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8 hours $7.98
12 hours $6.98
20 hours $5.98
30 hours $4.98

Traditional Chinese Medicine: An Ancient Approach to Healing

2.5 Contact Hours
Target Audience: Nurses, healthcare professionals, and interested individuals
Purpose/Goal: The outcome of this course is for the learner to provide an overview of traditional Chinese medicine and the role of the basic substances and the meridian system in health, as well as causes of disharmony, types of diagnostic methods, and common treatment methods.
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Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is one of the oldest continuously practiced professional medical systems in the world, with origins dating back more than 3,000 years. TCM emphasizes the holistic view of the human being and encompasses many different treatment modalities such as acupuncture, acupressure, herbal medicine, and Qigong.

Upon completion of the course, you will be able to do the following:

  • Describe the differences between viewpoints in Western medicine and traditional Chinese medicine (TCM).
  • Compare and contrast the concepts of yin and yang.
  • Discuss the five elements of five elements theory and explain their characteristics.
  • State the characteristics of the basic substances of qi, jing, blood, body fluids, and shen.
  • Describe the role of the basic substances in the body.
  • Identify the organs of the zang-fu system and describe their functions.
  • Explain the meridian or channel system and its role in TCM.
  • List the internal and external causes of disharmony according to TCM.
  • Describe the four types of examinations used in TCM.
  • Explain acupuncture, moxibustion, and cupping.
  • Explain acupressure and herbalism.
  • Explain Qigong, Tai Chi Chuan, and lifestyle modifications as used in TCM.

Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) originated thousands of years ago. Dating back over 3,000 years to 1000 BC in the Shang Dynasty, it has a long, rich history of development and it has been examined, tested, manipulated, and modified throughout its long use. TCM views the body as an organic whole, with the relationship between the individual and nature as an integral unit. As an organic whole, the different parts of the body are inseparable in structure. The organs are related physiologically and are influenced pathologically (Bing & Hongcai, 2010). Employed by a quarter of the world’s population, it is one of the “oldest literate, professional, continuously practiced medicine in the world” (Bright, 2002, p. 261). Consider the following evidence and observations about TCM (Bing & Hongcai, 2010; Cassidy, 2002; Ergil, 2015):

  • Archeological digs reveal acupuncture needles, and unearthed bones show inscriptions of medical conditions.
  • Huang Di’s book, The Yellow Emperor’s Inner Classic (Huang Di Nei Jing), dates to the third century BC but contains much older material, including listings and discussion on the principles of yin and yang, the five phases, and the effects of the seasons on the human body, as well as the therapeutic value of acupuncture, moxibustion, and more than 100 extracts from herbal, mineral, and animal sources.
  • Many of the postures of Qigong (a TCM practice similar to yoga) were developed from observations of animal behavior. The movements of wild geese, for example, form the basis of Dayan Qigong, which relates these movements to acupuncture points and the energy flow in the body.
  • Many shamanic practices, especially those of ancient Asia, are believed to be at the foundation of TCM.

Many healthcare practitioners are familiar with the Western scientific view of medicine and unfamiliar with TCM, even though it has been practiced for several thousand years (Ergil, 2015). While TCM may seem exotic and unusual, it is based on a profound philosophy and a rich tradition of empirical study (Williams, 2003). Today this medicine is so popular and easily available that some call it mainstream (Cassidy, 2002; National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health [NCCIH], 2013a).

Because we tend to make sense of the world from our individual viewpoints, we may often make intellectual errors when dealing with medical systems that have been developed in other cultures. To avoid errors, healthcare providers and other caregivers must understand the medical systems embedded in their own and other cultures.

Complete the course post exam (CE Test) with a score of 80% or greater. Complete all fields of the course evaluation form. Certificate of Completion is provided once the course post exam is passed per criteria above.

  • American Board of Managed Care Nursing
  • ANCC - American Nurses Credentialing Center
  • AOTA - American Occupational Therapy Association
  • ASWB - Association of Social Work Boards
  • California Board of Behavioral Sciences
  • California Board of Registered Nursing
  • California Department of Health, Aid, and Technician Certification Section
  • District of Columbia Board of Nursing
  • Florida Board of Nursing
  • Florida Board of Nursing - Certified Nursing Assistants
  • Florida Board of Respiratory Care
  • Florida Council of Dietetics and Nutrition
  • Florida Council of Licensed Midwifery
  • NAADAC - The National Association of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselors
  • NCBTMB -National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork
  • Florida Board of Massage Therapists


Practice Level:


Content Focus:

Domain of OT

Course Expires:

February 05, 2021

  • Cyndie Koopsen, RN, BSN, MBA, HNB-BC, RN-BC, HWNC-BC
  • Caroline Young, MPH
Jurisdictional Requirements:

Continuing education (CE) licensing requirements vary by jurisdiction, are not well defined, and may change. These CE requirements may vary in terms of the number of hours required to the types of courses that must be taken. ALLEGRA Learning Solutions, LLC recommends you contact your licensing board or accrediting organization for the latest continuing education requirements of your state or territory. Compliance with CE requirements is the responsibility of the individual health care provider. Health care providers must understand the CE requirements in their jurisdictions, and be sure they are up-to-date on any rule changes that affect their license. For further information, please see our Accreditation Information.

Accommodations for Disabilities:

Every effort will be made to accommodate your special needs. To request accommodations, please contact us.

Conflicts of Interest and Relevant Financial Relationships:

The authors/planning committee members have no conflicts of interests or relevant financial relationships to declare relevant to this activity.

Commercial Support:

No commercial support has been received for this activity.

Non-endorsement of products:

Accreditation refers to recognition of continuing nursing education only and does not imply ALLEGRA Learning Solutions, LLC approval or endorsement of any commercial product.

Off-label Use of Products:

None of the authors intend to discuss off-label uses of drugs, mechanical devices, biologics, or diagnostics not approved by the FDA for use in the United States.