PRC Elective: Refine Your Acupuncture Diagnostic Skills: Palpation, Pulse, and Needling Techniques
This course will refine your skills so that you can administer a multi-point diagnostic check system for more accurate diagnoses and guaranteed results.
Need to know
*Please note that many of the associations listed under ‘CEUs/PDAs’ do not formally pre-approve online courses for credits, and thus require the student to track their own online course hours to submit for approval for their annual CEU/PDA requirements.
Meet your course instructor
Gillian Marsollier | RAc, CCII
Gillian Marsollier has been a Registered Acupuncturist in British Columbia since 2001, and an instructor of acupuncture for more than 15 years. After completing a 4-year Masters Program in Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture, she began her teaching career in Newfoundland. There she wrote the bulk of the curriculum for a 3-year acupuncture program and served as the Acupuncture Program Director. Gillian was then transferred to Halifax, where she successfully gained approval by the Board of Education in Nova Scotia for an acupuncture program. In addition to teaching, she practiced at a very successful multi-faceted alternative treatment centre while residing on the East Coast. In 2008 Gillian went to Nepal to teach acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine modalities at a medical facility. They are still using the modalities to this day to treat the locals from the Himalayan hills. For the last 5 years, Gillian has been pursuing the media side of acupuncture and natural healing through the creation of LIFT Education Academy. Through this online education platform, she has created many popular courses including bootcamps that have become the national gold standard for preparation for TCM registration exams.
*This is a 0.5 PRC-Approved credit course for on-campus students only. Please note that online PRC Electives taken through Pacific Rim College Online do not qualify for Student Loans.
Have you ever wanted to increase your speed and accuracy of diagnosis?
Not only that but guarantee results with your patient before they even leave the treatment room?
Or, learn how to use pulse to show you your results, in real-time?
Almost everything that you need to know is written right on your patient’s body, in their voice, word choices, odour, movements, pulse and even the general energy that they hold. You skim over parts of this in college to pass those exams, but now Gillian Marsollier would like to take you on a deep dive on how to really use these skills and more… fast.
The point of this course is not to help you be a practitioner that just moves through patients quickly without taking the proper time. It is more so that you can have a multi-point diagnostic check system so that your diagnoses are much more accurate and your results are guaranteed. This process becomes so fast after a while of using these techniques, that you will find yourself diagnosing your patient (accurately) within minutes or less!
In this course, you will explore:
- Sensing – preparing yourself to sense and accurately feel the energy in the room
- Listening – for voice inflections and word choices
- Smelling – with fun challenges to help you hone this skill
- Palpation – using diagnostic points, meridian palpation and pulse to get your results
- Observation – learning what to look for on the body in order to make a rapid diagnosis
- Pulse Without A Master – yes, you can learn pulse on your own, and here is how!
- Refining Your Needling Techniques – there are so many small techniques to learn for a more powerful treatment, that gets better results. We will learn them here!
- How To Know When A Treatment Is Finished And That Results Are Happening – right in front of your eyes!
- Full Patient Demo: Putting It All Together For A Successful Treatment – full patient demo to show you how quick this method of diagnosis can be (and how deep it can go)
Why, hello! Meet Gillian Marsollier, R.Ac. She’s your instructor for this course with over 20 years of clinical experience. She will be giving you a broad overview of what you will be learning in this course in order to understand fast and accurate diagnostic methods!
Gillian says that there are 5 Pillars of diagnosis and also that asking is the LEAST effective form of diagnosis. Find out what she is talking about and also exactly what you will learn in your new course!
Sensing | For a Continually Fresh Perspective
Here, Gillian asks you to forget ALL of your college education. Say what?? Yes. Just for this unit though. Don’t worry, it is all part of the plan.
Sensing | Emptying Your Vessel
This just may be one of the most valuable lessons that you learn for your practice. Perhaps you see it right away, perhaps this takes a few years to sink in. Either way, do stay open to this concept and reflect on it after listening.
Sensing | The Energy in the Room | Part I
The immediate sense that you get off of the patient in the room can sometimes be the only diagnosis that you need to do. Learn this. Practice this. You will see what she means!
Sensing | The Energy in the Room | Part II
Can a patient be both excess and deficient in the same element? How do you use pulse to help decide what is what? Plus, Gillian discusses some useful techniques to use if you take on energy too easily and/or would like to advise patients with anxiety.
