Class Descriptions

We've put together a stellar lineup of classes for the 2022 Symposium!

Here you'll find class descriptions for the Symposium

and Pre- and Post-Symposium Intensives.

Click on the speaker's name to read their bio. 

Aromatic Herbs Throughout the Body

The taste of an herb says so much about its actions that it is often the first characteristic listed in many traditions. Aromatic herbs in particular can affect many different parts of the body - stimulating digestion, clearing congestion, and helping joint pain. In this class, we’ll look at some common and some lesser-known aromatic herbs and discuss how they affect the body.

Botanically Speaking (Plant Walk)

Learn the botanical terminology you will need to identify medicinal, edible, and poisonous plants. Designed to give participants the skills to understand botanical descriptions in herbal texts and gardening books, this walk will familiarize attendees with important vocabulary for the identification and appreciation of plants. We’ll investigate plant anatomy and plant family characteristics.

Building Resiliency Through Herbal Sensory Experiences

In this interactive session, we look at basic nervous system physiology and the human stress response before defining resilience as a group and discussing the determinants of resilience. Then we'll dive deep into a discussion about the role of herbs and nutrients as we explore the ways sensory experiencing intersects with herbal medicine to create deep healing anchors in stressful situations. We'll taste herbs throughout the class, and our time together culminates in a somatic formulation exercise.

Cardiovascular Herbs and Supplements in Clinical Practice

Many herbalists use herbs for cardiovascular disease, and many do not. This lecture explores the role cardiac herbs play in protocols for patients who use allopathic or conventional medications for cardiovascular diseases such as arrhythmias, hypertension, and valvular heart disease.

Cellular Receptors: Responses to Energy

The realization that receptors interact with each other and are not siloed as individual units is particularly relevant to complex medicinal plant extracts such as those found in medicinal plant preparations. Specifically, it has been demonstrated that GPCRs (G protein-coupled receptors) are integral membrane proteins used by cells to convert extracellular signals into intracellular responses, including responses to hormones and neurotransmitters and reactions to vision, olfaction and taste signals. It also appears that GPCRs can operate as receptor complexes which suggests that various incoming signals, such as "non-active" plant molecules, may impact the plasma membrane by direct allosteric interactions changing the messaging within the body.

Chasteberry, Maca, and Ashwagandha for Fertility

Chasteberry, maca, and ashwagandha have traditionally regulated sexual health in various ways in both male and female-bodied people. This class reviews the current evidence-based information supporting these herbs' inclusion in fertility protocols. We will examine the energetics from a Traditional Chinese Medicine perspective and consider including these herbs to create compatible formulas from the TCM canon.

Confirmations with Drop-Pulse Testing

Learn to relax your mind and share drop-pulse testing. Clients love drop-pulse testing, for they are directly involved in the process. Herbalists can test tinctures, dried herbs, or fresh herbs to sense client responses and allow them to join their energies with the herbs. Attendees will learn to note pulse, pupil, color, tension, temperature, moisture, and overall impact of our plant friends on the person sitting before them.

Demystifying Gender-Inclusion in Contemporary Herbalism

This class will discuss gender-expansive inclusion within the herbal and western medicine communities, define terminology, address the inequity of access to care, and provide an improved vocabulary for use in clinical practice, educational instruction, and writing. We'll look at the energetics of herbalism through a gender-expansive lens and herbal energetics within the transgender community. We will develop gender-expansive frameworks for care through role-play, examples, and more.

Emotional Herbalism Embodied

What does it feel like when violet eases grief or artichoke cools rage? Embodied knowledge of how herbs work teaches us which plant ally to turn to in moments of emotional turmoil. In this class we explore herbs for emotional support by examining four archetypes of emotional imbalance and doing plant-sits with four plant allies to build our embodied knowledge.

Endangered Native Medicinal Plants

With herbs moving into mainstream, and the demand on wild medicinal plants increases, we are using up the supply of these herbs. This increased usage along with habitat destruction is causing an ever-increasing shortage of wild plant resources, including some of our most treasured medicinal species. This is a real concern for all HERBALISTS! I’ll share some startling facts and  show you how we are making a difference and you can too!

Energetics in our Ecosystem (Plant Walk)

Join Jocelyn to explore the conference center's grounds and meet overlooked but common urban species. You'll learn about their horticultural history, medicinal uses, herbal energetics, and folklore. Observing them in an urban context, we'll discuss their ecological impact, value in this urban habitat, and role within the green infrastructure. You'll be encouraged to think about how you may be able to give back to your local green spaces via volunteering programs and stewardship training.

Energetics of Client Assessment & Compliance

Explore the Ayurvedic approach to client constitutional assessment and learn how understanding a client's constitution can inform your herbal recommendations and considerations for compliance. Become more effective in relating and communicating with your clients to keep them engaged in the healing process.

