CSPH 5311 - Introduction to Traditional Chinese Medicine

Course Description

 This course gives you a broad overview of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) theory and practical application to use for your personal wellness and to enrich your clinical practice within various integrative healthcare fields.

Over the semester we will explore the philosophical roots of Shamanism, Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism and how they have shaped TCM throughout history. You will gain a nuanced understanding of concepts of the tao, yin-yang, five elements, qi, microcosm, and macrocosm as applied to health, disease, and wellbeing.

You will become familiar with all the therapeutic tools used within TCM: herbal medicine, tui na, qi gong, acupuncture, moxibustion, cupping, gua sha, food therapy, etc., as well as understand TCM etiology of disease, physiology, diagnosis, therapy, disease prevention, ethics, psychology, and cosmology.

This course is especially beneficial for students interested in integrative medicine, holistic healing systems, and eastern philosophy. There is a strong emphasis on applying what you learn toward your personal wellness.

This is a blended course, consisting of two in-class days (one at the beginning and end of the semester) and weekly online learning.

"If you want to become whole,

let yourself be partial.

If you want to become straight,

let yourself be crooked.

If you want to become full,

let yourself be empty.

If you want to be reborn,

let yourself die.

If you want to be given everything,

give everything up."

-Lao Tzu

Course Objectives:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the worldview and primary perspectives that underpin Traditional Chinese Medicine, such as holism, inter-connectedness, qi, the theory of yin and yang, the theory of five elements, and the importance of harmony.
  • Identify the historical, philosophical, and cultural contexts that have shaped the evolution of Chinese medicine and continue to influence its development today.
  • Define Oriental Medicine, Classical Chinese Medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine, and other related terms.
  • Outline the basics of TCM clinical assessment, methods of diagnosis, the significance and importance of pattern differentiation, and basic TCM treatment principles.
  • Identify TCM treatment modalities and therapies such as acupuncture, moxibustion, tui na (therapeutic massage), cupping, gua sha (dermal friction therapies), dietary and herbal therapies, and qi gong therapies.
  • Demonstrate an engagement in “perspective leaping” through active participation in clinic observation and clinic assessment opportunities as well through participation in class discussion.
  • Make an assessment, to the best of your ability, of the meaning and value of TCM in healthcare today based upon your direct observation, experience, research and critical thinking and reflection.


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Course Details and Registration

Course Details

Course Format: 
Course ID: 
CSPH 5311
jr or sr or grad student
Semesters Course Offered: 
Course Flyer: 
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