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Conference Event


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December 3 - 6, 2021

Classical Chinese Herbal Medicine

Chinese herbal medicine is an immensely complex and powerful modality. In modern times, the typical methods of introducing Chinese herbal medicine have been streamlined and simplified and are heavily influenced by the Western pharmaceutical model. However, this is not how herbal medicine used to be taught. 

Traditionally, if you wanted to become an herbalist, you needed a much deeper understanding of herbs that goes beyond simple categorizations or memorizing book knowledge. The initial stages of learning involved creating a more intimate understanding of herbs. Where possible the apprentice would gain experience in identifying and gathering herbs, carefully observing not only the herb itself, but the environment it lives in. The apprentice would also take the various herbs internally and observe one’s own experiences with them.

While having a more intimate knowledge of each herb was important, much of an apprentices time was spent observing and assisting the master. First, the apprentice would observe how herbs worked together in formulas. Just as you can’t know a person until they interact with others, different qualities of herbs come out depending on their interaction with other herbs. The same is true as different people take the same herbal combination. The person is like an additional herb to the energetic environment you are creating with the combination. Preparation (pao zhi) of herbs was another skill that was simultaneously cultivated. 

This year long program (16 sessions) is designed to communicate herbal medicine in as close to the traditional way as we can. As Jeffrey stated, “the goal of this course is to teach herbs the way they were traditionally taught …the way I learned."

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