divisions and the ten great movements and how these can be harmonised.

The ten stem organs interact with the ten Great Movements. The important sheng and ke cycles imbedded in he stem and great movement interactions will be fully explored. I will lay out the key symptoms associated with the stem organs and you will learn specific stem treatments, including individual stem treatments, using unlike qi, and (if time permits) divergent meridian treatments associated with stem organs and great movements.

November 2014 2 days

Twelve Earthly Branches and Completion

I will thoroughly explain the Terrestrial Branch sequence and the timing of the twelve branches. You will learn about their inner energy and how this interacts with the element of the organ to give a more comprehensive understanding of organ function. In exploring the branch sheng cycle you will more thoroughly understand the interdependence between the five elements and the rise and fall of yin and yang. You will discover how the meridians have been placed on the body according to calendrical considerations and how to use this information in treatment.

You will learn how to use the personal chart and four pillars in order to put all of the above information together to inform diagnosis and treatment.

We will examine special combinations of stems and branches and I will explain the general rules which apply.

We will re-examine what you have learned so far and look at case histories as examples of how to apply Taoist stems and branches acupuncture. Please do bring in any case history that you want analysed in this way. I will answer any remaining questions.

Venue – London

Cost for 12 day course – £1140.00  Can be paid in five instalments plus deposit.


Advanced Taoist Acupuncture Courses

in Stems and Branches Acupuncture
In order to understand stems and branches acupuncture theory at the deepest level, one needs to understand Han dynasty Chinese astronomy.
We will look at astronomy as understood during the Han dynasty. We will examine the importance of the plough, known as Beidou, in relation to such basic concepts such as the five elements and in relation to the nine needles. The importance of the Celestial Huang Di to five element philosophy will be discussed.
The twenty-eight lunar mansions will be explained in relation to the twenty-four seasonal energies of the Farmer’s Calendar. They will then be looked at in relation to the ten stems and twelve branches, and how this differs from the solar/lunar position of the lunar mansions. The combination deities of the twelve terrestrial branches will also be explained.

in Stems and Branches Acupuncture
The psyche will be examined in relation to Heaven, Earth and Mankind. There are three aspects to the psyche: the spirit, the emotions and mentality.
We will examine these aspects in relation to Stems and Branches acupuncture theory, which combines concepts of Heaven, Earth and Humanity, yin and yang, and the five elements.

in Stems and Branches Acupuncture
Numerology is based on Han astronomical concepts, so it is helpful but not essential to understand Han dynasty astronomy. The Nine Palaces in relation to the nine field division (of the heavens) will be explained, as will the Hetu map and River Luo map. The numerological relationship between the stems and branches and the River Luo and Hetu maps will be examined. Forbidden points according to the nine palaces, according to the stems and according to the branches will be explained.
I will explain the development of the trigrams. The post-heaven and early-heaven arrangement of the trigrams will be compared. The images associated with the trigrams, and their relevance to Stems and Branches acupuncture theory, and in particular the open points system according to the bagua will be explained.