Clinical Assessment in Herbal Practice Certificate Track

As practitioners of herbalism, Clinical Assessment is critical to our ability to successfully support the goals of our clients. Whether you approach healing from a Western Biomedical model, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Ayurveda or any of the myriad of traditional or folk models, clinical assessment is an integral element of determining a course of action. This level of awareness by the practitioner is often a driving force behind clients desire to seek alternative therapies. Being trained in the subtleties of human nature, both in body and spirit can make the difference between an average practitioner and an herbalist that is gifted and sought after.

This year’s Certificate Track, Clinical Assessment in Herbal Practice brings a laser spotlight to the overall theme of this year’s Symposium, From Plants to People: The Art and Science of Clinical Herbalism. Both knowing the effects of the plant and understanding the nuances of the individual join to create a higher state of wellness. The ability to gracefully marry the artistic and mystical elements of the apothecary with the exacting science of plant medicine is a goal worth achieving.

The Certificate Track will answer questions as well as provide inspiration for your practice regardless of your level of expertise in the field.

Attendees who take five of the following classes in addition to the Post-Symposium Intensive Clinical and Laboratory Assessment for the Herbalist will receive a Certificate of Completion for the Clinical Assessment in Herbal Practice Track.

Infertility: Clinical Assessment in Herbal Practice

One of my greatest joys as a clinician is to welcome babies born to couples who have had challenges conceiving. By focusing on specific assessment techniques such as the energetics, nutrient and hormone testing, along with lesser known assessments including the darkfield microscope, ‘saliva fern test’, mucous test, and the Sympto-Thermal Method we can create natural protocols for enhancing fertility and conception. This same information can also be used for natural family planning!

Clinical Assessment of the Tongue

Tongue assessment is simple! It provides guidance for many health concerns, including coughs, digestion, and emotional issues. In this class you develop the (upside down person) Chinese tongue map so that it is easily remembered, associating areas of the tongue with major organs. We investigate tongue shape, coating, color and moisture and how these qualities relate to health and practitioner decision making. Experiential class.

Clinical and Laboratory Assessment for the Herbalist

We are delighted to offer a post-Symposium intensive with esteemed herbalist Rebecca Snow, which will take place on Monday, October 14, from 9 AM – 4 PM. This day-long post-Symposium intensive REQUIRES registration and can be purchased for a fee of $100 along with your general registration.

Clinical and Laboratory Assessment for the Herbalist

Hypertension: Integrating Pulse Diagnosis and Blood Pressure Readings for Constitutional and Pathological Progression Assessment

Systolic and Diastolic blood pressure have been the primary values in assessing blood pressure health. Increasing studies show that Mean Arterial Pressure and Pulse Pressure offer critical insights into the progression and the type of hypertension. TCM pulse diagnosis completes the picture differentiating pulse qualities of the different types of hypertension. In this class we discuss four types of hypertension and its differing pulse qualities, as well as their relationship to underlying constitution representation.

Differential Diagnostics for the Herbalist

In traditional medical systems, there are 2 practices that allow the clinician to "treat the person rather than the disease". Energetics (plant and human) and differential diagnosis provide the necessary clues for accurate prescribing. In this class I discuss how traditional and modern diagnostic practices can be used to show patterns that clearly illuminate health concerns before they become overt pathology.

Clinical Assessment: Getting the Most Out of the First (and every) Visit with your Client

In this class, you will the learn best practices for conducting a clinical assessment in herbal practice. We will also explore effective ways to ask clients difficult questions and collect information that enables understanding of client’s needs and guides therapeutic decision making. We will discuss the important components of a good assessment and will take part in an interactive activity that will help to practice clinical skills.

Common Blood Tests and their Use for Client Assessment in Herbal Practice

In this class we will learn about basic blood tests and what their results mean to us as clinical herbalists. Complete blood counts, metabolic panels, urinalysis, cholesterol panels, and additional tests are included. We will also explore the application of herbs in the presence of abnormal lab tests through the examination of case studies. This presentation is beneficial for those at all levels in herbal medicine.