Energetics Without the Woo

The physiological basis for energetics, or energetic physiology, skips theories with little to no scientific footing, like energy fields and vibrations. Instead, it focuses on the incredibly sophisticated sensory system and brain as the basis for energetics. Because both can detect potentially harmful plant substances quickly, even in small doses, the sensory impression of chemoreceptor stimulation is a powerful tool for understanding how plants and physiology interact. Energetics don't just guide herb selection. They point towards an inherent, systems-biology-based interoceptive pattern recognition system that was used throughout the ancient world as a basis for understanding dysfunction and disease. This class explores energetics at the intersection of science and tradition.

Exploring Energetic Dichotomies in Healing Traditions

Join Jocelyn to explore the history, cultural significance, and categorization of energies under different archetypes, such as masculine or feminine and positive or negative. This duality is a notable foundation of many healing traditions and influences their use of plants and understanding of herbal actions, symptomology, and constitutional theory. Learn about the rationalization within many of these constructs and the dichotomies inherent in plant medicine.

Exploring Energetics Through the Senses (Plant Walk)

This walk will focus on the energetics of common plants using the senses. Participants will be encouraged to smell, taste, and touch plants in addition to the usual emphasis on seeing. Based on these observations, we'll explore what we can learn about plants' medicinal qualities. Holly discusses safety considerations for touching and tasting unfamiliar plants; then, we'll look at several plants to highlight their various energetic properties. Plants we expect to see include plantain, mugwort, oak, perilla, wild cherry, dandelion, chickweed, violet, common mallow, and others.

Exploring the Energetics of Essential Oils

Essential oils are chemically complex, concentrated substances. This class explores the energetics of essential oils to help you understand how their chemical makeup and thermal nature align with their therapeutic actions. You'll experience a range of essential oils through inhalation to discern subtle differences between chemotypes, yearly batches, and countries of origin. Working with this new perspective, you'll learn to create a blend using the energetics of the oils for maximum effectiveness.

Formulating a Custom Gut Healing Tea

Supporting gastrointestinal (GI) integrity is a significant component of many herbal protocols in GI complaints, mood issues, inflammation, autoimmune disease, blood sugar, nutrient deficiencies, and post-antibiotic support. We’ll discuss the benefits and variations of a gut-healing tea for various patterns, including essential herbs, actions, energetics, tips for flavor, non-tea alternate format options, and formula adaptations for different scenarios.

Herbal Tips for Pets

This class provides herbalists and pet owners with information about keeping pets and other companion animals healthy. We'll focus primarily on preventive medicine, including some essential treatments. In concert with herbs, we will discuss home cooking for pets and other animal wellness tips. Dr. Dohmen also shares lots of educational resources and suggestions for further training opportunities.

Herbal Vitalism: A Unified Paradigm Exploring Herbal Energetics

Plants can show us through their expression the very essence of life. Glen presents the properties of specific western herbs and a picture of their herbal personalities using signatures, temperatures, chemistry, and herbal actions to give you an expanded understanding of each plant's physical, mental, and emotional aspects. This class promises to provide you with new holistic insights into prescribing botanical medicine.

Herbalism, Inequity, and Body Justice

Unfortunately, the many ways society fails to honor body diversity (including size, race, gender, and disabilities) also exist within the herbal field. As a result, practices that aim to heal have inadvertently upheld forces of oppression. In this class, you'll learn to recognize instances of body injustice, uproot ideas that perpetuate it, and discover action steps that you can take to promote body justice, accessibility, and equity.

Holding Energetic Space, Professionally & Therapeutically

Build your practitioner skills by using techniques to strengthen herbalist and client relations. We'll discuss topics like encouraging your client's natural self-expression, ways to observe and assess from a constitutional perspective, and even managing expectations, the clients and our own, when it comes to creating care plans and maintenance.

Incorporating Energy Medicine Into Your Practice

This interactive presentation familiarizes you with various basic energy medicine practices you can incorporate into your own life and share with your clients. These practices present an integrated and cohesive approach derived from several different systems, including elements of reiki, Traditional Chinese Medicine meridian work, and Qi Gong.

Materia Medica of Synergistic Herbs

Synergists are herbs that enhance the effects of other herbs in a formula—but they are not one-size-fits-all. Learn how to choose a synergist to best increase and improve your formulation’s effectiveness and get better outcomes in clinical practice. We will cover materia medica of commonly used synergists and discuss WHY and HOW they work to apply the material to other herbal synergists in your practice.

