Meridians and Acupoints

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Learn more about how the concepts of Traditional Chinese Medicine(TCM) differ from those of Western medicine. Expand your knowledge and understanding of meridians, acupoints, qi, yin and yang for your massage therapy practice after taking this course.

Meridians and Acupoints outline (5 CEUs):
  • Chapter One: Introduction to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)

Traditional Chinese Medicine, or TCM, is an all-encompassing term that includes medical practices that originated in China and are often thousands of years old. The practice often involves the use of traditional herbs, acupuncture, and energy work. In America, TCM is considered part of complementary and alternative therapy. The practice has its roots in traditional Taoism. In China, TCM is practiced in hospitals alongside what is considered “traditional” Western medicine.i

  • Chapter Two: Qi and The Five Elements

Qi is an integral part of TCM, and of meridian and acupoint study. Qi, “pronounced ‘chee,’ means energy. You may see it spelled ‘Chi’ or even ‘Ki’ in Japanese, but they all carry the same meaning. It is “the energy of the body, of the meridians, of food, of the universe.”ii

The five elements of TCM are all aspects of qi energy. The five elements are wood, fire, earth, metal, and water. Harmony of the five elements is one of the major aspects of maintaining health in Chinese medicine. The elements rise and fall both seasonally and daily.

  • Chapter Three: What Are Meridians?

Meridians are the channels through which qi passes in the body. Qi moves through us in a similar fashion to the electrical impulses of the nervous system, or the blood in the circulatory system. Like these systems, the meridians of the body are fixed. When the flow of qi through the meridians is blocked, the cause is an imbalance in yin and yang. Acupuncture and other modalities exist to unblock the meridians so qi can flow and health can be restored.iii

  • Chapter Four: What Are Acupoints?

Acupoints is another word for acupuncture points or acupressure points. These are specific, mapable points along the body’s meridians. When the meridians are blocked and qi isn’t flowing, leading to discomfort or illness, TCM practitioners can use acupuncture, acupressure, or other methodologies to treat the acupoint and unblock the flow of qi.iv

  • Chapter Five: Where Are Acupoints?

Acupoints are located along the meridians of the body. Some of the meridians covered in this chapter include the small intestine meridian, the heart meridian, and the lung meridian. There are other meridians in this course and the therapist will learn about the acupoints along all of them.

  • Chapter Six: Contraindication for Acupressure/Acupuncture

Even with thorough knowledge of all the acupoints and their indications, there are situations where putting pressure on these points or performing acupuncture are not indicated. All of the contraindications will be covered in this chapter.




i National Institute of Health, Traditional Chinese Medicine: An Introduction,


ii Yin Yang House, “What is Qi? Qi in TCM Acupuncture Theory,”


iii Tsao Hsueh-Lien and Bruce Thornton, Meridians: Using the Chinese Energy Map For Your Health, Astrolog Publishing House, 2004.


iv WebMD, “Acupressure Points and Massage Treatment,”



Continuing education units (CEUs) are provided via electronic download in PDF format. Review the course work at your own pace and then take the included test online. You can print your certificate immediately after passing each test! All coursework is NCBTMB approved (NCBTMB # 451897-12). NOTE: Each state has different requirements. Please be sure to check our state requirements page and contact your state to verify your requirements.