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Home / Peter Eckman: Constitution and Condition


Peter Eckman: Constitution and Condition

Saturday, March 25, 2017 - 9:00am to Sunday, March 26, 2017 - 5:30pm
Dr. Peter Eckman, MD, PhD, M.AC.
Continuing Education
Maryland University of Integrative Health
Alumni and Faculty Fee
Saturday, Mar 25, 2017 9:00 am – 5:30 pm
Sunday, Mar 26, 2017 9:00 am – 5:30 pm

Peter’s orientation is specifically as an acupuncturist and use of the channels.  His lineage is the classics and the five elements and his teaching offers new and expanded ways to think about and treat using the 5 elements, especially from his Korean and Japanese studies. He takes the model you have and opens it up to new thinking.  In addition, his new work on constitutional pulse diagnosis provides an avenue for further development of pulse technique within the parameters of the 5 element tradition. I think that you will find your learning here expanding for your treatments and how to use the tools you have in new ways. Jane Grissmer

Constitution and Condition - Classical Perspectives and Clinical Applications

The two-day Visiting Scholar class will present a unified understanding of traditional acupuncture from the most basic theoretical premises to practical treatment methods, all grounded in the Chinese classics. The Worsley approach will be explored within the classical texts as well as some of the classical acupuncture approaches that were not taught by Worsley. 

Saturday will be devoted to the pre-clinical disciplines as embodied in the Yi Jing, Dao De Jing, Huai Nan Zi, and Nei Jing. Thus topics to be discussed will include:

  • fundamental ideas of resonance (gan ying)
  • wu ji
  • tai ji
  • yin & yang
  • the 3 powers
  • the 4 images
  • the 5 Elements
  • the 8 trigrams
  • how these concepts form the basis for physiology and anatomy as applied in acupuncture via the Officials (zang fu) and the meridians (jing)

The use of these theories, including Five Elements, by other styles of acupuncture practice (especially from Korea, plus a bit from India) will deepen our understanding of the unity and coherence of the many versions of traditional Oriental medicine.

Sunday will be devoted to the clinical disciplines, especially that of pulse diagnosis, as presented in the Nei Jing, Nan Jing and Mai Jing. Starting from an exploration of the difference between Constitution and Condition, the lecturer’s synthetic understanding of the specific methods, interpretations and applications of various versions of pulse diagnosis will be explained (some of this material can be previewed by reading The Compleat Acupuncturist). Examples will be given of how to formulate treatments that address both Constitutional and Conditional issues at the same time. 

Both days will involve some simple examples of the value of learning to read Chinese characters, but knowledge of Chinese is not a pre-requisite. Questions are encouraged regarding any material presented over the two days, and where possible some simple practical exercises will provide a respite from two days of continuous lectures.

Details of a hands-on workshop:

Pulse Diagnosis Practicum for Determining Constitution and Condition will follow the weekend to be held on Monday, March 27. For details and registration click here http://www.muih.edu/peter-eckman-pulse-diagnosis-practicum


Dr. Peter Eckman, (M. D., Ph.D., M. Ac.) is a scholar and international lecturer in the fields of Chinese Medical Classics and Acupuncture.  He is well known for his 1996 book, a study of JR Worsley’s lineage and transmission, In the Footsteps of the Yellow Emperor; Tracing the History of Traditional Acupuncture. 

Dr. Eckman has been an acupuncturist for over 40 years in San Francisco where he still maintains an active clinical practice along with ongoing scholarly work in the field of acupuncture.  His most recent book, The Compleat Acupuncturist, is a guide to Constitutional and Conditional Pulse Diagnosis and a synthesis of his theoretical and clinical learning.   

Peter’s studies have included teachers from around the world:  Korean and Japanese masters, 10 years of periodic study with JR Worsley beginning in 1974, leaders of the French medical school of acupuncture and collaboration with Pere Larre,  just to name a few.  His eclectic curiosity broadens and enriches the 5 element traditions of acupuncture, synthesizing clinical approaches and ways of thinking that cross cultures.  While eclectic, Peter always returns to unity and coherence as he roots what he uncovers back into Classical medical thought and philosophy.  He was one of the first western practitioners to teach the unification of 5 elements and 8 principles in his book and course entitled: Closing the Circle, Lectures on the Unity of Traditional Oriental Medicine (1983).

His publications, too numerous to cite, range from:

The Book  of Changes in Traditional Oriental Medicine, to, Daoist Concepts of Alarm Points, to,  Traditional Chinese Medicine: Science or Pseudoscience:  A Response to Paul Unschuld.

Upon turning down a residency program in 1972, Peter wrote years later:  “I knew a career in conventional medical practice was not my life’s calling, but I needed to create some space in order to discover the path I have followed ever since.”  Peter has never stopped learning and growing and contributing a richness to his love for acupuncture and its role as a healing art.