Integrative Acupuncture Orthopedics Certification

Doctoral-level hands-on, practical training in assessment, diagnosis and treatment of sports, orthopedic and neuro-musculoskeletal injuries and pain with integrative AOM modalities.

Head Instructor:  Anthony Von der Muhll, L.Ac., DNBAO, FAIPM

Founder, Santa Cruz Acupuncture Orthopedics and Sports Medicine Clinic

Classes are modular and can be taken in any order. View schedule and register.

  • Doctoral-level education and training, integrating traditional Eastern and contemporary Western bio-psycho-social models of injury and recovery.
  • More than a “style,” “technique,” "points," or other mechanistic approach to symptom suppression, integrative acupuncture orthopedics draws on diverse evidence-based modalities to holistically address injuries, pain, suffering and disabilities, with the goal of full restoration of person’s health, functioning and well-being. 
  • Certification Requirements: completion of 250 hours (CEUs approved by California Acupuncture Board) + 50 observation hours, case presentation, and passage of certification exam. See details.

Certification Program Content:

  • Hands-on, practical and advanced clinical training in integrative assessment, diagnosis and treatment of injuries and pain conditions of the spine and extremities with traditional and modern (“neuro-anatomical”) acupuncture, myofascial trigger point needling, disruptive/proliferative ligamento- and tendino-periostial needling (“prolo-acupuncture“), electro-acupunctureactive cuppinggua sha, tui na, exercise instruction, and more.
  • Assessment and treatment of the jing-jin: myofascial or “sinew” meridian pain and injuries.
  • Diagnosis and treatment of complex pain conditions and related disorders of mood, sleep, and other body systems, with AOM modalities and herbs, supplements and dietary therapies.
  • Recognition and management of urgent medical conditions.
  • Building referral relationships and working in multi-disciplinary medical settings through development of case management and medical documentation/reporting skills and abilities.


Live/Hands-on Classes: Assessment, Diagnosis and Treatment of the Spine and Extremities

175 hours

Live/hands-on classes are capped at 35 students to ensure high quality of instruction, and available both for Continuing Education Units, and as a specialization track within the Doctorate in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (DAOM) program of the Academy of Chinese Culture and Health Sciences, (ACCHS), Oakland, CA. You may contact DAOM program coordinator Phil Settels at for information about IAO/DAOMreciprocity.

Essentials of Integrative Acupuncture Orthopedics; Basics of the Shoulder (8 hours)

Myofascial Meridian Pain: taiyang and shaoyin jing-jin (16 hours)

Myofascial Meridian Pain: yangming and 3 yin jing-jin (16 hours)

Stabilizing Joints along the Sinew Meridians with Ligamentous Prolo-Acupuncture (9 hours)

Head, Neck, and Thorax (16 hours + Practicum/Review 8 hours)

Shoulder, Arm, and Hand (16 hours + Practicum/Review 8 hours)

Treating the Core: Lumbo-Sacral Spine, Gluteal and Abdominal Musculature, and Pelvic Girdle (16 hours + Practicum/Review 8 hours)

Hip, Thigh, Knee (16 hours + Practicum/Review 8 hours)

Calf, Ankle, Foot (16 hours+ Practicum/Review 8 hours)

Cadaver/Anatomy Lab with Anthony Von der Muhll, L.Ac., DNBAO, FAAPM, and Mark Thompson, D.C. (6 hours, capped at 20 students)

Didactic Classes: Complementary Studies in Integrative Acupuncture Orthopedics

75 Hours

Classes are available for Continuing Education Units. Some are also eligible for credit within the Doctorate in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (DAOM) program of the Academy of Chinese Culture and Health Sciences, (ACCHS), Oakland, CA. Please contact DAOM program coordinator Phil Settels at for information about IAO/DAOM reciprocity.

Medical Documentation: Essential Best Practices (8 hours)

Report-Writing for Managed Care: HMO, Personal Injury, and Workers Compensation (8 hours)

Red Flags for Urgent Medical Conditions; Making and Building Referrals (15 hours)

Complex Pain Conditions (8 hours)

Treating Pain with Herbs, Supplements and Dietetics: An Evidence-Based, East-West Approach with Ben Zappin, L.Ac. and Ingrid Bauer, M.D. (16 hours)

Grand Rounds: Clinical Applications of IAO with Anthony Von der Muhll, L.Ac., DNBAO, FAAPMBen Zappin, L.Ac. (8 hours)

How Acupuncture Treats Pain: Clinical Applications of AOM Research with Anthony Von der Muhll, L.Ac., DNBAO, FAAPM, and Jonah Hershowitz, L.Ac. (8 hours)

Professional Ethics and Risk Management (4 hours)


  • Completion of 250 class hours (CEUs approved by California Acupuncture Board);
  • Clinical observation: 50 hours. (CEUs not available, arranged by participant, not instructor). The following hours of clinical practice and/or case conferences observing allied, mid-level or doctorate-level health professionals are required per specialty:
    • Physiatry or Pain Medicine: 10
    • Acupuncture specialty in orthopedics or physical, sports or pain medicine: 10
    • Physical Therapy: 10
    • Orthopedics, Podiatry, Neurology, Osteopathic, or Chiropractic: 5
    • Surgery, Urgent/Emergency Care, or Family, Pediatric or Geriatric Medicine: 5
    • Radiology: 5
  • Case report. Submission of one written case study regarding treatment of an orthopedic condition with AOM modalities.
  • Passage of written and practical exam. (CEUs not available). To sit for the exam, students must have met all class and clinical observation hours and submitted a passing case report, as described above. Examination fee of $100 is not included in program tuition, and is due by the day of the exam.

Continuing education to maintain certification: 8 hours/year in acupuncture orthopedics, sports, pain management or physical rehabilitation medicine. (Courses from other providers may be accepted based on review of course content and learning objectives.)

Can I get credit for distance learning?

  • Due to the hands-on and participatory requirements of modules addressing the spine and extremities and myofascial meridian pain, CAB Continuing Education Units and IAO Certification Program credit is only available for in-person attendance.

Program Costs

The total cost of completing the IAO program is the total cost of all required classes, which will vary depending upon whether you enroll in classes on an individual basis ($6,683), or enroll in multiple classes at a time (-10% discount for 2+ classes = $6,013.70). Please note that prices are subject to change at any time without prior notice.

View Schedule & Register

Head Instructor Anthony Von der Muhll L.Ac., DNBAO, FAIPM specializes in sports, orthopedic and neuro-musculoskeletal injuries and pain conditions. He became Licensed as an Acupuncturist in 2003, and was the first graduate of the Five Branches University’s’ Integrative Sports Medicine program. He has served as a Clinical Instructor and Associate Professor at the Five Branches since 2005, and as an Instructor in the Doctorate of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Program of the Academy of Chinese Culture and Health Sciences beginning in 2017. He is also a Diplomate of the National Board of Acupuncture Orthopedics, a Fellow of the Academy of Integrative Pain Management, and certified as a Personal Trainer through the American College of Sports Medicine. He is also one of few traditionally-trained acupuncturists who has also become certified as a Myofascial Trigger Point Therapist (dry needling) through Myopain Seminars. He has over 16 years of clinical experience as a sports massage therapist, physical therapy aide, athletic training assistant, and licensed acupuncturist in multi-disciplinary clinics, including SpineMed Associates and the PRIME Pain Medicine Institute. He has also served as an Expert Witness for the California Acupuncture Board (CAB) and in civil malpractice litigation. He is approved by the CAB as a provider for Continuing Education (Provider #1225).

For more information:


Phone: 1-800-499-1438