Do you want to overcome your overwhelm, boredom and confusion about Chinese herbalism so you can be a force of transformation in the lives of your patients?
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. Lecture classes, busywork, lots of strings of foreign words and unfamiliar concepts, perhaps a joke or story or two, some tests, and a grade on a transcript. The herbs are reduced to category, a few actions, maybe a flavor and temperature, and if you’re lucky, a mention of the doctrine of signatures.
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.
This is a real tragedy. For most people just starting out in Chinese medicine, herbs are one of the tools that most intrigue them. Herbs are fascinating, living, transformative things – and most people know that right away when they begin their study.
But the data point model of learning herbs simply sucks the life out of it
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. Even if they did well on the tests, when confronted with patients, their knowledge seems to fail them! 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
I struggled too. 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. I read books on diverse topics, I talked to professors, I mentored other students, I dove deep into the classics and into my own self-cultivation.
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. What was inspiring food for the heart, and what was just distraction. I also continued my own process, acquiring skills and knowledge, building a base of experience and continually refining my techniques.
All this learning became a method
Eventually, I realized that what I’d built was really a unique method for learning Chinese herbs that I could teach anyone (and actually was teaching everyone who would listen).
Along the way, we address all the basic information learned in most schools about herbs (category, channel affinity, flavor, nature and so on) in a way that is substantiated by the classics & grounded by sensory and relational experience. In learning to see Chinese herbs as more than bits of data to be arranged on a chart, everything we learn makes more sense, and our practice of the medicine becomes more potent.
Who should take this course?
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. Students in a formal program in Chinese medicine, in particular, find that the Shennong method helps them remember herbs more easily, and permanently. This is a real boon when testing comes around.
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. I have the calendar marked for the day a new module is released and will sit down and just devour the new material! There is plenty of time between module releases to digest, refresh, and absorb the material fully. The recommended texts have been a great addition to my library, and the supplemental material that Eric has provided really enhances the learning experience.
I can’t say enough about this course. I am sad to see it end, but have promised myself that I will continue to enroll in Shennong courses as long as they are offered. Do yourself and your patients a favor and join me.
Neal J. Sivula, DVM, PhD, FAAVA
Dancing Paws Animal Wellness Center
Richfield, Ohio, USA
If you are a practitioner looking to fulfill your licensing or NCCAOM certification standards, Shennong can help. The course is currently approved for 12 CEUs through the NCCAOM. We are not yet certified for CEU in California through their certification board, however. If you want NCCAOM credits, please let us know after registration so we can be sure to get you the appropriate paperwork.
The videos are accompanied by instructions to help you implement the material you’re learning – exercises, suggested readings, and other interactive elements are all part of the package.
You’ll have access to all of this for a whole year, including any updates made to the materials in the intervening months. Because of this – you don’t need to worry about getting through the material very rapidly. You can take your time and really sink into it.
What’s it cost?
For everything above, and exclusive bonuses & ongoing updates to the course, available for only $257. You will have unlimited access to the materials and support via email for any technological or content-related questions you may have. This also includes 14 NCCAOM PDA (CEU) points!
Want to learn more about individual modules? Click below for details.
The bullet points below just hint at the material in the modules. Some of these modules are filled with hours of information and a variety of exercises and assignments to help you learn more.
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)
- Discover the hidden clues of botany, and how they can help you remember what you need to remember
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
- Guidance how to get beyond “herb actions” and actually understand what herbs DO (and why!)
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
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
Further, the method I am teaching is so inspiring, and my passionate delivery so pervasive, I think you’ll find the course to be surprisingly engaging! It may transform your idea of what is possible in education!
Have any final questions? Feel free to email me, but find below a list of the most commonly asked questions. Just click the link to see the answer.
If you are just about to start schooling in Chinese medicine, are years from that journey, or are more interested in lay practice of Chinese herbs and have no experience – can you benefit from this course? Yes.
For people who have a strong interest in herbalism, but are not planning formal education, the Shennong method is an ideal way to engage with a very deep current of Chinese medicine. While you will find many of the words and concepts foreign (they are!) with a little work you will have a very solid understanding that will serve you well moving forward..
I know a lot of you are here at Deepest Health because you already LOVE Chinese herbs and want to go deeper. The truth is that this course can and has helped experienced practitioners get more in touch with herbs in a way they find helpful. But, some of the background information may be too basic and if you’re not looking to dig into a method for lifelong learning, this course may not be for you. That’s ok!
The course starts when you’re ready. You can do a module a week, several a week, a module a month, or any other method you like. Remember: everything is saved for you on the site for a year AND you can download the content at any time. Thus, even if some major life event comes up, you can run through the material at your own pace at any time.
Regardless, there shouldn’t be hugely significant materials costs. You could probably get away with spending less than $20 total for all the materials needed to engage the material. If you went crazy, you could spend more than $300!
As I said above, the course is self-paced, so being in a different time zone should not be a problem. The mentorship calls are recorded, and you can submit your questions by email if you cannot attend live.
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!