There’s a simple secret at the heart of learning Chinese herbs well enough to help your patients at the deepest level, every time. It’s honestly not much of a secret, though, because it’s right there in the stories and texts that lie at the foundation of Chinese medicine.
The secret? Engage your whole self in the learning, and never stop
Unfortunately – most of our Chinese herbs education doesn’t take this secret seriously.
In general, Chinese herbs are taught in much the same way algebra, world history, physiology and any other subject. The herbs are reduced to category, a few actions, maybe a flavor and temperature. Even the best professors find the material difficult to teach – there’s just so much of it, and it’s hard to know how to deliver it in a way that really lights a fire in students – thus the “data point” model has become the norm.
Herbs are fascinating, living, transformative things – and most people know that right away when they begin their study.
The data point model of learning herbs simply sucks the life out of the subject
Some students drop out. Some simply check out. Even worse, the most engaged and excited students get to clinic and find they just don’t know how to prescribe the herbs. Many fall back on just a couple of formulas or patents, and don’t dare to go beyond, despite knowing that deep power resides in the “beyond.”
I had the same problem
While I found the tests in school to be pretty easy, and my professor was a wonderful man full of great clinical gems, I found myself losing passion. From the first day I noticed that, I made it my quest to wake each day completely excited out of my mind to learn more about herbs.
Later, as a practitioner, I taught classes about Chinese herbs – which I do to this day. In creating that class from the ground up, I learned what worked and what didn’t work.
Gradually, the Shennong Method was born
Eventually, I realized that what I’d built was really a unique method for learning Chinese herbs that I could teach anyone (and I actually was teaching everyone who would listen).
The method integrates information from a variety of sciences and arts, the deep practice of radical intuition, important time tested scholarly resources, the major classical texts of our medicine and the input and experience of students just like you. It is a living, breathing creation that grows with each encounter with new students. Most of all it teaches a method of engagement that you will use throughout your life to learn herbs in a way that works for YOU and your patients.
Want to get a little taste of the course?
Ready to dive in?
Who will benefit from the Shennong method?
No matter your level of basic knowledge about Chinese herbs, you can benefit from this course. I have taught people with 20 years of clinical experience, folks just getting started on their Chinese medicine journey, as well as people currently in the throes of their formal Chinese medicine education. All have found tremendous transformation in their understanding.
I am a Veterinarian that uses primarily acupuncture and herbs in my practice. I wish I could remember how I found the Shennong course, but I will be forever grateful that I did! Up until this point, my training consisted of what I imagine most herbalists experience, rote memorization of single herbs and formulas, with their application in our patients.
The Shennong course has been a life-altering experience, and I don’t say that lightly. Through the method, my relationship to herbs has deepened, my understanding of herbs has grown, and I see myself using this knowledge in my daily practice for years to come.
I feel that the logistics of the course have been perfect for someone like me who is in clinical practice. I maintain a busy practice, but still have the time to get through the course material with no problem.
Do yourself and your patients a favor and join me.
As part of the price of admission, you’ll receive instant access to all 11 modules of the course (14+ hours of solid content) containing:
- Compelling educational video, with audio versions that you can take anywhere
- Text resources to expand your learning and clue you in to other perspectives
- Assessments and other activities to help you cement what you learn
- Access to members-only forums to help you connect with people like you worldwide
- Access to online office hours around once a month, to ask me questions and hear the questions of your peers
- Permanent access to the course
- Access to ongoing updates to the course
- 14 NCCAOM CEU credits (renewal applied for, approved in the past)
Note well that this course primarily teaches a METHOD. As such, it is very experiential, and focuses on encouraging you to take steps to learn and grow in new ways. It’s not filled with data. If you have a high need for a firehose of information, or are more interested in digging into the nuts and bolts of actual herbs and formulas, this course may not be for you.
In other words, this isn’t a board exam prep course. It’s not going to give you lists of herbs and formulas to memorize. This course is for people looking to learn the way I think about single herbs (and a little about formulas) to serve as a foundation for other course work or personal investigation.
Here’s an idea of what you can expect in the modules
Module 1 : The intro to Chinese herbs you should have received
- The truth about the stuff you have to memorize
- Digging into your own learning style, so that Chinese herb learning fits YOU
- How to access an unlimited resource of inspiration, excitement and deep wisdom (for virtually free)
Module 2 : Keys to unlocking the Classical Chinese medicine perspective & making it work for you
- Why the classics are not just foundational, but instructional (and how)
- How to keep the classics as living documents that are accessible to you
- How the Classical texts look at Chinese herbs, and how you should work with them
Module 3 : The Relational Method and the First Step : Open Your Eyes
- See how leveraging your most natural skills will make REALLY KNOWING herbs a joy
- Figure out the real use of “the doctrine of signatures”
- Discover how much information your eyes are trying to give you (but you’re ignoring)
Module 4 : Please touch! Why your hands are more powerful than you think
- Why you’re just going to have to get dirty
- How to repurpose your acupuncture skills for the purpose of learning herbs
- Sans? Wans? Tangs? What does it matter? (And why do I have to do it myself?)
Module 5 : Taste, smell & body as laboratory
- A brief guide to poisoning yourself 10,000 times, safely
- All the practical information you should have received in herbs class, and didn’t
- Finally understand flavors, and the way they differ from tastes
Module 6 : Asking questions about Chinese herb names
- Begin to understand how to decode the information contained in Chinese herb names
- See how the English, Latin and Chinese names give different, but complementary information
- Learn a workflow that takes you from a name in a book to a deeper, symbolic understanding of any Chinese herb
Module 7 : Digging into lifeworlds – Chinese herb lifecycles
- Using our internal sense to work with the development of Chinese herbs
- Understanding how plant part influences how we use a Chinese herb
Module 8: More lifeworld – the impact of external environment & ecology
- What do the basic Western biological sciences have to teach us about Chinese herbs
- How can working with herbs as growing plants teach us how to use them in clinic?
- What’s weather got to do with it?
Module 9 : Working with relationships – categories and basic combination theory
- How a concept of herbs as having “friends and family” really helps them make sense to us as social beings
- How typical Chinese herb categories help and hinder our understanding
- Why working with basic herb combinations helps us ground deeper into our sensory experience
Module 10 : Essential formula science & deeper into combining
- The incredible intricacy and power of Chinese herbal formula theory
- How to leverage the basics of Chinese formulas to come to a relational understanding of single herbs
- Why formulas are the essential unit of Chinese herbalism – and what that means for everything else in this course
Module 11 : Bringing it all together and understanding “herb actions”
- Looking at the standard concept of herb actions in the light of what we’ve learned
- How to use all of our skills to come up with concise documents that distill the deep information we’ve gathered
- Tips and tricks about contextualizing, growing and animating all of this material
NEW IN 2019
You’ll also receive access to a mini-course that applies this method to the prince of Chinese herbs, Guizhi 桂枝, Cinnamon Twig
Concerned about your ability to benefit from a digital course?
Many people, especially in the natural medicine professions, are skeptical about online learning. Many of you probably already spend too many hours staring at a computer. The thought of more may drive you to tears! I am doing a few things to try to mitigate the realities of digital education.
- All of the sessions will include text worksheets and other materials that you can interact with in hardcopy format
- All of the video sessions will include audio transcripts so you can listen to them on your MP3 player or even burn them to CD, making your education portable and allowing you to interact with the material as many times as you like
Have any burning questions?
Now is the time to step on the path to inspiration, knowledge and clinical efficacy
I’m so excited to get started with you. I hope that you take this opportunity to take a quantum leap forward by reaching deeply into yourself and far back into the classics. I’ll see you on the inside!