Pharmacological Insights into Energetic Botanical Therapeutics

In this presentation, Gabriel will systematically elucidate and illustrate through research evidence and the TCM theory of the Five Elements how antioxidant, hormetic, antimutagenic and neuroprotective, i.e. consciousness preserving, mechanisms work to deliver pharmaco-energetic benefits to cells and viscera that are arguably unique to medicinal and aromatic plants.

Poop: What Do BMs Tell Us?

While modern medicine uses the Bristol Stool Chart to evaluate bowel movements, many traditional cultures use a different form of stool analysis to recognize the body's energetic imbalances. We can use stool shape, smell, texture, color, frequency, and more to understand physiological and energetic health. This class explores both western and eastern approaches to understanding patterns of disharmony conveyed by poop!

Post-Symposium Intensive: Applying Traditional and Modern Energetics Using Eastern and Western Approaches

This class explores energetic models for refining and customizing herbal protocols using concepts drawn from eastern and western herbal traditions. We begin with a discussion of the energetic qualities of various herbs, incorporating the wisdom of hermetic and alchemical healers of the past with those of traditional Chinese herbalism. We’ll share simple ways to assess a client’s constitution using patterns expressed both in health and in response to specific illnesses. We’ll apply these concepts to actual cases to demonstrate how to fine-tune differential evaluation and escape from the “one-size-fits-all” approach that plagues much of medicine. Participants are invited to join in as we consider fresh perspectives on our ancient art together.

Sensory Cinnamon Circle

Engage with cinnamon in a multi-sensory way! Taste several species of cinnamon as well as different parts of the tree while noting the aroma and feeling sensations experienced in the body and mind. Learn about medicine making by creating a community cinnamon concoction while listening to tunes inspired by this versatile herb. You'll sample multiple preparations, expand your understanding of cinnamon's energetics, and take part in a discussion of clinical applications.

The Energetics of Flavor

This lecture introduces the energetics of flavors and invites you to view "food as medicine" when treating the whole person. You'll hone your herbal selection skills through a deeper understanding of flavor, especially when one or more herbs are indicated, using flavor to make even more tailored approaches to formulations and recommendations.

The Herbalist as Wounded Healer: An Alchemical Journey

Join clinical herbalist Erika Galentin of Sovereignty Herbs for a thought-provoking and self-reflective class on the alchemical journey of the herbalist as the wounded healer. Guided by the aromas of a special few chosen herbal allies, the three principles of alchemy—salt, mercury, and sulfur—will be used to explore herbalism as a journey to embodiment, humility, and self.

The Lovely Lymphatics: Our Forgotten Waters

The lymphatic system is an integral part of our adaptive immunity and plays an often-underestimated role in keeping us healthy. As one of the great waters of the body, the water element of the lymph system and examining its energetics allows us to gain a better comprehension of this crucial source of our vitality. Join us as we discuss lymphatic anatomy and physiology and apply the six tissue states to understanding water and how herbal protocols can offer support for underlying lymphatic imbalances.

The Wild, Weedy and Cultivated (Plant Walk)

Herbs are always all around us, and even urban and suburban settings can offer a wide diversity of flora. Cultivating a relationship with them allows us to deepen our intimacy with the earth and all plants, no matter where we live or travel. We’ll stroll through the intensely human habitat around the Symposium venue and discuss the wild, weedy, and cultivated plants we encounter.

Two Friends + The Nervous System

In this experiential session, taste, with intention, nervines with whom you may or may not already have a relationship. We'll explore the sensations they invoke by noticing what thoughts, emotions, and memories we experience and where they land in our bodies. Then we'll contemplate who you would match these nervines with. Please bring a mug if you have one.

Urban Plant Walk

This plant walk will take us through a nearby park and the Symposium grounds. We will discuss different aspects of the local flora, including botanical characteristics, medicinal applications, wildcrafting ethics, medicinal preparations, and a generous dose of 7Song's clinical anecdotes.

Virtual Forest Bath (Shinrin Yoku)

Experience virtual forest bathing through a multi-media, non-narrated, leisurely exploration of a wild forest. Forest bathing (shinrin yoku) is uninterrupted time spent among the trees. After a forest bath, the nerves are calmer, and the immune system is stronger. Please make time to visit the Forest Bath Experience, created with the virtual viewer in mind, where sound and visuals interweave to capture authentic moments as they occur.

Wen Bing Xue: Herbs & COVID-19

Wen Bing Xue, a classic text of Chinese medicine, addresses contagious infections as common as influenza and as specific as coronavirus, COVID-19. Wen Bing Xue, or Four Levels Analysis, provides energetic principles for assessing and supporting people suffering from these infections and adapting the strategy as the presentation changes. We will learn to identify these levels and will discuss appropriate herbs. The materia medica includes Chinese herbs, Chinese herbal formulas, and western herbs.