Sensing | Section Summary
Asking | Why Asking is the Least Effective Form of Gathering Information
Asking is certainly essential for finding out red flags (biomed), medications, surgeries, family history, etc., but it really is one of the LEAST effective methods for diagnosis. Find out why plus get an early look at where you are headed with the techniques that you will learn in this course!
Listening | Behind What is Being Said
This unit will be a great one to listen to over and over so that you can hear these types of voice inflections/sounds/words in clinic (remembering that the severity can vary by different degrees).
Smelling | Learning to Smell Again – With Fun Challenges
Sure, you have learned the 5 odours in TCM college, but here Gillian will guide you through them in a bit more detail. Learn how to create these odours at home so that you can sense them quickly in clinic!
Palpating | An Example to Showcase the Power of Mu / Source Points
Gillian shares a story about why these points are so powerful!
Palpating | How to Assess the Mu Points – Full Demo on a Male Patient
A quick review of your mu points, and also EXACTLY what you are looking for. Most likely, you will get your diagnosis right at this stage, and then explore further with the other techniques in this course. Here, Gillian does a full demo on Michael of mu point palpation and preliminary diagnosis. Very powerful!
Palpating | How to Assess the Mu Points – Full Demo on a Female Patient
Similar to the last unit but this time Gillian works with a female and mu points. What preliminary diagnosis does she find with Carolyn? Find out!
Palpating | How to Assess the Source Points – Full Demo on a Female Patient
Here, Gillian examines Carolyn’s source points to see if it is matching the earlier mu point findings. You will be amazed at how much can be uncovered with a quick look and palpation!
Palpating | How to Assess the Source Points – Full Demo on a Male Patient
An observation of all of Michael’s source points. Gillian finds some very interesting correlations with his mu point assessment and is able to homing in on a diagnosis (truly – your diagnosis is usually formed by this stage, but good to keep going for verification).
Palpating | Meridian Palpation & Observation
Learn about how to do quick palpations and observations of the meridians to understand what you are looking for. Gillian discusses doing this when you are still searching for the patient’s diagnosis, and when you already have a diagnosis.
Palpating | Treating and Assessing Changes Simultaneously – Putting it all Together
Watch these techniques in action as you see the start of Carolyn’s knee treatment. Learn exactly how to feel for changes right under your fingertips by using proper needle technique and palpation.
Palpating Section Summary
Pulse | The Pulse is a Poem
A great big thank you to Samantha Jennings for showing Gillian this pulse method that she’s used for 20+ years to help her understand her patients deeply. And now, she would like to pass it on to you. Move over left brain! This is the right brain time to shine!
Pulse | I Just Don’t Get Pulse. Help!
A quick discussion about understanding pulse when there are extraneous conditions (patient just had a coffee, is on medications, etc.) and a little clinical story to kick off the pulse section!
Pulse | Needle Depth – Using Sensing and Meridian Palpation
Sure, we all learn needle depth in college, but it doesn’t really make a lot of sense when we encounter different body types as well as different types of qi. Gillian looks at how to actually find your needle depth so that you are full connecting the meridian.
Pulse | Using Pulse to Decide Needle Depth and When to Stop Needling
The same as the last unit, except that Gillian shows using pulse to find needle depth over meridian palpation. She does a demo on Michael so you can see a real-time pulse shift.
Pulse | What if the Pulse Does not Change?
You choose your diagnosis and you pick what you think are the perfect points for your treatment. However, the pulse doesn’t change at all after needling. Here is what you do when you encounter this situation as it happens a lot!
Pulse | General TCM Pattern Pulses and Desired Changes
Here, Gillian discusses how to listen to exactly what kind of changes you are looking for in your main pulses so that you know you will get the result you want. This will inform when to stop needling as well!
Pulse | How to Know when the Treatment is Finished Using Pulse
Gillian uses two methods in order to know when the treatment is finished. These practices can have a huge effect on your results, so do try this yourself and clinic and see the difference! In TCM, everyone is seen to be in a dynamic state of being. Different energies in different amounts. In this section, Gillian explores all the main energies so you can see where you fit in.
Pulse | Section Summary
Needling | Needle Order
Do you ever wonder about needle order? We learn all of these great acupoints and needling techniques in college, but no one ever talks about the order of putting them in and taking them out! Needle order is the key to the patient not having adverse reactions to your treatment. Are you ready to dig in further?
Needling | Honing Your Needling Technique
Using the techniques that you have learned in this course, now is the time to start putting it together by watching both a tonification and reduction on 2 different acupoints. This is where the real power of acupuncture starts to shine through in terms of results!
