Complementary Therapies in Healthcare


Examines the history and philosophical approaches to complementary therapies, professional and legal issues, indications and contraindications for use of complementary therapies, as well as some of the practical techniques of complementary therapies.

The course will be theory and practical based and will include complementary therapies such as massage, aromatherapy, Reiki, meditation, and guided imagery. These therapies have been selected to suit the scope of practice of health care professionals and also because of burgeoning community interest and usage of these complementary therapies. The different modalities will be viewed from a historical, social and contemporary basis within the legal context of modern society in Australia.


Port Macquarie Nth Coast Inst

  • Semester 1 - 2016


  • Semester 1 - 2016


  • Semester 1 - 2016

Learning Outcomes

1. Critically examine concepts of complementary therapies and the available evidence

2. Develop an understanding of the safe practice and legal responsibilities of nurses and other health professionals integrating complementary therapies into practice

3. Develop an understanding of the history and context of complementary therapies used in health care.

4. Discuss theory and practiced based modalities including massage, acupressure, reflexology, aromatherapy, herbal therapy, Alexander technique. Feldenkrais, Reiki, meditation, guided imagery and music therapy.

5. Examine contraindications and benefits of complementary therapies within the scope of practice

6. Examine professional and cultural issues relating to complementary therapies


This course will cover the following topics within practical application where appropriate in tutorial sessions:

  • Introduction to the history and philosophy of complementary therapies within a context of health;
  • Professional,cultural ethical and legal issues regarding complementary therapies;
  • Using complementary therapies for specific conditions within scope of nursing practice;
  • Exploring the contraindications and benefits of different types of complementary therapies;
  • Introduction to massage including shiatsu, Swedish and remedial massage;
  • Exploring Eastern massage techniques such as Thai massage;
  • Introduction to Reiki and other therapeutic touch modalities applicable health care;
  • Herbal therapy;
  • Principles of acupressure within a health setting;
  • Aromatherapy within a health care context including care of the elderly with dementia and palliative care patients;
  • Introduction to meditation and exploration into guided imagery;

Assessment Items

Quiz: Sociology Quiz *

Quiz: Pharmacy and Nursing Quiz *

Presentation: 3a) PowerPoint or equivalent presentation & 3b) reply posting about one other student¿s Presentation *

Literature Review: Literature review *

* This assessment has a compulsory requirement.

Compulsory Requirements

In order to pass this course, each student must complete ALL of the following compulsory requirements:

General Course Requirements:

  • Workshop: Attendance Requirement - Students must attend a minimum number of these sessions. - 100% attendance and participation in the workshop is required to achieve a pass or higher grade in this course. Due to the resource intensity of this course students who cannot fulfill the requirement of attendance, may need to attend the workshop at the next course offering.

Course Assessment Requirements:

  • Literature Review: Attempt / Submission Requirement - Students must attempt/submit this assessment item to pass the course.
  • Presentation: Attempt / Submission Requirement - Students must attempt/submit this assessment item to pass the course.
  • Quiz: Attempt / Submission Requirement - Students must attempt/submit this assessment item to pass the course.
  • Quiz: Attempt / Submission Requirement - Students must attempt/submit this assessment item to pass the course.

Contact Hours

Port Macquarie Nth Coast Inst, Ourimbah and Callaghan


Face to Face On Campus 10 hour(s) per Term

3 of Lecture Hours of Face to Face 7 of Lecture Hours Online


Face to Face On Campus 2 hour(s) per Week for 4 Weeks

4 hours of tutorials will be delivered face to face


Face to Face On Campus 7 hour(s) per Term