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Learning Acupuncture Anatomy with Silent Mentors

05 Sep 2023

On 17 June, 2023, MSc in Acupuncture‘s students from the International Medical University (IMU) visited the Academy for Silent Mentor (AFSM) to learn about acupuncture point anatomy.


In addition to classroom theoretical learning, hands-on practical experience is crucial for students. To ensure the quality of learning, IMU sponsors its students to study human anatomy at AFSM every year. Students have the opportunity to personally experience the anatomical layers and structures of the human body, including fascia, muscles, ligaments, veins, nerves, organs, etc. This course allows students to explore how to avoid dangerous blood vessels, nerves, and organs during needling, understand different muscle layers during needling, and achieve better treatment outcomes while ensuring safety. This is very different from learning from two-dimensional books or websites.


For MSc in Acupuncture students, “Acupoint Anatomy” is one of the key modules in this programme. Through the exploration of human anatomy in relation to acupuncture points, students become familiar with the anatomical layers and adjacent structures of each point. This comprehensive knowledge equips students to precisely comprehend the necessary depth and angle for inserting acupuncture needles during their practical sessions, maximising therapeutic efficacy and safety.


Jaclyn, a seasoned Silent Mentor who has taught Chinese medicine students for many years, once again helps students to enhance their understanding of acupuncture anatomy.


“After learning from the Silent Mentors, I feel more confident in performing acupuncture treatments for patients during my clinical internship at the IMU Chinese Medicine Centre,” said Tang Weng Yee, an undergraduate student who participated in the workshop. “For example, I was always unsure about needling techniques for Fengchi and Jianjing points because we learned that incorrect needling methods for these points could lead to respiratory failure and pneumothorax. However, under the guidance of the Silent Mentors, I gained a better understanding of human anatomy and point locations, resulting in better treatment outcomes for patients.”


With positive feedback from both teachers and students, IMU will continue to collaborate with AFSM to provide better learning opportunities for scholars of Chinese medicine.

About the Collaboration between IMU and AFSM

IMU has 13 years of experience in traditional Chinese medicine education, having successfully administered programmes such as Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Chinese Medicine and Master of Science in Acupuncture, contributing to the training of  numerous outstanding clinical Chinese medicine practitioners and lecturers.


Since October 2019, IMU and AFSM have officially collaborated and signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to enhance the quality of medical education and provide a unique platform for modernised Chinese medicine education that combines acupuncture and anatomy. As a direct outcome of this collaboration, the IMU Chinese Medicine Department has collaborated multiple times with AFSM since 2019, to organise acupuncture point anatomy workshops (AFSM is a non-profit organisation that allows individuals to donate their bodies after death for medical education purposes).

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