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— updated 2022-03-15


Herbalists' BootCamp
Tutorial #1:   Introduction, Download

by Roger W. Wicke, Ph.D.
These BootCamp tutorials will help you get started using the HerbalThink-TCM software, ensure it is installed correctly, demonstrate how to use important features and modules, and teach you basic principles of Chinese herbology that you can begin applying practically. Successful completion of this series is required for admission to the RMHInet brainstorming network and to our professional courses.

Copyright ©2016-2022 by RMH-Publications Trust; all rights reserved.

Jump to another BootCamp tutorial:
#1: Introduction, Download #2: Setup and Documentation #3: Self-Study Reference #4: Herbal Tutor #5: Pulse Simulator #6: CaseQuery #7: AutoSage-TCM #8: Completing member/admission requirements

Subtopics on this page…


Tutorial #1:   Introduction, Download


How to get started

We provide you with several means to gradually explore the HerbalThink-TCM software and our course materials:

  • The Help/Documentation module provides free online access to sample screen shots and several audio-visual tutorials.
  • This Herbalists’ BootCamp tutorial sequence provides you a low-cost way to receive trial access to about 15% of all course material within HerbalThink-TCM and to sample all major software features. Before paying any tuition, you will be able to:
    • Join our online forum for BootCamp members.
    • Download the software package.
    • Verify that it will work on your computer.
    Once we receive your tuition payment, you will receive activation codes that unlock all the course materials you will need in order to complete BootCamp.

Successful completion of Herbalists' BootCamp is required for membership in RMHInet and for admission to RMHI professional courses.

1  Read this tutorial to discover whether your goals, style of learning, and personal philosophy are well matched to our course format and stated mission.
2  Submit your online application for admission to Herbalists' BootCamp.
3  If you are admitted, follow the instructions you will receive via email for downloading and installing the HerbalThink-TCM software package.
4  Complete Tutorial #2 to verify that you have followed installation instructions correctly and that the software works on your computer.
5  Pay the BootCamp tuition fee.
6  After we receive your tuition payment, you will receive activation codes to unlock the Test version-option of HerbalThink-TCM, which will provide access to all course materials required for completion of Herbalists' BootCamp.
7  You will have 6 months to complete Herbalists' BootCamp from the date your tuition payment is received. (Estimated actual completion time: 60 hours, though you may wish to spend additional time on optional, suggested reading)
8  If you purchase a license for HerbalThink-TCM Basic or Pro within one year of your BootCamp tuition payment, we will apply that tuition payment toward the HerbalThink-TCM license fee. You may install HerbalThink-TCM Test, Basic, and Pro software on a maximum of two computers, if you are the sole user of both. Basic and Pro are perpetual software licenses — no time limitation.


The following series of five introductory lecture-articles will provide you with a good idea of exactly how our curriculum works and what will be expected of you.


  1. Pattern analysis vs. medical diagnosis
    • introduction;   holism vs. reductionism;   an overview of ancient Chinese metaphysics;   patterns and vector spaces: The Book of Changes (I Ching), Myers-Briggs Personality Type Indicator, Cartesian coordinates
      • "Which herbs and remedies should I take for [medical disease X]?" Why is this type of question often dangerously vague and misleading? What are the alternatives?
  2. Chinese medicine in crisis
    • TCM vs. classical Chinese medicine (CCM);   the destruction of CCM: the Chinese Republic (Sun Yat Sen), Communist Revolution, Cultural Revolution; TCM "improvement" via Scientism;   Renaissance?;   Daoist origins of ancient Chinese metaphysics
      • How and why did the Chinese Communist Party suppress classical Chinese medicine and replace it with a throughly westernized, medicalized doppelgänger popularly known worldwide as "TCM"?
      • What are the similarities and historical links between Daoism and early Gnostic Christianity, and why have both these influences been actively suppressed and persecuted by so many governments and powerful religious hierarchies?
  3. The patterns of disharmony
    • 3-D vector-space model of the Eight Principal Patterns;   simple pattern differentiation rules;   TCM Herbal Tutor games
  4. The art, logic, and mathematics [of pattern analysis]
    • expanded 10-D vector-space model;   environmental & lifestyle factors in illness;   fundamental axioms of pattern analysis;   AutoSage-TCM expert system;   CaseQuery app for accurately reporting symptoms and signs;   Pulse Simulator;   two AutoSage-TCM case studies, illustrating each stage of the pattern-analysis process
      • How do we handle the complex, difficult-to-analyze cases that have become so common in industrialized nations over the past several decades?
      • Can automated pattern analysis provide detailed, numerically quantifiable "fingerprint" representations of one's overall health status? Might this be useful in fields as diverse as epidemiology and forensics?
  5. Taking back control over our health
    • crimes against humanity, the Nuremberg Code, solutions;   RMHI core principles
      • What is the Nuremberg Code, and why have violations of this Code become the real pandemic? What are the 10 rights of patients and the 10 corresponding duties of healthcare providers under international law?
      • How often do doctors self-censor to avoid losing their license?
      • What are the alternatives to relying on "experts"?


Do you have the aptitude for successfully practicing traditional Chinese herbology?

  • Do you have patience and empathy in listening to people and accurately reporting what they said? — absolutely crucial for taking an accurate and thorough health history
  • Are you good at explaining instructions, facts, and ideas to others and ensuring that they understand?
  • Do you have a good grasp of reason, logic, and the art of the argument/debate?
  • Are you skilled at using basic computer software? — the vast majority of RMHI's course material is provided as a software package comprising text references, databases, interactive games, and video simulations.
  • Are you careful about following written instructions? (Just as you will be required to follow established procedures in using our software, similar attention to detail is required in understanding the cautions, contraindications, preparation instructions, dosages, and recipes involved in the practical use of specific herbs.)
  • Do you enjoy reading books, news, and articles about health?

