COVID-19 Considerations for
Medical Acupuncture for Physicians

After conducting only virtual classes in 2020 and 2021, HMI is starting in-person programming again in 2022. The health and safety of course participants, preceptors, and staff are of the upmost importance to HMI. Therefore, a myriad of COVID-19 mitigation strategies will be in place for each in-person event in accordance with the current pandemic situation. Specific protocols will be announced with each in-person course, and the mitigation strategies may include:

  • Vaccination and booster requirements for all in-person attendees
  • Indoor masking with N95 or KN95 masks
  • PCR and/or antigen testing
  • Daily symptom and temperature checks
  • Capacity limits and staggered daily scheduling
  • Social distancing when possible


For more information on how HMI implemented remote teaching, please read below.

The Remote Teaching / Distance Learning Experience

Because of current health considerations, we have changed the format of the HMI courses for 2020 and 2021. Live programs will be provided via remote teaching rather than on-site gatherings. Video lectures will be used to present the core material and Zoom meetings with clinical preceptors will guide your hands-on work. In our supervised Zoom work we will concentrate on your mastering the clinical techniques most commonly used in practice by course graduates.

Participants in the course will need a partner on whom to needle for clinical activities.


HMI Experience with Remote Teaching

Helms Medical Institute and its sister organization Acus Foundation have had experience with remote teaching throughout the pandemic in 2020 and 2021. These activities have included Zoom meetings to conclude the final units of two courses interrupted by COVID, launching fully remote one-day auricular acupuncture trainings, coordinating a clinically intensive military program via Zoom, and running a fully remote Medical Acupuncture for Physicians course.  Below are a few comments from recent distance learning participants:


  • “I didn’t know what to think going into the Zoom meetings, how it was all going to work out.  But it was just a different way of doing the same thing.”
  • “In spite of distance learning, it felt like I was in the class in-person.”
  • “I am very impressed with the accommodations for COVID precautions that have been taken. My education doesn’t feel short-changed at all.”
  • “Excellent Zoom hands-on classes! Was not expecting it to go this well for all of us!”
  • “Overall excellent experience, especially given this was virtual, which is a difficult format for such a module. The preceptors were excellent and the organization of the course was great.”
  • “Such a wonderful course; truly made the best of remote learning.”
  • “This was the best virtual course I have ever attended.”

Clinical Partners

The remote teaching sessions focus on hands-on work, as they would at a live on-site course.  Hands-on work is done in small groups so that you have good supervised interaction with HMI clinical preceptors. We start the course by practicing needling on synthetic models, and then advance to needling a partner. You will, therefore, need a partner to participate in the remote teaching course.

  • The best option is to partner with someone else enrolled in the course. (HMI staff can help pair up local course participants.)
  • A second option is to find a course graduate living in your area that will partner with you.  This arrangement gives you the advantage of working with a colleague already experienced with acupuncture.
  • Or, recruit a spouse, a friend, a mature child (16 or older), colleague, neighbor to be your partner, making sure they understand that being needled is involved.
  • Please note that pregnant women should not be partners. HMI teaching guidelines do not allow needling pregnant women during our courses.


Remote Teaching Technology

To participate in the Zoom sessions of the remote course, you will need a computer with camera (preferred) or a tablet with camera. For the hands-on work, we will provide you with an external webcam and mini-tripod to enable hands-free Zooming during these sessions.