Anatomy & Physiology
Alternative Practitioners Course Content

Learn how the body works as a whole, as well as individual systems, understand how each system works and connects with others.

Full contents with learning outcomes:

Unit one

Cells, tissues, organs, and organ systems
Organ systems
- Organs
- Fine structure of the cell
Make your own cell
Self assessment answers

The cardiovascular system
The circulation of blood
The heart
- The cardiac cycle
- The beating of the heart
The blood
Transport of oxygen and carbon dioxide
- Diffusion
- Transport of gases
Self assessment answers


Unit two


The release of energy
The respiratory system
- Structure of the respiratory tract
- The mechanism of breathing
Gas exchange
- The nervous control of breathing
Self assessment answers

The major components of the human diet
- Carbohydrates
- Proteins
- Lipids (fats)
Other components of the human diet
- Vitamins
- Salts, fibre & water
Self assessment answers

The digestive system
From mouth to stomach
Within the stomach
Absorption of the products of digestion
- The small intestine
The pancreas
The liver
The large intestine
Self assessment answers


Unit three

Structure of the cell membrane
Movement of materials into and out of the cell
- Diffusion and osmosis
Active transport, phagocytosis and pinocytosis
- Active transport
- Phagocytosis and pinocytosis
Self assessment answers

The control of blood glucose concentration

Temperature regulation
The skin
Response to heat and cold by an endothermic animal
The homeostatic control of body temperature

Osmoregulation: the kidney
The structure of the kidney
Physiology of the kidney
- Reabsorption in the tubules
- The hormonal control of osmoregulation
Self-assessment answers

Defence against disease
Blood clotting
The lymphatic system
White blood cells and phagocytosis
The immune response
- Active & Passive Immunity
Self-assessment answers


Unit four


Cell division
Cell division: mitosis
Make 2 identical cells from 1 - mitosis
Cell division: meiosis
Make 4 diff erent cells from 1 - meiosis
Self assessment answers

Male and female reproductive systems and sex determination
Functions of the testes: sperm production
Physiology of semen and sperm delivery
Formation of the egg and ovulation
The female sex hormones and the menstrual cycle
Fertilisation of the egg
Development of the embryo
Regulation of pregnancy & childbirth
Regulation of mammary growth
Self assessment answers

Genetics and heredity
Mendelian inheritance
Mutations – the chance of something better
Multiple alleles and the inheritance of blood groups
Self assessment answers


Unit five


The sensory & nervous system
The nerve cell
Nerve impulses
The synapse
Reflex action
Organisation of the nervous system
- The peripheral nerves
The autonomic nervous system
The brain
- The functions of the main parts of the brain
Sensory nerve cells
- Types of sensory receptors
- Receptors and sensory transduction
The eye
- How the eye controls light
- How the eye senses light
The ear
- Hearing
- Balance
Self assessment answers

The endocrine system
How do hormones work?
Insulin deficiency and diabetes
- The thyroid gland
The adrenal gland
Local hormones- prostaglandins
Self assessment answers

The musculoskeletal system
The skeletal system
- The main bone structure
- The skull
- The spinal column
The appendicular skeleton
- Joints
Movement using muscles, bones & joints
The mechanics of movement
The principles of biomechanics
Movement of the upper limb
Movement of the lower limb
The histology of muscle tissue
Self assessment answers

Plates a - g
Plate a – the axial and appendicular skeleton
Plate b – the skull
Plate c – the spine
Plate d – main bones of the appendicular skeleton
Plate e – classification of joints
Types of synovial joints
Plate f – the mechanics of movement
Plate g – muscular system


In conclusion

The study of Anatomy & Physiology
People have been using many kinds of techniques and remedies over the centuries in attempts to cure or alleviate diseases. For a long time and in many cases, it was entirely by trial and error that they found effective treatment, having no real idea how their bodies were constructed and how they worked.It was only in the seventeenth century, for example, that it was discovered what the heart actually did in the body. Until then, it was thought to be the centre for the emotions, whilst the brain was the centre of intellectual thoughts. However, William Harvey, a pioneering doctor, showed in 1661 that the heart is a pump, and that it helps to circulate blood to arteries, then to veins, and then back to itself. As now, such radical ideas were not much liked by the medical profession! Harvey was shunned, but did live to ultimately see his discovery fully accepted. It was through such discoveries as the circulation of the blood that the whole study of physiology came into being.

