Students begin practicing acupuncture on live horses starting with the first on-site session.

Program Overview

The Equine Acupuncture Program is a 145-hour continuing education program approved by American Association of Veterinary State Boards Registry of Approved Continuing Education (AAVSB RACE)  that certifies students in veterinary acupuncture with an emphasis on horses. The program begins with an overview of fundamental aspects of Chinese Medicine, including Ying-Yang and Five Elements theory, which serves as a foundation for case diagnosis and treatment presented later in the class.  A variety of acupuncture techniques are taught, including electro-acupuncture and moxibustion, in addition to conventional "dry" needling.  Students of the program learn acupuncture points on large animals only, and horses are used for practice in the wet labs. 

The program is presented in five sessions (three online and two on-site) over a period of six months.  Online sessions are composed of  lectures that students can stream at their own convenience.  Afternoon wet-labs during on-site sessions give students the opportunity to learn acupuncture points on live animals in small lab groups of five to six students per instructor.  A spring class and a fall class are held each year.  Equine Acupuncture is offered to licensed veterinarians and veterinary school students only. 

Major Topics
  • Learn both Traditional and Western aspects of Acupuncture:
    • Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM) Principles: Five Elements, Yin-Yang, Eight Principles, Zang-Fu Physiology and Pathology, Meridians and Channels
    • Scientific Basis of Acupuncture
  • 205 Transpositional Equine Acupuncture Points (hands-on, wet-lab demos)
  • 73 Classical Equine Acupuncture Points (hands-on, wet-lab demos)
  • How to needle acupuncture points in horses
  • TCVM Diagnostic Systems, including Tongue and Pulse Diagnosis
  • How to integrate acupuncture into your practice
  • How to use veterinary acupuncture to diagnose and treat:
      1. Musculoskeletal conditions, lameness and neurological disorders
      2. Cardiovascular diseases and respiratory disorders
      3. Gastrointestinal disorders and behavioral problems
      4. Dermatological problems and immune-mediated diseases
      5. Renal & urinary disorders and reproductive disorders
  • Veterinary acupuncture techniques:
      1. Dry needle (conventional needling)
      2. Aqua-acupuncture (point injection)
      3. Electro-acupuncture
      4. Hemo-acupuncture
      5. Moxibustion
Program Features
  • Limited seats, small lab groups (5-6 members with one TA per group) in 35 hours of wet labs
  • Learn from master TCVM practitioner Dr. Huisheng Xie, who has over 35 years of teaching experience in the U.S. and abroad
  • 145-hours approved by American Association of Veterinary State Boards Registry of Approved Continuing Education (AAVSB RACE)
  • Combination of online and on-site learning, allowing for lower total cost and more schedule flexibility
  • Free case consultation with TCVM experts for all students
  • Free Evidence-Based Veterinary Acupuncture Program ($900 value)
    • 32 CE-hour online program approved by RACE
    • Students must enroll between the first day of their acupuncture program until up to 6 months after the completion of the program.
  • Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist (CVA) certification (after completion of all requirements endorsed) by World Association of TCVM and the Chi Institute.
  • Clinical practice receives strong emphasis throughout the entire program.  The goals of each on-site session are listed below:
      1. Session 2 (first on-site session): begin incorporating acupuncture into your practice
      2. Session 5 (final session): improve efficacy of acupuncture treatments and fully integrate acupuncture into daily practice
  • Each day starts with Tai-ji to promote a balanced learning environment
  • Complimentary "goodies" to all our acupuncture students include:
    • Lunches and snacks during on-site sessions (with vegetarian options)
    • Chi Institute Equine Acupuncture Charts
    • 50 copies of Veterinary Acupuncture FAQs brochures to educate your clients
    • ​Class handouts and notes as a digital file
CVA Certification

Students of the Equine Acupuncture program are eligible for the Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist certification endorsed by the Chi Institute of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine and the World Association of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (WATCVM). The CVA certification requirements are as follows:

  • Complete all five sessions of the program.
  • Pass three online quizzes (administered online after sessions 1-3) with scores above 75%.
  • Pass final written exam in the final on-site session or through online proctoring with a score above 75%.
  • Pass the clinical acupoints exam in the final on-site session with a score above 75%.
  • Submit one veterinary acupuncture case report or three case logs to be approved.
  • Complete 30-hours of advanced TCVM program training or internship with a certified veterinary acupuncturist. More information on completing the internship requirement can be found here.

    Please note that the Chi Institute cannot issue any certification to DVM students until their DVM has been obtained.

Equine Acupuncture students in a wet lab
Equine Acupuncture wet labs are capped at 5-6 students per instructor.

Electro-acupuncture in a equine wet lab
Dr. Maler demonstrates electro-acupuncture, one of several needling techniques that are covered in the Equine Acupuncture programs.

Dr. Huisheng Xie is a key lecturer for the Veterinary Acupuncture program.

Complimentary lunches (with vegetarian options) are provided during all on-site sessions.

Required Reading


  • Veterinary Acupuncture: Ancient Art to Modern Medicine by Allen Schoen
  • Four Paws, Five Directions by Cheryl Schwartz
  • The Foundations of Chinese Medicine by Giovanni Maciocia
  • Chinese Acupuncture and Moxibustion by Cheng Xinnong
  • Chinese Veterinary Herbal Handbook by Huisheng Xie

Lodging and Accommodations

For information about accommodations, travel, and what to pack, please visit our lodging and accommodations page.

"This program 111-33847 is approved by the AAVSB RACE to offer a total of 145.00 CE Credits (145.00 max) being available to any one veterinarian: and/or 0.00 Veterinary Technician CE Credits (0.00 max). This RACE approval is for the subject matter categories of:
Category One: Scientific
Category Two: Non-Scientific-Clinical
Category Three: Non-Scientific-Practice Management/Professional Development using the delivery method of Seminar/LectureLab/Wet LabInteractive-DistanceNon-Interactive-Distance. This approval is valid in jurisdictions which recognize AAVSB RACE; however, participants are responsible for ascertaining each board's CE requirements. RACE does not "accredit" or "endorse" or "certify" any program or person, nor does RACE approval validate the content of the program."