Essentials of Veterinary Acupuncture
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About the Course

CIVT1006VA Certification in Veterinary Acupuncture is a 12-month, part-time, fully online course orientated towards applied theory, both traditional and scientific which can be applied to clinical practice almost immediately. You will be able to develop your confidence and competence during the course with continuous case support from tutors, regular live case forums, and one-to-one practical sessions and assessments using Zoom. You begin your clinical training with simulated cases but rapidly transform to the discussion of your own patients and your treatment progress.

The four modules of this course are taken sequentially, approximately 3 months per module. You will begin to use acupuncture within the first module (for musculoskeletal issues initially) and gradually build your skills and knowledge to include more complex internal medicine problems.

The Certification course may provide significant credit towards the 10640NAT- Graduate Diploma of Veterinary Acupuncture.  

IVAS recognizes the CIVT Acupuncture courses. CIVT Graduates of the Certificate Veterinary Acupuncture (Small Animal) course can join IVAS as Credentialed members.

Please note that this is an evidence-based course delivered by qualified and experienced practitioners but is not an Australian government-accredited qualification.


Successful completion of the certification requires you to be treating a range of cases (minimum of 10 different cases) by the final module and record these in a case log-book which provides ‘evidence’ of your skills and knowledge. You must also complete ALL assessments included in the modules satisfactorily. There are no exams however you will be assessed on competency. RACE quizzes are provided for RACE hours.


  • 63 RACE Credits
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Dr Jodi Van Tine
Dr Susi Lam
Dr Barbara Fougere
Dr Neal Sivula
Dr Steve Marsden

Meet the Tutors and Lecturers

Dr Jodi Van Tine
Dr. Jodi Van Tine received a Masters Degree in Cellular Immunology from San Jose State University in 1990. She earned the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Degree from the University of California, Davis, in 1994. For three years she practiced mixed...
2 Webinars and 9 Courses
Dr Susanne Lam studied at the University of Veterinary Medicine in Vienna when she was first exposed to acupuncture through Dr Oswald Kothbauer. After being based in Hong Kong for 17 years, Susi moved back to Austria permanently in 2012 with...
2 Webinars and 11 Courses
BSc BVMS (Hons) MODT BHSc (CMed) MHSc (Herb Med) Grad Dip Vet Acup Grad Dip VCHM Grad Dip VWHM CVA (IVAS) CVBM CVCP CMAVA
Dr Barbara Fougere is a 1986 graduate from Murdoch University Veterinary School Western Australia. She practices in Sydney Australia, exclusively in veterinary integrative medicine. She has served on the Australian Veterinary Association Policy...
18 Webinars and 11 Courses
Dr. Sivula received his DVM from the Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine. He completed an Internship, Clinical Residency, and PhD from the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine. He is certified in Animal Chiropractic...
2 Webinars and 6 Courses
Dr Steve Marsden received his doctorate in veterinary medicine at the University of Saskatchewan in 1988. At the National College of Naturopathic Medicine in Portland, Oregon he obtained a doctorate in Naturopathic medicine, a Master's of Science...
34 Webinars and 15 Courses

What will you Learn

Module 1 Work within a Traditional Chinese Medicine Framework

This is an introductory unit of competency covering the principles of traditional Chinese medicine designed for application in an animal care context.

Successful completion of this unit of competency equips practitioners working with animals to:

  • develop knowledge of traditional Chinese medicine principles
  • identify the theories of traditional Chinese medicine practice
  • develop...

Module 1 Work within a Traditional Chinese Medicine Framework

This is an introductory unit of competency covering the principles of traditional Chinese medicine designed for application in an animal care context.

Successful completion of this unit of competency equips practitioners working with animals to:

  • develop knowledge of traditional Chinese medicine principles
  • identify the theories of traditional Chinese medicine practice
  • develop knowledge of the cause of disease from a traditional Chinese medicine perspective
  • develop a basic knowledge of traditional Chinese medicine anatomy

This module covers:

Health and Harmony according to Chinese Medicine

  • Introduction to Philosophies of Chinese Medicine & Concept of Dao/Unity
  • Differences between Chinese Medicine and Western Medicine
  • Introduction to the History of Veterinary Acupuncture
  • Overview of Traditional Chinese Medicine
  • Introduction to the Science of Acupuncture
  • Concept of Yin and Yang - qualities and interrelationships
  • Concept of 5 Elements/ Wu Xing/ Phases - qualities, correspondences and inter-relationships
  • Concept of cyclical rhythms in Chinese Medicine (Chinese clock, seasonal and diurnal changes)
  • Concepts of Qi, Blood, (Xue), Body fluids Jin Ye qualities, types, production, functions, circulation, inter-relationships