Reproductive Health Treatment Protocols & Diagnostics with Menstrual Cycle Charting

This class discusses menstrual cycle charting, a tool for practitioners to assess reproductive pathologies with their clients and manage these conditions. Within the cycle chart, we can identify follicular and luteal phase pathologies. We also explore the complexity of the differential diagnoses of hormonal pathologies utilizing symptoms and analyzing cycle charts, as well as diving into mechanism of action for specific botanicals, so that you can develop effective treatment protocols for your client.

Navigating Depression as a Tool of Transformation

Physiologically, depression can be related to liver and kidney deficiency or simply stagnation. This class follows the seasons according to TCM and looks at the energetics that deeply affect our state of mind. We discuss plant medicines to help our physiology support a balanced mind. How do we honor the reality of this state that is on the rise and is ofttimes the appropriate response to a traumatized world?

Clinical Assessment for Pain Relieving Low Dose Botanicals

Assessment combined with individualized botanical treatment can greatly improve client outcomes regarding pain. Low dose botanicals and their homeopathic preparations provide valuable additions to and a substantial enlargement of the clinical herbalist’s pain relief toolkit. Going well beyond arnica, this class presents and differentiates among at least 10 remedies in the context of actual case studies in the herbal clinic.

Treating the Five Spirits: Western Herbs and Chinese Medicine

There is a well-developed history in Chinese medicine of understanding and treating spiritual sickness. Using the Five Element/Wu Xing tradition, we discuss the Five Spirits and how they manifest in health and sickness. In particular, we discuss how the spiritual parts of our lives manifest when they are in excess and deficient states and the use of western herbs, diet and lifestyle to both treat imbalance and promote spiritual well-being.

Qi & Blood Stagnation: An Energetic Pattern with Clinical Application

The pattern of stagnation has been recognized by various traditions throughout the centuries and is characterized by excess and toxicity; both physiologically and emotionally. The effects of qi and blood stagnation in particular have contributed to some of the most pressing health issues we struggle with today.
This class explores these basic concepts of stagnation, as well as their clinical presentations, and therapeutic approaches to support balance in the body.

PolyVagal Theory as an Assessment tool in a Trauma Informed Herbal Practice

Many herbalists today provide compassionate holistic care to communities and countries impacted by natural disasters, violent conflicts, poverty, trauma and barriers to health and wellness.  To provide the best herbal practices to these populations, it is important to understand trauma and how it affects the human nervous system.  In this class, we focus on understanding PolyVagal Theory and its value in assessing and supporting our clients who have been traumatized.

Skills for the Critical Assessment of Herbal Research in Clinical Practice

This class seeks to explain, in simple terms, the different forms of scientific research commonly referenced in herbal medicine and provide guidance on how to discern the relevance of such research regarding the safe and effective use of medicinal herbs in both self-care and clinical settings.

Find your Rhythm: Assessing Circadian Patterns

This session is dedicated to identifying and understanding human circadian patterns and the role they play in general health. We examine our own daily rhythms, discuss how to identify altered circadian patterns in our clients, and explore how to support people in returning to more rhythmic patterns. Lastly, we discuss theoretical models that may allow us to use herbal dosing strategies to encourage rhythmicity in our clients.

Go with the Flow: Herbal Support for Abnormal Uterine Bleeding

Class begins with an overview of physiological menstrual patterns. Next, we discuss the primary causes of abnormal uterine bleeding, including issues relating to the endometrium, the HPO axis, and hemostasis. Finally, we discuss herbs that can be used to support people who are experiencing abnormal uterine bleeding by working on several mini-case studies. All herbal recommendations from the group will be compiled on a Google doc for future reference.

Tongue Assessment for Western Herbalists

Traditional assessments help us refine our protocols, offering vital information about qualities such as moisture, temperature, tension, tissue integrity, nourishment and vitality. Tongue assessment is especially useful for understanding the state of the digestive system, but also serves as a reflection of our integrated physiology. This class provides an accessible introduction using familiar concepts, so that participants leave with a dynamic, effective tool that they can apply in their practices right away.

Mentoring Students in the Process of Assessment

Helping students find the roots, patterns, signs and clues to make accurate assessments is a related but different skillset than assessing our own clients. Drawing from a decade mentoring many students in clinical supervision with a definite focus on assessment, in this class we discuss ways to help students learn the deductive processes that distill information gathered in the intake into clear clinical assessments.

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