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New York – An Example of the Vertical Instruction Method for Canonical Herbs and Formulas

March 10 @ 9:00 am - 6:00 pm

By Arnaud Versluys, PhD, LAc

Sunday, March 10th
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine, New York
110 William St, 19th Floor
New York, NY 10038

Course Description:

Much has changed in the way Chinese formulas and herbs are taught since the Han dynasty. Chinese herbal formula curricula have devolved into an arbitrary hodgepodge of largely unrelated prescriptions designed or used by countless historical figures who lived and worked in various different regions throughout Chinese medicine’s eighteen centuries of historical development. Yet it is wrongfully taught as some sort of coherent clinical system. But this didactic method all but guarantees confusion in the student’s mind and ensures certain failure in their future clinical practice.

Originating from a steadfast loyalty to the classical methods of practice and instruction, Dr. Versluys will illustrate how formulas and single herbs are better taught in service of improved understanding and consequent greater successful clinical application.

The vertical instruction method uses a single canonical formula as its starting point, and first dissects its ingredients, which are analyzed using Han dynasty single herbs knowledge, such as flavor and qi theory from the Huangdi Neijing, and entries from the Shennong Bencao Jing, etc.

Next, the formula is presented starting from its earliest records in Chinese medicine’s written history, and gradually descended through the historical dynasties to quasi-modern times. The formula architecture is dissected using Han dynasty formula-related theories such as Emperor, Minister, Assistant and Servant formula architecture, and the Seven Formula structures of the Huangdi Neijing. Further, formula modifications are taught, starting with the original canonical modifications of the Han dynasty. As the instruction descends through time, pertinent historical commentary is presented and various derivative prescriptions of the starting formula are introduced either as modifications or variations of the original. This establishes a clear pedigree for each modern or popular formula in relation to its canonical ancestor.

To illustrate the most common clinical uses of the formula, a handful anecdotal case studies are taught from modern clinical Chinese medicine practice in a Western setting.

And last but not least, references to various Western scientific clinical studies on the starting formula are presented to give the student some ideas of in what other directions certain researchers in China and the West have been looking to expand the formula’s application.

NCCAOM 6 CEU’s pending

Notice: The last day for early bird pricing is 2/10/2019


March 10
9:00 am - 6:00 pm
Event Category:


ICEAM New York
110 Williams Street, 19th floor
New York, NY 10038 United States
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