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Peter Eckman: Constitution and Condition

Saturday, November 04, 2017 - 9:00am to Sunday, November 05, 2017 - 9:00am
Peter Eckman, M. D., Ph.D., M. Ac
Continuing Education
Maryland University of Integrative Health
MUIH Alumni, Faculty and Students
General Public
Saturday, Nov 4, 2017 9:00 am – 5:30 pm
Sunday, Nov 5, 2017 9:00 am – 5:30 pm

This two-day workshop will present a unified understanding of acupuncture as a healing art from its most basic theoretical premises to previously unexplored pulse methods as described in the Chinese classics. The five elements will be viewed within the classical texts as well as through the Korean, Japanese and Worsley lineages. Five Element acupuncturists will find that their way of viewing and working with the elements through pulse diagnosis will be opened and expanded. 

This program is designed to be completed on both days. A one-day registration is not available.

Note: Participants are encouraged to participate in a third day of learning with Eckman by also registering for Pulse Diagnosis Practicum for Determining Constitution and Condition on Monday, November 6.

Constitution and Condition - Classical Perspectives and Clinical Applications

Workshop Day 1 – Eckman reveals the uniqueness of acupuncture as medicine and as science through his classical understanding of resonance theory spoken in chinese as gan ying. The focus is on the pre-clinical disciplines as embodied in the Yi Jing, Dao De Jing, Huai Nan Zi, and Nei Jing. Topics to be discussed include:

  • Wu ji
  • Tai ji
  • Yin and 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) will deepen the understanding of the unity and coherence of many versions of traditional Oriental medicine.

Workshop Day 2 – The focus will be on 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, Eckman’s synthetic understanding of the specific methods, interpretations and applications of various versions of pulse diagnosis will be explained. Examples will be given for treating both Constitutional and Conditional issues simultaneously. The workshop will involve some simple examples of the value of learning to read Chinese characters, but knowledge of Chinese is not a pre-requisite. Practical exercises will be included and questions will be welcomed.

To prepare for and deepen in this work, participants may want to read Eckman’s seminal work, The Compleat Acupuncturist: A Guide to Constitutional Pulse Diagnosis.


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. 

Eckman has been an acupuncturist for more than 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.   

Eckman’s has studied with many luminaries in the field  include Korean and Japanese masters, 10 years of periodic study with JR Worsley beginning in 1974, leaders of the French medical school of acupuncture and collaborations with Pere Larre. His eclectic curiosity broadens and enriches the Five Element tradition of acupuncture, synthesizing clinical approaches and ways of thinking that cross cultures. While eclectic, Eckman 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 Five Elements and Eight Principles in his book and course entitled: Closing the Circle, Lectures on the Unity of Traditional Oriental Medicine (1983).

His many notable publications include:

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

Upon turning down a medical residency program in 1972, Eckman 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.” He has never stopped learning and growing and contributes a richness to the field through his love for acupuncture and its role as a healing art.

Note: Registration will close for this course on Wednesday, November 1 at 5 pm.