Chinese Medicine Anatomy

  • Characteristics and Functions of the 12 Organs/ Zang Fu and extraordinary Fu
  • Characteristics and Functions of the Meridians/ Channels/ Jing Luo


Causes of Disharmony Chinese Medicine Health Paradigm and Causes of Disease

  • Internal (emotional), External (climatic), Miscellaneous causes

Workshop - Getting Started with Acupuncture 1

  • Getting Started
  • Acupuncture for Knee Problems
  • Acupuncture for Hip pain
  • Point Location- Anatomic measurements
    • The Kidney and Bladder
    • The Liver and Gallbladder


Module 2 Apply the Veterinary Acupuncture Diagnostic Framework

This unit of competency covers the skills and knowledge required to interpret information gathered in the acupuncture health assessment, utilising principles of Chinese medicine, and to make accurate diagnoses over the course of treatment, according to the veterinary acupuncture diagnostic framework.

Successful completion of this unit equips practitioners to:

  • identify the basic principles of acupuncture and apply them to veterinary practice
  • diagnose clinical conditions seen in veterinary practice from an acupuncture perspective
  • identify the central philosophies of acupuncture and Chinese medicine and apply them to veterinary practice
  • develop knowledge of Chinese medical pathology
  • apply the principles of Chinese medical pathology and pathophysiology within an acupuncture diagnostic framework in veterinary practice
  • conduct a veterinary Chinese medicine assessment utilising physical examination, tongue diagnosis and pulse diagnosis techniques

This module covers:

The Diagnostic Framework

  • Central Philosophies of Veterinary Acupuncture
  • Acupuncture and Veterinary Acupuncture History
  • Chinese Medicine Physiology
  • Yin and Yang, Zang Fu and Fundamental Substances
  • Chinese Medicine Pathology
  • Pathophysiology - Patterns of Disharmony according to Chinese Medicine
  • Approaches to Chinese Medicine Methods of Diagnosis
  • Methods of Examination Tongue diagnosis, Pulse diagnosis, Palpation techniques and other techniques
  • Differential Diagnosis
  • Diagnosis by Eight Principles
  • Diagnosis by Qi, Blood and the Zang Fu
  • Diagnosis by the Six meridians, Four phases and San Jiao
  • Taking the Case

Workshop - Getting Started with Veterinary Acupuncture 2

  • Acupuncture for Neck Pain
  • Acupuncture for Back and Hind Limb Pain
  • TCM Diagnosis
  • Point Location
    • The Pericardium and Triple Heater
    • The Heart and Small Intestine


Module 3 Work within Veterinary Acupuncture Principles and Practices

This unit of competency covers the knowledge of veterinary acupuncture principles and the skills required to support the application of veterinary acupuncture principles and practices.

Successful completion of this unit equips practitioners to:

  • apply the central philosophies of acupuncture to veterinary practice
  • integrate principles of acupuncture into mainstream veterinary practice
  • develop in-depth knowledge of veterinary acupuncture techniques and applications in current veterinary practice

This module covers:

Neurophysiology of Acupuncture

  • Neurophysiology of Acupuncture- How it works
  • Modern Acupuncture Theories
  • Bridging Science and Acupuncture

Acupuncture points

  • Names, classifications, actions and indications of points

Channels and Key Acupuncture Points

  • The Channels
  • Empirical Points
  • Points with Special Actions

Workshop - Getting Started with Acupuncture 3

  • Acupuncture for Renal Failure

Principles of Treatment

  • Designing an Acupuncture Point Prescription
  • Stimulating Acupuncture Points
  • Blood flow- the key to efficacy
  • Safety Issues with acupuncture
  • Practical aspects of veterinary acupuncture
  • Five element acupuncture

Workshop - Points for Inflammation

Other ways of stimulating Points


Module 4 Plan and Provide the Veterinary Acupuncture Treatment Strategy Perform Veterinary Acupuncture (includes clinical application and compilation of a case log book)

Successful completion of this module equips practitioners to:

  • select and apply the acupuncture treatment strategy for a range of conditions seen in veterinary practice
  • identify and apply Chinese medical pathophysiology principles in veterinary practice
  • determine appropriate therapeutic principles of treatment according to assessment of the patient
  • provide veterinary acupuncture treatment appropriate to the patient’s condition and its causes, and supported on the basis of established veterinary acupuncture practice
  • conduct a comprehensive assessment of animals in their care based on the principles of Chinese medicine and veterinary acupuncture
  • use Chinese medicine and acupuncture assessment techniques to gather information
  • use Chinese medicine principles to diagnose a broad range of conditions, both simple and complex, seen in veterinary practice
  • review and re-evaluate the acupuncture treatment plan at follow up

Developing strategies

  • Small Animal Veterinary Acupuncture
  • Strategies for the Pain and Paralysis
    • Strategies for Musculoskeletal Disorders
    • Strategies for Neurological Disorders
    • Strategies for the Gastrointestinal & Liver Disorders
    • Strategies for the Cardiovascular System
    • Strategies for the Respiratory System
    • Strategies for the Immune System Disorders
    • Strategies for Neoplastic Conditions
    • Strategies for Reproductive Disorders
    • Strategies for Urinary and Kidney Disorders
    • Strategies for Dermatological and Ear Conditions
    • Strategies for Geriatric and Eye Disorders
    • Strategies for Behaviour Disorders
    • Strategies for Common Feline Conditions
    • Strategies for Avian Acupuncture
Read More
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Certification in Veterinary Acupuncture

Course Testimonial

Get inspired with our student journeys.