Needling | Connecting and Visualizing the Energy Movement
This is really the icing on the cake for creating a stronger treatment, results and connecting with your patient at a deeper level. This can be a skill to build up to over time as you empty your vessel, or you may be able to be effective with it immediately. Either way, add it in!
Needling | Summary
Full Course Review
Wow! Here you are already. You’ve learned so much in this course about how to take your college skills and some new skills and refine them to increase the power of your diagnosis and results 10-fold. Let’s have a quick review!
Full Course Techniques Demo
Here we will take all of the techniques that we learned in this course and do a full diagnosis and point selection in just a few minutes. If you practice these skills diligently, you will be able to cut down on your intake time tremendously and simultaneously increase your results!
Students are saying…
“I have been in practice for almost a year and was feeling like I needed to work on my skills and grow as a practitioner. I really liked the course, it introduced me to some new skills such as the mu and source point palpation [and] reminded me of things I need to be doing to get more consistent results… Love this course and find Gillian very easy to listen to and understand. You are going to take something away from this course that you can use in practice.”
“A very simple and high-quality course with a lot of immediately applicable uses in clinic. Gillian is a fantastic teacher; it is a pleasure to learn from her. The demonstrations on real patients were very helpful. I thoroughly enjoyed and highly recommend this course.”
“I wanted to understand different techniques and find a deeper connection between the needles and the patient and this course provided that. I really enjoyed the pulse portion.”
“I’m feeling inspired to refine my skills in practice. Adding all of these techniques will help fine-tune my diagnosis, treatments, and results. The content is explained clearly, it’s easy to follow and the course leaves you feeling confident that you’ll be able to apply all of this at work – tomorrow!”
“This course far exceeded my expectations. Gillian has such a wealth of knowledge and makes the complicated art of TCM accessible. After 8 years in practice, I come away with new skills to employ & a fresh perspective on diagnosis & treatment. This course isn’t just for new practitioners!”
“Another excellent course by Gillian. I really appreciate the quality of film production that eliminates the typical distractions of a filmed workshop. The workbooks are very well organized and valuable references that I use time and again.”
“It was well thought out and planned. I really liked the detail that went into each section and how it flowed together. I loved the guide book that came with the course. I really enjoyed all of the content. It felt like being back in the classroom with Gillian.”
“This has given me so much reassurance. I learned techniques and skills to help me diagnose more effectively, know when qi has arrived, amend my treatment with the pulse change and have an idea of the patient’s prognosis by the pulse reaction – all skills I did not learn on my degree. An amazing teacher :)”
“I really appreciated the production value of the videos, along with the expertise of the instructor. It was a great review, and also offered a lot of practical clinical tools to immediately integrate into treatments.”
“The materials are great. I liked the videos, the breakdown, the explanations.”
“Lots of helpful skills, techniques, and information. I like the practicality of it. So grateful that I have lifetime access to this so that I can more fully absorb it. I love your courses. Thank you for your work!”
“Wonderful and engaging teacher! It was great! I registered because I needed some refresher training. I learned so much and feel much more confident.”
“I am a TCM year 1 student. Particularly useful was how to develop senses in diagnostic, needling, palpation techniques. Teacher has excellent presentation skills and makes it very entertaining.”
“I found this course very informative. It answered questions that I didn’t know I had! Great job, Gillian. “
“Eye-opening! I did not learn most of what is in this course in college. I love learning from Gillian; I find that she explains everything so well and in a way that makes it easy to understand and excites me to improve as a practitioner.”
“Fun, engaging and full of valuable content! I love this instructor..she also helped me pass my board exams!!”
“I loved it and recommended it to a few of my fellow acupuncturists… I liked how it was a complete overview of how to get to a diagnosis and went over a lot of things that I never heard of during my years at school.”
“This course exceeded my expectations. I learned quite a bit. I feel empowered, going into practice, that I have more tips to increase my treatments’ efficacy. The course was insightful, helpful, and encouraging. The video quality was high, as well.”
“It was informative & offered methods for intaking patients while utilizing and integrating our TCM knowledge. It is already adding to the quality of my practice!”
“Gillian Marsollier has provided more clinical knowledge and practical expertise than I would have ever expected… This is masterfully presented. It’s like having a mentor in my clinic… You have helped me raise the bar of my own expectations and quench the fear of starting out on my own.”
“Really great. A lot of practical and useful information that I will be putting into practice.”
Please note, this elective course is for PRC Campus students only.