TCM Practice 1 (Acupuncture Techniques)

General Information
Duration 1 semester (14 teaching weeks)
Level Year 2, Semester 4
Unit Weighting Unit Credit Points: 10 credit points
Total Course Credit Points: 320 credit points
Student Workload Number of timetabled hours per week: 9 (including 5 hours clinical practice)
Number of personal study hours per week: 1
Total workload hours per week: 10
Prerequisites/ Corequisites ACU202 Channels and Points 2; CHM203 Chinese Herbal Medicine & Formulae 2 and a valid Senior First Aid Certificate
Academic Details
Description This unit covers the theory and practical techniques pertaining to the therapeutic stimulation of the body using needles, moxa and cupping techniques. It will include an examination of the origins and development of acupuncture needling, moxibustion and cupping theory, discussion of the mechanisms by which acupuncture, moxibustion works according to both traditional Chinese and Western scientific perspectives. The focus of this unit of study will be on theories of point selection, the theory and practical techniques for the safe and effective insertion, manipulation, removal and disposal of needles, effective application of moxibustion and cupping. Comprehensive content to support practical classes will be provided to ensure the students practice in a safe and hygienic environment.

The clinical practice level 2 aims to provide the student with 70 hours of active participation in basic clinical procedures involved in the diagnosis and management of patients as an assistant.  Students will be placed in the student clinic and are able to attend practice with approved external practitioners. This stage will provide them with an introduction to clinic and patient management including pulse and tongue diagnosis, clinical decision making, herbal treatment, acupuncture treatment with needles, moxibustion, and cupping etc.

Infection control requirements, the importance of a commitment to the appropriate reporting of adverse events and the implementation of appropriate first aid measures when a patient displays an adverse reaction to treatment, and to ensure prompt transfer to medical services where necessary will be emphasised. The desire to achieve excellence in the practice of acupuncture and to contribute to improving both the quality of life of patients and the wellbeing of the community and the environment will be a key feature in the teaching and learning of this unit.

Learning outcomes Upon completion of this unit the student will be able to:

  1. Explain the history and rationale for acupuncture treatment within the Chinese medicine theoretical paradigm including the functions and therapeutic aims of Filiform acupuncture, moxibustion, cupping and Guasha treatments to improve the quality of life of patients and the wellbeing of the community and the environment.
  2. Critically evaluate the indications, strengthens, limitations, cautions and contraindications of common types of acupuncture needles, moxibustion, cupping and Guasha; and demonstrate their applications in both of simulated settings and teaching clinic.
  3. Synthesize the principles of point selection, the combining of points, the methods of point stimulation and their significance for common clinical conditions.
  4. Describe issues related to risk management, infection control and culturally sensitive points in the application of acupuncture, moxibustion, cupping and Guasha treatments within the Australian healthcare context; and demonstrate safe and professional practice in both of simulated settings and teaching clinic.
  5. Demonstrate potential competency in problem-focused interview and examination, integrated diagnosis and pattern differentiation, and formation of treatment plans including acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine and formulas, herbal identification and dispensing, patient care, record keeping and clinic duties as a Level 2 assistant in the clinic practice.
  6. Describe and demonstrate compliance with Chinese Medicine Board of Australia’s policies, codes and guidelines to their practice, and awareness of the updated listing of restricted Chinese herbs in the clinic practice and Code of Conduct (including self-reflection, understanding and practicing within their own scope of practice, assuming responsibility and accept accountability for their own professional decisions, and identifying and explaining procedures for the appropriate reporting of adverse events and implementation of appropriate first aid measures when necessary) in the clinic practice.
Unit requirement To successfully complete the unit, students must: attend 80% of all the lectures and tutorial classes plus 100% of clinic hours including fulfilling all rostered receptionist duties; attempt all assessment tasks including summative and formative assessments and achieve at least 50% of the total marks; and achieve a mark of at least 40% in the final examination and at least 50% in Clinical Assessment.
Assessment Assessment 1: Practical test (20%)

Assessment 2: Clinical Assessment (30%)

Assessment 3: Final Examination (50%)

Prescribed text * The prescribed and recommended readings are subject to annual review.

Cheng, X., Cheng, Y., & Deng, L. (2010). Chinese acupuncture and moxibustion (3th ed.). Beijing: Foreign Languages Press.

Kerridge, I. H., Lowe, M., & Stewart, C. (2013). Ethics and law for the health professions (4th ed.). Annandale, N.S.W.: The Federation Press.

Recommended readings Australian Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Association Ltd. Infection Control Management Plan Template for Queensland Acupuncture Practices (2011). Australian Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Association Ltd. Brisbane. Available from

Chinese Medicine Board of Australia (2013). Infection prevention and control guidelines for acupuncture practice. Available at 01/09/2013).

Deadman, P., Al-Khafaji, M., & Baker, K. (2007). A manual of acupuncture (2nd ed.). Hove, East Sussex: Journal of Chinese Medicine Publications.

Ellis A., Wiseman N., Boss K. (1989). Grasping the Wind. Brookline; Massachusetts: Paradigm

Maciocia, G. (2004). Diagnosis in Chinese medicine: A comprehensive guide. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone.

Maciocia, G. (2008). The practice of Chinese medicine: The treatment of diseases with acupuncture and Chinese herbs (2nd ed.). Edinburgh; New York: Elsevier.

National Health and Medical Research Council (2010). Australian Guidelines for the prevention and control of infection in healthcare. Australian Government: Canberra. Available at 04/09/2013)

Weir, M. (2007). Complementary medicine: Ethics and law (3rd ed.). Ashgrove, Qld. Prometheus Publications.