Course Title: Introduction to Wellness Practices and Perspectives

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Introduction to Wellness Practices and Perspectives

Credit Points: 12.00

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


Bundoora Campus


150H Health Sciences


Sem 1 2008,
Sem 2 2008,
Sem 1 2009,
Sem 2 2009,
Sem 1 2010,
Sem 2 2010,
Sem 1 2011,
Sem 2 2011,
Sem 1 2012

Course Coordinator: Liza Oates

Course Coordinator Phone: +61) 0412 310 390

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: Off Campus

Course Coordinator Availability: Email is the preferred method of contact

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

This subject is offered as an elective to undergraduate students from various departments. There are no pre-requisites, however students without adequate computer and English language literacy skills may find it difficult to meet the demands of the course.

While a background in Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) may assist, it is assumed that many students will not have such a background. Therefore any important concepts will be introduced as part of the course content.

Course Description

Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) is widely embraced by health consumers with an interest in maintaining their personal wellbeing. Practitioners in related health fields should benefit from a better working knowledge of the array of CAM therapies their patients may be utilising. In addition, those wishing to work in other industries such as business and marketing may also benefit from understanding the characteristics of CAM that attract consumers.

Students with an interest in wellbeing will gain an overview of the exciting new field wellness and the many aspects of life that contribute to our wellbeing. A wide range of complementary healthcare modalities will also be explored, with the aim of discovering what kind of strategies they offer to support health and wellness. Topic areas include concepts of health, wellness and disease; the dimensions of wellness; complementary therapies as health promotion; alternative medical systems; biologically based therapies; bodywork therapies; mind-body medicine; and the regulatory environment for health practices and products. Some of the alternative medical systems and modalities covered include: Naturopathy, Traditional Chinese Medicine and acupuncture, Ayurvedic Medicine, massage, herbal medicine and others.

Please note that this course is an overview only and will not provide you with the skills to practice any complementary therapies, other than some skills for personal use.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

This elective course at RMIT is designed to provide the community with graduates who understand and can apply wellness principles, and are aware of the implications of wellness for society and the environment. They will be able to discuss a broad range of complementary therapies and how these can be utilised to enhance wellbeing, and will be able to locate and evaluate credible information about complementary therapies and wellness.

On completion of the course, you should be able to:

  • Analyse the personal, social, political and environmental implications of wellness
  • Discuss the origins, philosophies and basic principles of the different modalities that can be used to promote wellness and their application
  • Discuss the therapies, techniques and strategies used by different modalities to enhance wellbeing demonstrating correct usage of essential terms.
  • Identify and describe the supporting evidence and controversies for the use of different complementary therapies including their regulatory environment and the ailments that are commonly treated
  • Describe the potential benefits and risks that generally apply to all types of healthcare intervention
  • Locate and evaluate credible information and evidence about wellness and complementary healthcare.

Overview of Learning Activities

Learning activities for this course include:

  • Weekly topics and reading set out in the Learning Package
  • Participation in online group work and discussions
  • Self-assessment quizzes
  • Practical wellness and complementary therapy-related activities.

Overview of Learning Resources

This course is provided via the myRMIT Studies utilising the electronic facilities of BlackBoard. Through BlackBoard you will have access to the Learning Package, links to prescribed readings and recommended websites, the electronic discussion board, group pages, the RMIT library and various other e-resources. Students are also a resource for each other, your life skills and health experiences will provide valuable background for this wellness course.

Overview of Assessment

The assessment is designed to ensure that students can demonstrate knowledge of wellness and complementary therapies through the appropriate use of terminology and vocabulary, and locate and assess valid information on wellness and complementary healthcare.
To help students meet the assessment requirements your progress will be monitored throughout the course. The interactive online and group activities will provide opportunities for self-assessment and feedback from staff and/or students on a regular basis. Formal assessment may include reflection exercises, participation in group discussions and examinations.