RCHM – Putting Herbs Into Practice

7 Hours CPD

Course information
Getting the diagnosis right – Applying Bian Bing, disease diagnosis for good clinical practice – Inga Heese

“To diagnose a condition correctly and to find the appropriate strategy and method of treatment, it is essential to identify the Chinese medicine disease-symptom first; this procedure is called bian bing” (Maciocia, G).

Diagnosing a patient correctly is the most fundamental skill a practitioner can offer his or her patients. Chinese medicine has a very comprehensive and extremely well documented clinical methodology, encompassing disease diagnoses (bian bing) and pattern diagnosis (bian zheng) [which in itself is subdivided into nine pattern: the eight principles, six channels, qi/blood/body fluids, channels and collaterals, zang-fu, wei/qi/ ying/ xue, aetiology, pathogenic factors, triple burner].

In this short course Inga will focus on disease differentiation, Bian bing, which after many years of practice she has found to be most crucial in determining a diagnosis and treatment principle for a patient. She believes that only equipped with a pattern diagnosis (which seems to be most commonly done in practice) but without a disease diagnosis a practitioner is not able to write an effective formula, and hence not achieve a good clinical outcome.

Herb-drug interactions – Rebecca O’Cleirigh

Many of our patients are already taking pharmaceutical drugs when they come to see us. This short session aims to give you the confidence to prescribe alongside these medications, the insight as to when not to and the skills you need to delve into specific medications when the best of those two options is unclear.

Constructing a Chinese Herbal Medicine formula – Dr.Andrew Flower

Writing a balanced and effective formula is something we all aspire to as practitioners of CHM. Yet it is also a challenging proposition and many newly graduated CHM practitioners feel un-prepared to write their own individualised herbal formulae.

This lecture will review some basic principles of writing a prescription including modifying classical formulae, 3 different ways to organise a formula, and using clear treatment principles to provide structure and focus to a treatment.

The disease differentiation (bian bing) teaching will allow you to:

  • Come to a diagnosis
  • Focus the treatment on a dominant symptom whilst also being rooted in the pattern differentiation (bian zheng)
  • Monitor treatment effectiveness
  • Assess if treatment outcomes are being or have been achieved
  • Talk to patients in a manner that they understand.
  • You will gain confidence about when to prescribe alongside medications and when to be cautious.
  • You will learn to investigate medications for specific interactions and how to assess for general ones. This will involve using search engines and online resources such as the BNF to explore current knowledge and research.
  • You will refresh and add to your knowledge of writing a balanced and effective herbal formula.
  • In addition it is anticipated that you will gain confidence in your practice as a result of attending the seminar/s. The RCHM aims to build up a practitioner network of nurturing peer support from the seminar series.
The course has been uniquely devised for practising and final year therapists of all disciplines who hold professional insurances that will cover them for the use of herbs within their scope of practice, and who have an interest in developing and enhancing their clinical skills.

Seminars are open to all RCHM members (all categories) and graduates of accredited herbal courses.

  • Refreshments and lunch sadly are not provided.
  • You will need to bring a pen or pencil, we will be providing everything else; full colour course notes, all of the training equipment etc.
  • As a participant you must have a sound working knowledge of Chinese Herbal Medicine.
  • There is no formal assessment, but a quiz style knowledge check at the end of the day will allow practitioners to check their own knowledge from each day.
  • Supporting material and PDF files for the lecture slides will be available to all participants electronically via Moodle upon full payment for each day.

Shepherds House

Great Maze Pond
London Bridge

Tutors : Inga Heese, Rebecca O’Cleirigh and Dr. Andrew Flower

Inga Heese

Inga has been a practitioner of Chinese medicine for over 16 years. She practices both acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine. She currently works both in central London and in Kent. In 1996 Inga studied acupuncture at the College of Integrated Chinese Medicine (CICM) for three years and immediately following that a degree course in Chinese medicine for a further five years at Middlesex University. Her degree course included a six months internship working in a hospital in Beijing … read more

Rebecca O’Cleirigh

Rebecca has been practising acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine since 2005 and has a special interest in fertility, neurology, and paediatrics. She has had several trips to China to further her studies in both acupuncture and herbal medicine. She is currently completing a PhD in pharmacology at the University of Portsmouth investigating the pharmacological mechanisms by which Chinese herbs affect receptivity of the endometrium (in relation to infertility) …read more

Inga Heese

Andrew Flower has been practising acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine since 1992. On graduating he gained a wide range of experience working in private practice, and within the UK National Health Service and voluntary sector working with people with HIV/AIDS and with drug and alcohol addictions… read more