“I’ve been interested in adding acupuncture and a TCVM approach to my clinical toolbox since graduating. As a solo practitioner and practice owner, the CIVT distance delivered modules provided me with the flexibility I needed to pursue my professional interests while maintaining services for patients. Additionally, as a veterinarian with significant hearing loss, CIVT faculty accommodated my communication needs seamlessly while maintaining standards for assessing my progress and developing skills. All in all, it was a positive experience and provided me with a solid foundation (from both a Western and Eastern perspective) for integrating acupuncture into my every day clinical practice.”

Dr Kimi Ross
United States of America

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Frequently Asked Questions

Want to know more about the questions that our students asked?
Is online study right for me?

The College of Integrative Veterinary Therapies offers courses that are both challenging and rewarding. You can learn at your own pace under the tutelage of experts in their field. Online or distance learning is not for everyone. Think carefully before you enroll. To succeed in online learning and distance education you will need:

  • A commitment to study and enquiry
  • To be capable of self directed learning with our guidance and support through your course
  • Motivation to pursue your course of study
  • Access to the internet and a printer
  • A good internet service that provides a good speed for downloads
  • An enthusiasm for engaging with your tutors and peers
  • The ability to work on your own or collaborate in a team
  • The capability of an independent level of written and spoken English
  • An appointment by phone may be requested prior to course commencement- we don't want you to start if we think we can't provide the right experience for you
  • If you are not sure contact us, we can help you gain a  full understanding of our courses before applying.

What you won't need is to pay airfares, travel, hotel bills by participating in green education!

All our courses are available to enrol at any time.  Our courses are part time, self paced within the course timeframe, and fully online.  Sometimes there is a scheduled start date for a course, in which we accept a group intake of enrolments. This encourages a cohort of students to move through the course together, making for a more interactive learning experience.

Although some courses have live sessions available, there are no live sessions that you are required to attend for any of our courses.  Our courses are delivered online and are self paced within the course timeframe, to give you the greatest flexibility with your study. You can study anywhere, anytime that suits you. We have great learning tools such as lectures, comprehensive course notes, videos, online resources, discussion forum and continuous support from our highly qualified and experienced tutors to help you can get the most out of your course.

Please refer to our enrolment terms and conditions when seeking extra time in a course, 

If you take a "leave of absence/deferral" from a course this freezes your progress in the course.  You will have no access to the course during this time.  A request for a leave of absence/deferral can be made for up to 3 months, initially.  Longer periods of time away from the course can be reviewed after this time.  If you want to use any course resources whilst you are taking your leave of absence/deferral you will need to download the material (such as documents, course notes, reading material) beforehand.  There is no fee to take a leave of absence/deferral, however your regular payment instalments for the course will continue.

If you request an "extension" for a course, you may be given extra time in a course and still have full access to the course.  An extension can be granted for up to, or equal to, the maximal period of study for that course.  There is a fee involved in applying for an extension, this varies according to the amount of extra time requested and is found on the link provided.


This depends on the type of course you enrol in.

Our introductory or short courses require approximately 3-5 hours per week.  Our Certifications and Graduate Diplomas require approximately 5-10 hours per week.  This will vary amongst individuals, depending on the pace in which they learn.  More time may be needed each week, depending on how long an individual needs to spend on completing assignments. 

If you are a registered Veterinarian, you are eligible to enrol in any of our courses, 

If you are a Veterinary Technician or Veterinary Nurse or Animal Health Professional you may be able to apply to enrol in selected courses for Veterinarians, however you will need to go through an eligibility process first. Otherwise, you can apply for our courses for Animal Health Professionals, 

If you are a Pet Owner, you can apply for our courses designed for Pet Owners, 


Earn your own CIVT certificate of completion

The College of Integrative Veterinary Therapies offers courses that are both challenging and rewarding. You can learn at your own pace under the tutelage of experts in their field. What you won’t need is to pay airfares, travel, hotel bills by participating in green education!

Your certificate will be issued in your legal name and sent to you upon successful completion of the program, as per the stipulated requirements.

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What's next after taking this course

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