Study Help: How can you keep all of the new information straight?


Acupuncture school is full of new discoveries – but the volume of material that needs to be memorized can be overwhelming. Understanding how you learn best helps, but sometimes it takes a while to figure out how to study these new subjects. Here are a few tips:


  1. Study cards, quizzes, charts, even ridiculous mnemonics about herbs may help you remember the information.


  1. Share your study tips with your classmates – you may find that someone else’s way works better than how you’ve been studying.


  1. Look at the material in a new way, try comparing formulas that treat the same condition. For example:
    • Formulas that treat headaches -due to wind-cold vs. liver yang rising vs. blood deficiency)
    • Formulas to treat cough – dry cough, cough with wheezing, yellow phlegm, watery phlegm


  1. Organizing the information differently helps keep it fresh. And it’s a great way to review pattern differentiation at the same time.


  1. Try reviewing acupuncture points as groups of points that surround the joints. After studying each channel from the first point to the last point, looking at it differently can bring a new perspective. Memorizing the points around the joints also helps beginning students remember where the other points are located along the channels. If you know that Ht3 is at the elbow crease and Ht7 is at the wrist crease, then finding Ht5 becomes a bit easier.  Try looking at points in clusters like this:
    • Across the eyebrow: SJ23, Yu Yao, UB2, Yin Tang
    • Along the occipital ridge: Du15, UB10, GB20, SJ17, An Mien
    • Around the shoulder: LI15, LI16, Jian Qian/Qian Nei Ling, SJ14, SI10, (Ht1, Lu2)
    • Around the elbow: LI11, Lu5, Ht3, Pc3, SI8, (SJ10)
    • Around the wrist: LI5, Lu9, Ht7, PC7, SI5, SJ4
    • Center of the chest (4th intercostal space): R17, Ki23, St17, Pc1, Sp18
    • Level with the umbilicus: Ren 8, Ki16, St25, Sp15, GB26
    • Lower abdomen (4 cun below umbilicus): R3, Ki12, St29, Zi Gong Xue
    • Midback (lower border of T7): Du9, UB17, UB46
    • Lower back (lower border of L2): Du4, UB23, UB52
    • Around the knee: UB39,UB40, Ki10, St35, Xi Yan, Lv8, GB33, (He Ding, Sp10, St34)
    • Around the ankle: Ki3, Sp5, Lv4, St41, GB40, UB60 (Ki4)


  1. Keep practicing!