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— updated 2017-01-08

Program in clinical Chinese herbology and environmental health sciences:   courses and certification options

A quick overview and comparison of Level 1H (Family Health Educator program) and Levels 1-3 of RMHI's professional education in clinical Chinese herbology. See also — FAQ (questions and answers about Chinese herbal sciences at RMHI).

International students: Levels 1H, 1 and 2 may be completed entirely by distance-learning without any travel to the U.S.

Subtopics on this page…

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Personal and family health (Family Health Educator program): Professional-level clinical Chinese herbology curriculum:
Level 1-H: Supervised Self-Study Course Level 1: Supervised Self-Study Course Level 2: Supervised Clinical Studies and Cases Level 3: On-site Clinical Seminars
Purpose — what you will achieve Intended for individuals primarily interested in improving their own health and that of family members. Familiarity with and application of basic TCM theory and definitions, ability to differentiate basic symptom-sign patterns of illness, basic knowledge of materia medica.
See here for an explanation of who should take this course option.
Mastery of TCM theory and definitions, ability to differentiate over 130 symptom-sign patterns of illness, advanced knowledge of materia medica. Ability to apply Level-1 theory and data to helping people solve real clinical problems. Mastery of basic techniques in tongue inspection, pulse palpation, complex syndrome analysis; handling the practicalities of managing an herbal consulting practice.
Topics covered TCM theory and health assessment; materia medica; herbal formulation; office procedures; diet, nutrition, environmental health issues; doing Internet searches, evaluating the trustworthiness of information sources; legal, historical, and political issues affecting herbalists. Practical application of the material in Level 1 in analyzing clinical cases of your own: taking health histories; real-life complexities in pattern analysis; designing herbal formulas for your clients; dietary and environmental health considerations. The on-site seminars focus on hands-on experience with pulse palpation, tongue inspection, and practice analyzing health histories of volunteer clients. Misc. topics include introduction to plant taxonomy (local field trip); handling herbal inventory, dispensing, and preparation; counseling issues; TCM perspective on music and health with demonstrations.
Format Interactive computer software and instructional material; distance learning via Internet and email. Distance learning via email and Internet On site seminars in Hot Springs, Montana, USA
Students are encouraged to ask questions about course material on our email discussion group for RMHI students, graduates, and invited guest herbalists.
Convenience Note to international students: Levels 1-H, 1, and 2 can be completed by distance learning without any travel. You can complete these in the convenience of your own home or office. Requires travel to Montana
Prerequisites, admission Good skills in abstract reasoning and pattern recognition. To apply for admission, simply complete all the Beginner Tutorials for the HerbalThink-TCM software. Completion of at least 50% of the material in Level 1 Completion of at least 50% of the material in Level 1
Additional information:
    · Getting started; applying for admission; guidelines for Level-1 students
    · Admissions and enrollment information; admission application
    · Who should study Chinese herbology at RMHI
    · The history behind HerbalThink-TCM software — why it was developed
Required materials HerbalThink-TCM software (Basic version); textbook: Tongue Diagnosis in Chinese Medicine by Giovanni Maciocia. HerbalThink-TCM software (Pro version); textbook: Tongue Diagnosis in Chinese Medicine by Giovanni Maciocia; herb kit of 90 of the most commonly used Chinese herbs. HerbalThink-TCM software (Pro version)
Course completion requirements This software-based Course allows course participants to study at home at their own pace, yet receive detailed feedback from both the self-quizzing software and by participating in an Internet distance-learning forum. Self-quizzing software interactively monitors and displays a user's progress, progressively introducing and recommending new material as appropriate. Successful completion requires achieving at least minimum target scores as recorded in the user's progress file.
Target score requirements for Level 1 are higher than for Level 1-H. (Score requirements for Level 1H certification are the same as the admission requirements.)
To be completed are:
  · 16 personal case studies/analyses of friends, family, or clients; each written case record to include health histories, dietary and environmental health assessments, recommended herbal formulas, and at least one followup report. Submitted case reports must meet minimum RMHI standards of accuracy and completeness.
  · Active participation in an online discussion group for enrolled RMHI students and graduates.
  · Completion of assigned clinical case problems. These problems introduce students to techniques for analyzing complex cases characterized by multiple syndromes or patterns.
Attendance at a minimum of two on-site seminars; completion of a practical exam in tongue and pulse techniques and health history analysis. (Minimal time is spent on lectures; all participants are required to have studied basic course material prior to attending.)
Estimated time requirements 200 hours of self-study time, work at your own pace; it is possible to complete within one year by regular study of about 5 hours per week. 610 hours of self-study time, work at your own pace; it is possible to complete within one year by regular study of about 15 hours per week. 160 hours; to be completed within one year of starting date. 120 hours of seminar time (one 60-hour seminar is scheduled each year)
Schedule Begin and complete at any time. Participants are strongly encouraged to complete within one year of start date. Begin at any time; complete within one year of start date. Seminars offered on demand for minimum class of three students, generally during first half of July.
Tuition and fees Tuition for participation in online course is charged on an annual basis: $850 per year. In addition, purchase of HerbalThink-TCM Basic software is required. Tuition for participation in online course is charged on an annual basis: $850 per year. In addition, purchase of HerbalThink-TCM Pro is required. $2700; annual tuition fee equal to that for Level 1 is charged for extensions. $1900 ($950 per seminar, tuition due one month in advance)
Certification A certificate is awarded after successful completion of any Level (1-H, 1, 2, and/or 3). The certificate states your name, the Level completed, a brief course description, and the estimated number of hours involved.
If you are interested in receiving credits toward professional CEU requirements or a university degree, please refer your professional organization or university department to the following page: Detailed curriculum outline. (Please note that RMHI is not a college and does not award academic degrees.)