Foundation Courses

You can run an Acuphys foundation course at your place of work, no matter where you are in the world. We have a great deal of experience in setting up courses, and can advise whether your venue is suitable. Please contact us on if you would like more information.

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At A Glance

Who is this course for?

All regulated healthcare practitioners who wish to learn acupuncture for the first time, or revisit acupuncture after a period of not using it

Who can attend?

All regulated healthcare practitioners

How long is the course?

4 days face to face, approx. 2 days online (200 hours of contact time, directed and independent study)


Varies from course to course

Why train in acupuncture or dry needling?

Clinicians who use acupuncture and dry needling offer a wide range of services to their clients, ensuring that their practice is considered the go-to clinic for healthcare. Furthermore, acupuncture and dry needling is a popular treatment of choice for the general public, and continues to be an important factor in deciding which healthcare provider to access. Clinicians who use acupuncture, do so as an alternative to invasive interventions and medication, and to allow more traditional approaches to take place where pain may impede its application.

Contemporary healthcare provision, spanning elite sport, persistent pain, Women’s and Men’s Health, oncology / palliative care, and mental health, integrates acupuncture and dry needling as an important co-contributor to symptom management and relief in a spectrum of conditions. Primarily used for both acute and persistent pain, needling for stress and anxiety, overactive bladder, hot flushes/flashes, nausea and addiction are also common practice. On completion of an Acuphys training course, Clinicians will feel confident that they can provide these services safely, confidently and effectively.

Why train with Acuphys?

We believe that our unique blend of online and face to face teaching makes us the stand out education provider in acupuncture. The carefully produced online content allows for our delegates to access high quality education that fits around their hectic schedule, and for those who travel for courses, can reduce accommodation costs. Our global reputation as specialists in post graduate education has cemented Acuphys as one of the leading providers of acupuncture and dry needling training. Those who complete training with us can use acupuncture and dry needling as part of their everyday practice safely, confidently and effectively.

Acuphys courses entwine our expert research knowledge with practical, clinically relevant teaching to ensure that course delegates receive a fully evidence-based approach to the implementation of acupuncture. Acuphys training courses have clinical reasoning at the heart of delivery, allowing clinicians to make fully informed decisions on how and when to introduce acupuncture into a client’s care package.

Dr. Carl Clarkson, head academic and founder of Acuphys, has over 10 years’ experience of teaching acupuncture and dry needling, and has been consistently rated by his students as one the best lecturers in post graduate education. Combining his roles as an active researcher, consultant and full time University programme lead, Dr. Clarkson brings a wealth of practical and research knowledge to his courses, delivered in an enthusiastic and entertaining manner.

Course Aims and Objectives

On Successful completion of an Acuphys foundation acupuncture course, the student is expected to demonstrate:

  • Safe application of acupuncture at all times, on various parts of the body
  • An understanding of contra indications, precautions and potential side effects of acupuncture
  • Effective management of acupuncture side effects
  • A clinical reasoning basis to the treatment of patients with acupuncture
  • Knowledge of prominent, pertinent and up to date evidence supporting the use of acupuncture
  • Integration of acupuncture into their usual practice
  • A level of theoretical knowledge, from a Western and TCM perspective, on how acupuncture works
  • Suitable identification of prominent and commonly used acupoints
  • Effective needling techniques from a western and TCM perspective

Course Content

  • Acupuncture Safety
  • Acupuncture Research and critique of evidence base
  • Segmental, Trigger Point and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) styles of acupuncture
  • Electro Acupuncture
  • Neuro Physiology of Acupuncture
  • Pain mechanisms associated with acupuncture
  • Effective acupoint location within Western and TCM paradigms
  • Needling of: All limbs, trunk, face, ears


An assessment provides some degree of evidence that learning has occurred, hence why an assessment is part of any training course. However, assessment for learning strategies try to ensure that the assessment isn’t just a means to an end, but should help to inform your own practice (and learning along the way!). The formative assessment will ask the student to demonstrate safe needling and considerations prior to needling a patient. There are several options to the summative assessment, allowing for the individual to selection an assessment that best suits their learning needs. There are three options, outlined below.
Formative assessment (Day 2)
Demonstration of safe needling technique, including short viva on contraindications and precautions

Summative assessment (1 month following completion of the two-day course)
Case Study presentation:

Ten-minute presentation followed by five minutes of questions from other delegates / course tutor. The method of presentation is flexible, but is usually over a teleconferencing facility.



Discuss the application of acupuncture within your usual practice.
3000 words, + /- 10%

Both options must include:
• Patient history / working diagnosis / symptoms treated
• Rationale for implementing acupuncture
• Treatment (including usual care, advice, acupoints needled, Deqi response)
• Outcome of treatment and likely theoretical reason for outcome
• Evidence base related to acupuncture for ailment targeted ( or for an idea of considerations to consider for quality of articles).
• Evidence base critique
• Reflection of; outcome, own knowledge, what will do in future practise
• Ref list
NB Using the STRICTA ( checklist will be helpful to ensure your acupuncture reporting covers all appropriate bases



  It was one of the best courses I've attended. I could get on to treating patients very confidently straight after day 3. Literature, method ... Read More



  Carl came all they way to Bermuda to teach the foundation level acupuncture course. Having been on countless courses in the last 10 years, I... Read More


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2020 got off to a flying start here at Acuphys with two back-to-back acupuncture training courses taking place at Read More





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