Fundamental Theory of TCM & TCM Terminology

General Information
Duration 1 semester (14 teaching weeks)
Level Year 1, Semester 1
Unit Weighting Unit Credit Points: 10 credit points
Total Course Credit Points: 320 credit points
Student Workload Number of timetabled hours per week: 4
Number of personal study hours per week: 6
Total workload hours per week: 10
Prerequisites/ Corequisites None
Academic Details
Description This unit of study provides students with a comprehensive foundation in the theories of Chinese medicine required for the further study of acupuncture and/or Chinese herbal medicine. The content will include the history, development, strengths and limitations of CM, Yin Yang and Wu Xing theory; the structure and function of the body (organs, channels, and vital substances); the Channel system and its role in human physiology; the Chinese medicine theory of the causes, development and progression of disease; the approaches to the prevention and management of diseases; and the therapeutic principles and methods employed in traditional Chinese medicine practice. TCM treatment will be explored and examined in awareness of Australia’s multi-cultural and multi-racial context and in accordance with seasonal conditions, local conditions, and the patient’s individuality.
Learning outcomes Upon completion of this unit students should be able to:

  1. Discuss the history, development, strengths and limitations of Chinese medicine and the necessity to refer to peers, or other medical and health professional when appropriate.
  2. Discuss the theories of Yin Yang and Wu Xing (the five elements)and contextualise them in relation to Chinese medicine
  3. Describe the features, physiological functions and pathological changes of the Zang Fu and the Jing Luo (Channel) system
  4. Define the concepts and explain the functions of Qi, Xue, Jin Ye and Jing
  5. Explain the theory of the origin and development of diseases from the TCM perspective including pathogenesis and disease mechanism
  6. Explain and describe the concepts and principles of prevention, harm minimisation, and treatment in TCM in appreciation of the multi-cultural/multi-racial context of Australia.
  7. Identify and describe therapeutic techniques used in the prevention and clinical management of disease in TCM
Unit requirement To successfully complete the unit, students must: attend 80% of all the lectures and tutorial classes; 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.
Assessment Assessment 1: Weekly Spot Tests (20%)

Assessment 2: Poster Presentation: Flow Chart (30%)

Assessment 3: Final examination (50%)

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

Maciocia, G. (2015). The foundations of Chinese medicine: A comprehensive text for acupuncturists and herbalists (3nd ed.). Edinburgh: Elsevier Churchill Livingstone. (eBook is available)

Recommended readings Kaptchuk, T. J. (2000). Chinese medicine: The web that has no weaver (Rev. ed.). London: Rider.

Liu, Y., Eckman, P., &Vian, K. (1996). The essential book of traditional Chinese medicine. New York: Columbia University Press.

Ross, J. (1985). Zangfu, the organ systems of traditional Chinese medicine: Functions, interrelationships and patterns of disharmony in theory and practice (2nd ed.). Edinburgh; New York: Churchill Livingstone.