Admissions — the type of student we are seeking

The skilled practice of traditional Chinese medicine has always been recognized as a challenge that few truly master. The sad fact is that, with our deteriorating public schools and plummeting educational standards, even a college degree does not necessarily indicate competence. In fact, after examining 15 years of student statistics, we have found that the extent of an applicant's formal education is irrelevant as a predictor of success in our courses. (In this modern era of political correctness, many of our colleges have become centers of political indoctrination and social engineering as their educational offerings have atrophied. Again, I am merely one among many educators, scholars, and journalists to make these observations. •[a1]•)

Consequently, we have entirely revised and greatly simplified our admissions process. No longer do we require any documentation of formal education, degrees, certifications, or licenses; instead, we would rather know about your practical, real-life experiences and what you have learned from these. What we do require is that you show that you can carefully follow written instructions, an essential requirement in any distance-learning course, and that you can think independently. You don't need a college degree to become a competent herbalist. Many of our very best students have been people who have had little or no college education — we welcome homeschooled individuals.

Please read the following articles, which describe the type of student we are seeking — discover whether RMHI's philosophy and course format is something you would like to explore further:

Successful completion of Herbalists' BootCamp is a prerequisite for membership in RMHInet and for admission to RMHI's courses; you will learn important basic principles of Chinese herbology and will have discovered whether this is something you could become skilled at doing.

An important part of Herbalists' BootCamp is your making a good-faith effort to carefully follow the instructions in the online tutorials. The software on which our course is based has been thoroughly tested and used for many years by students and practitioners worldwide. 90% of users' problems result from not following instructions exactly. (The other 10% may be a result of instructions that need to be clarified on our side, or minor adjustments that may be required to adapt to your computer.) Similarly, Chinese herbology also requires careful and scrupulous attention to detail.


Myth:   Practicing as an herbalist requires a license.

The following article debunks this common myth:

I myself have practiced as an unlicensed herbalist since 1993, as do tens of thousands of herbalists all over the USA and in many other countries. The preceding article addresses the most common issues/questions that potential students ask us about becoming an herbalist.


Applying for admission

  • By applying for admission to Herbalists' BootCamp and/or for RMHInet membership, you agree to the terms of the RMHInet Member/User Agreement, including its requirements for each class of membership.
  • To be accepted for admission to an RMHI certification course, you must first qualify as an Active Member in the RMHInet brainstorming network by successfully completing all the tutorials in Herbalists' BootCamp.

To apply for admission, register to become a new member of RMHI Forums, our own private electronic bulletin-board and social-media platform for our students, graduates, and friends of RMHI. (If you are already a member, please update your profile to reflect your goals and member bio before notifying an Admin of your desire to enroll in BootCamp.)

In the registration form under IMMEDIATE GOALS/STATUS, select the following option (plus any other relevant items):

  • GOAL: Apply for admission to Herbalists' BootCamp.

You will also be asked for   (Note: I recommend that you prepare the following information offline, then copy and paste it into our online registration form.) :

  • MEMBER BIO:  life experience, education/profession, special skills, etc.  — 1000 characters max.
  • LONG-TERM GOALS:  Improving personal/family health, preparing to practice as an herbalist, promoting health freedom and human rights, etc.  — 500 characters max.

After your application is approved by an Admin, you will also be added to an email subscription list (herbalthink-users), reserved for sending out important announcements to all BootCamp participants.

Note:   If you are clearly a serious applicant (and not a Forum spammer), expect a response within several days at most. If you do not receive a reply, it could be due to an email failure. Check your spam folder. Please contact us if you do not receive a reply.

Download, installation, and initial setup of HerbalThink-TCM

After your admission application is approved, log on to your new RMHI Forums account. The software download instructions can be found in the Herbalists' BootCamp section under Introduction and Download.

Problems accessing download page?
  • After you download and install the software package, on startup the software will indicate that the Free option is activated (this is the default). The Free option will only allow you to verify that your software has been correctly installed and to read the Documentation module.
    • The Documentation module contains a lot of stuff that most of you will NEVER need to read. Herbalists' BootCamp is designed to simultaneously introduce you to important theoretical and practical principles of TCM as well as ensure that you understand most of what you will ever need to know about maneuvering through the software.
  • To access any of the course content, you must obtain activation codes for the Test option by completing the next tutorial.

Please continue with  Tutorial #2:   Setup and Documentation



  • [a1] A collection of articles on the questionable value of a college education. In webpage at:;, a website of libertarian philosophy.
  • [a2] Wicke, R.W.; "RMHInet — a health, wellness, and longevity brainstorming-crowdsourcing network" ("Why have even many so-called alternative modes of healthcare fallen into the same abusive patterns and practices of mainstream medicine?") ©2018; In webpage at: —{{  }}
  • [a3] Fruehauf, Heiner; "Chinese Medicine In Crisis: Science, Politics, And The Making Of 'TCM' "; 1999.   Originally published in The Journal of Chinese Medicine, 1999 October.
    Due to its importance, multiple copies of this article seem to continually appear, disappear, and reappear on the Internet. Rather than include a link here that is likely to go bad, the reader should do a Google search for:
        Heiner Fruehauf, Chinese Medicine In Crisis: Science, Politics, And The Making Of TCM
    Following is a currently (2017-10-14) available link:
          Chinese Medicine In Crisis: Science, Politics, and the Making of "TCM"