Reviews of The Complete Stems and Branches: Time and Space in Classical Acupuncture

“This is the best, most practical explanation in English to date of Stems and branches theory. You will thank yourself for buying it and your patients will thank you as well.”


When I picked up your book I knew I had found someone who really understands and can teach the fundamentals of Traditional Taoist Acupuncture. I find this very exciting.

Nell Carr

Acupuncturist Maryland, USA

I have found this book an incredible resource for my own use in the treatment room and my understanding of Traditional Chinese medicine. This area of Traditional Acupuncture has been quite difficult to understand. This book is quite a demanding read but it is incredibly informative and interesting and with relevant case histories and practical questions and advice.

Penny Clay

Acupuncturist, Southampton

This is a most enjoyable book exploring some difficult subjects of Chinese medicine.

Sam Patel

Acupuncturist and Acupuncture Teacher – Journal Of Oriental Medicine

I have taken it upon myself to thoroughly research and understand the notions of the celestial stems and terrestrial branches, and their pertinence to chrono-treatment methods. This led me to purchase your book, and I must say I've found it wonderful resource for helping one to dig further into the many puzzles that emerge from this very complex subject.

Grayson Wood

Acupuncturist, Rhode Island, USA

This book is worth reading for those who wish to get closer to the essential roots of classical acupuncture. If one spends any time in China, Korea, or Japan, one is struck by the constant and obsessive attention to the calendrical cycles and issues of time and space and the stars in general. Indeed, study of the Bazi as related to astronomy, little known by many contemporary physicians, was an every day part of medical culture in East Asia up until the twentieth century. This should be a book to whet your interest in an area of much fascination and of considerable clinical significance.

James Flowers

Acupuncturist and Chinese Medical Practitioner, Australia

This is amazing work and I thank you for sharing it with me. Much of what I read here is new to me. There is a great wealth of information here … I find the discussions of time, elements, lunar phases and natural cycles to be very illuminating and reveal more of the depth and breadth of Chinese medicine with each paragraph.…I have found what I have read to be very helpful in connecting me with those wisdoms which are inherently contained within Chinese medicine.

Dr. Stephen Gascoigne

Acupuncturist, Chinese Herbalist, Author

This author has done a great deal of research on a very complex concept, and has done a good job on explaining it in terms that the occidental mind can easily grasp. I recommend this book for anyone who wishes to understand the approaches to acupuncture treatment on a much deeper level than is commonly taught in modern schools.

This book is indeed a highly aspirational work, as stated in the foreword by Peter Firebrace… to understand the nature of time in all its changing patterns and manifestations and to restore it to its all-but-forgotten position at the heart of Chinese medicine.” To render this theory into print in an accessible and enjoyable format is not an easy task. It is clearly a useful book for the practicing acupuncturist or student of stems and branches acupuncture and also ideal for those who want to delve deeply into Chinese medicine and learn about its resonances with Chinese cosmology.

Rob Hughes

Acupuncturist, Acupuncture Teacher, Journal of Chinese Medicine

If you really want to have access to the classics, then you cannot ignore the stem and branch system, as classical authors discuss the cosmology behind medicine at least as much as they discuss diagnosis.

Richard Goodman

Author of Chinese Classical Medicine Texts



Time and Space in Classical Acupuncture
(previously published by Elsevier)
By Roisin Golding

Best book on the subject "The Complete Stems and Branches: Time and Space in Classical Acupuncture" for those of you who want to learn a fully integrated acupuncture system using 5 elements, yin yang, heaven earth man, heavenly stems and earthly branches.




*Available in:
paperback, £55 (ISBN no: 9780957651401)
epub, £29.99 (ISBN no: 9780957651418)


Key Features

  • First fully comprehensive book exploring key concepts in daoist Chinese Medicine
  • Fully integrates yin yang; 5 elements; Heaven Earth, Man, ten Stems and twelve Branches
  • The only book to fully reference classical acupuncture source texts
  • Detailed case studies demonstrating the power of Heavenly Stems and Earthly Branches acupuncture treatments
  • First acupuncture book to fully explore and explain the origins of classical Chinese acupuncture and its link with Han dynasty astronomy, cosmology, and daoist philosophy
  • Explains numerology and trigram associations with acupuncture
  • Includes full stems and branches charts, including year charts, month, day and open hourly charts


