Community Classes

Learn about Chinese medicine, health and wellness, and develop personal practices for the rest of your life. AIMC Berkeley’s Community Classes comprise a series of non-credit courses open to anyone interested in learning more about Oriental Medicine, herbal medicine, and health and wellness. Courses are taught by esteemed faculty and alumni and currently include an 8-week Introduction to Oriental Medicine. Check back for future offerings!

Introduction to Oriental Medicine—Overview

Acupuncture ModelAre you curious about acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, and Oriental medicine? Would you like to learn more about this venerable healing system?

This comprehensive, 8-week course examines the history and philosophy of Oriental medicine, the how and why of acupuncture and Chinese herbs, and the contemporary practical applications of this increasingly popular form of healthcare.

January 13 – March 3
Tuesday evenings • 7pm – 9pm
8-week course: ONLY $85

AIMC Berkeley, 2550 Shattuck Avenue (at Blake Street), Berkeley, CA 94704
Instructors: Nishanga Bliss, MSTCM, LAc, DiplAc; Dennis von Elgg, LAc

Register Here

Click Here for Course Overview

Topics covered in Intro to OM:

Philosophy and Theory A thorough look at the various theories and philosophies of traditional Oriental medicine. Discover the fundamentals of Yin/Yang relationships; Qi (also called Chi); the eight principles and five elements (wood, fire, earth, metal, water); and the relationships of our mind, body and spirit. We’ll review the various factors that impact our health as well.

The Five Branches of Chinese Medicine A world tour of the healing modalities of Chinese medicine. We’ll discuss and demonstrate acupuncture, acupressure and moxibustion, explore the varieties of herbal medicine, experience qi gong exercises and a taste of Chinese tui na (medical massage) and explore  the insights of Chinese medicine into nutrition and dietary therapy.

Diagnosis: Tongue, Pulse, and Everything Else
 “The outer reflects the inner,” and your tongue, pulse, face and body reveal the state of your health to the skilled diagnostician. We discuss the various aspects of tongue and pulse reading and what they signify in terms of Oriental Medicine diagnosis.  We’ll also have time to learn and practice the basics on each other. Cultivate your use of senses to explore the four pillars of diagnosis as well as discerning patterns of balance and imbalance in the human body. Plus: the nitty gritty on acupuncture school.

Supporting Your Spleen We will explore each of the major yin organs of Chinese medicine. Learn the basic physiology of each organ and ways to keep it healthy through the use of our large Oriental medical “tool kit.” The spleen is the most important digestive organ in Chinese medical theory. This class will teach you how to live and eat to optimize spleen function and your health, immunity, and energy, as well as introducing herbal remedies and points that strengthen this vital organ. Includes seasonal cooking demo and tasting!

Listening to Your Lungs Oriental medicine views the lungs as not only organs of respiration, but as overseers of the qi of the entire body, regulating functions as diverse as water metabolism and body temperature. After assessing the strength of your lung qi, you’ll get a taste of what Oriental medicine can do to support your lungs.  Plus: simple home and patent herbal remedies for the common cold.

Nourishing Your Kidneys The kidneys are the root and foundation of the body, and their vitality is connected to our growth, maturation, sexual function and the grace (or lack thereof) with which we age. Discover practices, foods and herbs which can enhance your kidney energy.

Loving Your Liver The liver is responsible for keeping energy moving in your body and in your psyche.  Yet liver energy congestion is one of the most common imbalances we see in the clinic!   Learn foods, herbs, points and exercises that you can use to harmonize your liver energy and keep your body, mind and spirit flowing smoothly.

Healing Your Heart In Chinese medicine, the heart is considered the Emperor of all of the organs. It oversees not only circulation but the mind, the spirit, and consciousness itself. The quality of your sleep, too, is directly related to the vitality of your heart.  Learn the teachings of Chinese medicine on heart health, and go home with recipes and exercises you can use to heal its imbalances. Plus, we’ll end the class series by having you put together your own treatment plan for the next year, based on our seasonal health teachings.

Qigong Community Class 

6-week series: $75 •  Drop-in: $15/class  •  Open to all levels

AIMC Berkeley, 2550 Shattuck Avenue (at Blake Street), Berkeley, CA 94704
Instructor: Tracy Richardson, LAc, CMQ

Qi Gong is a simple and powerful mind-body practice. In this class you will learn exercises that can improve one’s mental and physical health by integrating postures, movement, breathing techniques, and focused intention.

What is qi? The body is designed by Qi  and  it is enveloped by Qi. These electro-magnetic currents, Qi, affect both internal and external balance, harmony and flow. Qigong can improve energy levels, mood and sleep as well as reduce stress and anxiety. Many people use qigong to reduce chronic pain and improve joint flexibility and strength.

Tracy Richardson, MSOM, LAc, CMQ, is a licensed acupuncturist and the manager of the Herbal Dispensary at AIMC Berkeley, where she graduated with a Master of Science in Oriental Medicine in December 2010. Under the tutelage of Daju Suzanne Friedman she became a Certified Medical Qigong Practitioner in 2008. She also provides macrobiotic counseling and Tui Na massage as part of her private practice, which includes offices in Fairfax and Oakland.

Seasonal Nutrition

Nutrition for Fall & Winter

Learn to cook and eat for optimal health during the cooler seasons. Integrating the insights of Chinese medicine with holistic nutrition, this 3-class series will cover nutrition basics, seasonal foods, and cooking techniques such as fermentation, making bone broths, and preparing healthy holiday treats. Discover new flavors and inspiration in the kitchen!



Course price: $85 (includes samples and takeaways)
The option to purchase Real Food All Year by Nishanga Bliss at the discounted price of $15 is included in the registration process.
PLEASE CHECK BACK FOR NEW DATES AND TIMES. See Nishanga’s Continuing Education Classes Here.

AIMC Berkeley, 2550 Shattuck Avenue (at Blake Street), Berkeley, CA 94704
Instructor: Nishanga Bliss, MSTCM, LAc

Nishanga Bliss, MSTCM, LAc, DiplAc
”]Nishanga Bliss, LAcNishanga has been studying holistic health for over twenty years, and practicing and teaching Oriental Medicine since 1999. She supervises student interns in the AIMC Berkeley Community Acupuncture Clinic, teaches Oriental Medicine Theory, Diagnosis and Counseling & Psychology classes at the Acupuncture & Integrative Medical College, Berkeley and has a private practice in Berkeley, California. She is the author of the book Real Food All Year: Eating Seasonal Whole Foods for Optimal Health and All-Day Energy. Visit her blog at

Acupuncture & Integrative Medicine College, Berkeley is a 501(c)(3) non profit organization committed to the development of caring, proficient, and successful practitioners who serve communities and the Oriental medicine profession worldwide by treating illness and promoting health and wellness.

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