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— updated 2017-10-04

Courses and certification options — programs in clinical Chinese herbology and environmental health sciences

A quick overview and comparison of RMHInet and 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.

See also: More information about our courses and options

Subtopics on this page…

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brainstorming network for health, wellness, and longevity
Personal and family health (Family Health Educator program):
Level 1-H, Supervised Self-Study Course
Professional-level clinical Chinese herbology curriculum:
Level 1: Supervised Self-Study Course Level 2: Supervised Clinical Studies and Cases Level 3: On-site Clinical Seminars
Purpose — what you will achieve After only a few days of self-study with the help on online tutorials, prepares you to ask questions about specific health problems in a detailed, concise format that TCM practitioners require before offering suggestions about diet, herbs, and formulas. 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 Very basic theory, how to use important features/modules of the HerbalThink-TCM software. 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 Participation via a combination of a members-only social media platform plus old-fashioned email discussion list. People from anywhere in the world are welcome to join. 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 RMHInet and on our email discussion group for RMHI students, graduates, and invited guest herbalists.
Convenience Members from anywhere in the world may participate via email and interaction via members-only social media interface. 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
Getting started — prerequisites, admission Successful completion of Herbalists' BootCamp (online tutorials). Alternatively, individuals may contact us regarding on-site versions of this BootCamp. Good skills in abstract reasoning and pattern recognition. To apply for admission, simply complete the Herbalists' BootCamp (online 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: RMHInet: a brainstorming network for health, wellness, and longevity 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 ('Test' version-option) HerbalThink-TCM software ('Basic' version-option); textbook: Tongue Diagnosis in Chinese Medicine by Giovanni Maciocia. HerbalThink-TCM software ('Pro' version-option); 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-option)
Participation/completion requirements Participation is on-going. Maintaining your membership requires one or more of the following:   (1) regular participation in group online discussions;   (2) upgrading to HerbalThink-TCM 'Basic' or 'Pro' option;   or (3) purchasing at least one AutoSage-TCM individualized health analysis report during each calendar year. 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.)
All RMHI students are expected to participate regularly in RMHInet.
Estimated time requirements Estimated: only several hours per week to maintain your ongoing membership and participate in group online discussions. 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 Totally flexible. Occasionally, special group events like chat sessions on social media may be scheduled. 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.
Certification None. 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 itself award academic degrees.)
Tuition and fees None, except requirements to upgrade software or to purchase AutoSage-TCM reports, see Participation/completion requirements, above. 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)
Software fees:
  • HerbalThink-TCM licenses:
    • 'Test' option — free, to qualified applicants (see Herbalists' BootCamp)
    • 'Basic' option — $695
    • 'Pro' option — $1295
  • HerbalThink-TCM version upgrades:
    • v4.0-Pro from 4.0-Basic — $725.
    • v4.0-Pro from 2.x/3.x-Pro — $795.
    • v4.0-Pro from 2.x/3.x-Basic — $1150.
    • v4.0-Basic from 2.x/3.x-Basic — $450.
  • If you wish to order a site license or multiple licenses (special discounts may apply), to request special shipping options (such as CD-ROM backup copies), etc., please contact us.
  • AutoSage-TCM individualized health analysis reports — $120, each report.
Phone/email consulting:
  • $120/hour for email/phone case consultations — for RMHInet members, RMHI enrolled students and graduates only.