  • Step up from learning from Master acupuncturists and learn how you can be a Master acupuncturist
  • Learn how you can create focused powerful treatments
  • Understand the core philosophy at the heart of acupuncture and you will ban confusion for good
  • Learn how to integrate 5 elements, yin yang, heaven earth man, six divisions and stems and branches
  • Treat in harmony with the Tao of your patient and the Tao of now

Topics Covered In The Complete Stems and Branches: Time and Space in Traditional Acupuncture

"To understand the nature of time in all its changing patterns and manifestations and to restore it to its all-but-forgotten position at the heart of Chinese Medicine" - Peter Firebrace, past principle of International College of Oriental Medicine, West Sussex, England.

The Complete Stems and Branches: Time and Space in Classical Acupuncture is set out in three sections:

Part one: Time Space and the Dao

Chapter 1 : Cyclical Time
Chapter 2 : Sequential Time
Chapter 3 : Non Time
Chapter 4 : The Calendar
Chapter 5 : Heaven Earth and Humankind
Chapter 6 : Five elements

Part Two: Heavenly Earth and Earthly Branches

Chapter 7 : Six Divisions
Chapter 8 : Great Movements
Chapter 9 : Stem Organs
Chapter 10 : Branches
Chapter 11 : Putting It All Together
Chapter 12 : Open Hourly Method Of Point Selection

Part Three: The Inner Core of Acupuncture

Chapter 13 : The Chinese Sky
Chapter 14 : Psychological Profiles
Chapter 15 : Numerology
Chapter 16 : Symbols

Appendix one

  • Stems and branches acupuncture charts
  • Stems and branches acupuncture year chart
  • Stem and branch number chart
  • Stems and branches for first day of year
  • Stems and branches for first month of year
  • Hour stems and branches
  • Open hourly acupuncture points
  • Intergeneration of acupuncture points – open hourly
  • The Farmers calendar with 24 seasonal periods, the jie qi, and their associated branches and climates, host divisions and elements
  • Chart of the six divisions, 8 trigrams, 10 stems, 12 branches, 24 jieqi and 28 xiu or lunar mansions

Appendix two

  • Astronomy – how to make basic sense of the heavens

Appendix three

  • Star maps of the sky during the Han dynasty – redrawn with permission from Sun Xiaochun, Kistemaker J, 1997 The Chinese Sky During the Han, constellating stars and society, Brill Leiden

Roisin Golding

Author of The Complete Stems and Branches: Time and Space in Classical Acupuncture

Roisin Golding studied at the International College of Oriental Medicine, Sussex, England, from 1983 - 1986. She has been practicing acupuncture for more than 29 years, in London, presently in Harley Street.

She is a member of the British Acupuncture Council.

Roisin is also part of an international team of acupuncture experts reviewing Chinese Medicine classification for the World Health Organisation.
She has taught Daoist stems and branches acupuncture in England. Most recently she was invited to speak in China on the relationship between Han dynasty cosmology and acupuncture (video coming soon)

Her book, 'The Complete Stems and Branches: Time and Space in Traditional Acupuncture' was first published by Elsevier in 2008. Note that this new edition has a change of subtitle. It is now The Complete Stems and Branches: Time and Space in Classical Acupuncture.

Stems and Branches Energy Calculator Disk 

Use the following links to download and construct the Stems and Branches Energy Calculator Disk


How to assemble the disk

1. Print the top two disks on transparencies.
Connect all three disks with a rivet, or even a paper clip in the middle.

Moveable top disc – Period dates and host energies.
Moveable inner disk – Guest energies.
Base disk – Great movements.

This disk calculates the interactions between guest and host qi and ruling elements throughout each year.

The ruling elements (Great Movements) are marked on the base ring of the disk. Align the Great Movement of the Year with the Element of the Year marked on the transparency. Then each subsequent element will be shown for its 72 day period.

The host energies are shown on the transparent top disk and these arrive at the same time each year.

The Guest Heaven and Guest Earth energies are marked on the moveable inner disk. Align the Guest Heaven energy with the H on the transparency, and then the Guest ‘side energies’ will automatically be in the correct position.

This disk can be used independently of the book by a practitioner in his/her clinic.