Beijing CHI Institute
Acupuncture Course and Cultural Tour
In May of 2017, 2 classmates and I
journeyed to Beijing, China, to attend a course offered on
veterinary acupuncture and traditional Chinese veterinary medicine.
This course was not part of the curriculum at the Texas
A&M University CVMBS, but instead was a pursuit that was taken
up of our own volition and prerogative during an intersemester
break. We each procured our own funding for the trip, and were each
approved to receive a travel stipend offered by the International
Program Advisory Committee. The excursion consisted of a four-day
theoretical and practical course in veterinary acupuncture,
preceded by an optional four-day guided tour of different cultural
sites around the city.
The tour group included approximately 20 participants – a
mixture of veterinary students, veterinary practitioners, and their
loved ones. The day that we arrived, all students met in the
evening to eat and check into the hotel, however, the three of us
from TAMU did not arrive until after the rest of the students ate.
As a result, we were taken separately to a restaurant where several
dishes were ordered for us. Our host left us there with some very
diverse and unusual food, and wait staff that spoke no english. We
were exhausted, but hungry, so we ate a lot of what was provided.
We then returned to the hotel to retire.
During the tour, we visited the
Summer Palace and the Temple of Heaven on the first day, the Great
Wall and the Lama Temple on the second day, and the Forbidden City
and Tiananmen Square on the third. We also went to several
prominent and iconic markets as well. It was fantastic finding
ourselves in the shadows of these iconic locales and monuments that
we’ve only seen in tour guides or on documentaries. The scale of
these attractions were staggering, both in size and the energy that
must have gone into their construction.
On a fourth day, we were given reign to explore the city freely.
The class split into several groups, each of which built their own
itinerary. Our group went to a couple of markets, met with a
Beijing veterinary student for lunch, then took a tour of BeiHai
After the free day, we all transferred to a different hotel,
where the course was to be held. There we were able to meet up with
the balance of our class, who had all arrived that day. The
following day, we began lectures. The first day consisted primarily
of conceptual lecture, accompanied by a short exercise wherein each
student was challenged to find a number of acupoints on themselves.
Proper needling techniques were taught and practiced, then we broke
for the day.
The second day consisted entirely of
practical exercise. The class was split into groups of 5 students,
and each group was paired with an instructor and a live dog. The
day was spent palpating landmarks, identifying meridians, and
learning acupoints on the dogs.
The third day was split into morning lectures, covering more
conceptual topics, and an afternoon practical session. During the
practical session, more points were discusses, as well as usage of
techniques such as aquapuncture and electroacupuncture.
The fourth day of class was only morning lectures, and focused
on practical integration and instruction on how to begin using
traditional Chinese medicine in contemporary practices. The
afternoon was given to us as an opportunity to again explore our
surroundings. Our group chose to visit a local market, then explore
the Olympic Park before returning for a farewell dinner in the