Even professional doctors lived in ignorance of the true working of the body for a long time. Blood letting, for example, was a very common practice even into the nineteenth century as a way of removing disease out of the body. It was not realised then that, in fact, this was very much the wrong technique to be used, actually removing a potential channel of cure and very much weakening (and sometimes killing) the patient in the process!

For the orthodox medical profession, a thorough knowledge of anatomy and physiology, together with pathology and diseases, has thus become an absolute essential. Their process of breaking down suffering into individual symptoms which can then be identified and the appropriate specific treatment applied, obviously requires this. As a result, Man now knows in considerable detail how the body is constructed and how it works. There are, however, many aspects that still remain a mystery (in scientific terms), as the application of many alternative therapies proves, but which most orthodox doctors are still unwilling to admit!

Study for alternative practitioners
So, why do alternative practitioners need to know about anatomy and physiology? There are a number of very good reasons. If we are dealing with human bodies, then we must respect what we are treating, and respect can only come with knowledge about them. We don’t generally need the in depth knowledge of the orthodox profession, because we are normally looking at the patient as a whole, rather than concentrating on specific symptoms. We are, however, looking to stimulate the body’s natural healing abilities (rather than suppressing symptoms through the application of external inputs, such as drugs). Some therapies may do this directly, by stimulating nerve endings or meridians, for example. Others may work by stimulating the patient’s natural healing energy (vital force). We must know what it is we are treating and what the possible effects might be.

In talking to the patient, the information we receive is often directly related to various parts of the body and their (mal)functioning. Inputs may well come from them being dissatisfied with orthodox treatment, and providing medical information arising from their previous interaction with doctors. In finding out what we need to know about the patient, and then analysing that in order to determine the best treatment, we must have at least a basic knowledge of the body so that we can understand what we are dealing with (and possibly avoid doing something which might make the patient’s condition worse). In some cases, this knowledge will not be required; in others, it can make a major difference in leading us to an effective cure.

Another factor that cannot be ignored is that much of the criticism which the orthodox profession makes about alternative practitioners is that they do not know enough about the human body. Obviously from their standpoint, and with the many years of training they have to undergo, this is understandable. The alternative medical profession is trying to break down some of these barriers, so that we can work more together, but, in order to do so, we have to be able to communicate effectively in our interactions with them. This can generally only be done at present through the use of their ‘language’, which does require the reasonable understanding of anatomy and physiology (plus pathology and diseases).

So, the study of anatomy and physiology does very much have its place for alternative practitioners. This course should help you to readily obtain a good basic knowledge in a way that is both interesting and helpful.

Key Learning Outcomes

At the end of this course you will be able to:

  • Understand the structure and function of the main cells, tissues and organ systems in the body.
  • Understand the structure and function of the cardiovascular system.
  • Understand the processes of respiration and gas exchange.
  • Understand the components of nutrition and processes of digestion.
  • Understand the primary forms of regulation in the human body.
  • Understand basic defence mechanisms in the body.
  • Understand the fundamentals of growth and reproduction.
  • Understand the essentials of heredity.
  • Understand the structure and function of the sensory and nervous system.
  • Understand the role of hormones and the main producing glands of the endocrine system.
  • Understand the structure, function and biomechanical principles of the musculoskeletal system.
  • Understand the holistic response of the body to the threat of danger or disease.
Did you know; in one day your heart beats 100,000 times

Prices & enrol online

Anatomy & Physiology for Alternative Practitioners Complete Course

Anatomy & Physiology for Alternative Practitioners Complete Course

Price includes:
Course study guide
Tutor marking
2 year study period
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