Polyvagal Theory and the Five Elements

This course is rooted in an East-meets-West approach to restoring balance and regulation in survivors of traumatic stress. It marries theoretical and clinical concepts from Western neuroscience with Acupuncture and Asian Medicine (AAM) to elucidate body-informed clinical skills for acupuncturists.

Polyvagal Theory and the Five Elements

12 Lessons 
Included
1:30 hours 
On-Demand Video
8 Interactive
Quizzes
Certificate On Completion
CEU/PDA/CPD

What you will learn

  • Recognize the critical role of the Kidney-Heart axis in traumatic stress.
  • Discuss the interface of the poly-vagal theory with the Shen cycle.
  • Discuss the critical role of developmental trauma on adult morbidity and mortality as a public health concern.
  • Describe common physiological responses to traumatic stress that affect the digestive system.
  • Discuss how an understanding of PolyVagal Theory can inform approaches to building safer communities.

Course Overview

This course is rooted in an East-meets-West approach to restoring balance and regulation in survivors of traumatic stress. It marries theoretical and clinical concepts from Western neuroscience with Acupuncture and Asian Medicine (AAM) to elucidate body-informed clinical skills for acupuncturists.

Advances in the last 10-20 years in the study of the neurobiology of traumatic stress have revolutionized the understanding of its impact on survivors. Survivors will benefit when we integrate modern, scientific understandings of the human response to threat into how we offer needles, manage clinical interactions, and interpret signs and symptoms. 

The polyvagal theory provides a Western scientific foundation for the critical foundation of safety and relationship in the treatment of trauma survivors. When explored in the context of the Shen and K’o cycles in the 5 Element model, it can deepen and inform an acupuncturist’s understanding of the energetic foundation of the traumatic stress response. 

Many of the symptoms that bring patients to acupuncturists and other integrative medicine providers – elusive, chronic, and hard to diagnosis problems like intractable pain, autoimmune disorders, digestive disturbances, insomnia, depression, and anxiety – have a connection to autonomic nervous system dysregulation caused by traumatic stress that is ongoing or occurred long ago.

Trauma survivors are fortunate to live in a time and place where ancient and modern, Eastern and Western, integrative approaches are available for restoring balance and regulation to their body, mind, emotions, and spirit.


This course is approved by:

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1.5 CEUs/PDAs
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1.5 CPD
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Group 1 | 1.5 hours


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Disclaimer | Before You Purchase

Accessing Your Course

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Cancellation Policy

Our pre-recorded courses are immediately accessible after purchase and therefore are non-refundable.

Unlimited Access

Once purchased we grant you a lifetime access license. See more on our Terms of Use page.

We encourage you to return to courses again and again as learning continues and in each view, we learn and understand new things.

CEU/CPD/PDA

When stated
CEU/PDA/CPD requirements need to be completed within 1 year of the purchase. You are advised to print and save your certificate for your records and under your association requirements.

Members of NCCAOM & Florida, need to fill in a form after completing their courses for us to submit the points. Look for our email after the completion of the course.

About Instructor

Alaine D. Duncan, M.Ac., L.Ac., Dipl.Ac.

Alaine Duncan is an acupuncturist and a Somatic Experiencing Practitioner. She is the author of The Tao of Trauma: A Practitioner's Guide for Integrating Five Element Theory and Trauma Treatment. Alaine has a fascination for the interface of East and West, the personal and the political, the individual and the collective -- and holds a special place in her heart and her mind for the role of healers and healing in cultural transformation.

6 Courses

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Course Includes

  • 4 Sections
  • 12 Lessons
  • 2 Quizzes
  • Course Certificate