Questions Answered!

Since I’ve been traveling around teaching the course on Treating Knotty Diseases: Understanding Physiology with Classic Formulas, (still 4 more places to go!)  I’ve received a lot of questions and requests for information about the Graduate Mentorship Program.  Below is a summary of the course, the syllabus and FAQs for the 2014 program that starts in April of 2014.

Summary of the Course

The 2014 Graduate Mentorship Program, beginning April 11, 2014 is the 7th incarnation of a program that began in 2001.  Over the years, with the help of the many students who have participated, the program has evolved and improved.  With Sharon’s deepening love of the classic formulas of the Shang Han Lun and her continued pursuit of study, the Graduate Mentorship Program has become a practitioner’s entryway into this powerfully effective world of Traditional diagnosis and treatment.

You will see from the syllabus below that a huge focus of the Graduate Mentorship Program is Diagnosis.  Most herbal programs focus on the study of herbs and formulas without teaching this key foundation. No matter what we know about herbs and formulas, the knowledge remains incomplete and relatively unusable if we do not know how to clearly and accurately diagnose our patients. We spend time with our patients gathering lots of information.  However, most of us have not been taught how to process that information into a diagnosis we feel completely confident in.  Rather than diagnosing the patient in front of us, we instead have learned to try to fit the person into a pre-scribed category.  This course provides a method for really seeing and articulating what is going on with each individual person who comes to us.  Once this skill is in place, our ability to understand and wield our herbal and formula knowledge is empowered.

The 3-day weekends that follow the first two weekends reinforce the diagnostic skills as we apply them to digestion, respiration, women’s health, emotions and aging.  We can use our insight into classic medicine to clearly see and treat with flexibility and agility.  We will see into modern illnesses such as Lyme’s, obesity, autoimmune illness, hypertension and diabetes.   Our insight will guide us to see the simplicity in complex cases and illnesses we have not seen ever before and the ability to treat them effectively.

Without diagnostic abilities, we are unable to truly understand the often-miraculous mechanisms of the classic formulas.  Instead, we apply formulas in a relatively vague and general way.  With the diagnostic insight we can confidently and accurately apply just the right medicine at just the right time and see the unfolding of well being emerge from there.


Weekend 1

  • Introduction to the course
  • What happens when we don’t know how to diagnose?
  • What are signs, symptoms and diseases?  What do they tell us?
  • Signs, symptoms and diseases can only be understood fully if Physiology is understood fully.
  • Physiology in relation to numerology
    • Relevance of numerology as a way to understand physiology in Chinese medicine:
    • Number 1: Unity
    • Number 2: Yin and Yang
    • Number 3: Heaven/Earth/Person, Jing/Qi/Shen (3 treasures)
    • Number 4: The 4 directions
    • Number 5: The 5 Elements, Time and Space appear
    • Number 6: 6 Conformations
    • Number 7: 7 Emotions
    • Number 8: 8 Extraordinary Channels and 8 guiding principles
    • Going more deeply into the 6 conformations
      • Tai Yang
      • Yang Ming
      • Shao Yang
      • Tai Yin
      • Shao Yin
      • Jue Yin

Weekend 2

  • Integration and knowing something For Sure
  • Integrating 8 Guiding Principleswith 6 conformations
    • Integrating Zang with 6 conformations
    • Integrating Fu with 6 conformations
    • Integrating Qi with 6 conformations
    • Integrating Blood with 6 conformations
    • Integrating Body Fluids with 6 conformations
  • Pulse Diagnosis
  • Abdominal Diagnosis
  • Pulling it all together
  • Diagnostic Process: Allowing the actual diagnosis to reveal itself based on what we know For Sure.
  • Synthesizing, SEEING and articulating the Diagnosis
  • Root and Branch
  • Formula selection
  • Herb Properties

Weekend 3

Integrative Mandala Acupuncture

Digestion Physiology

  • Digestion Pathology, Diagnosis and Treatment based on the 6 Conformations/Zang Fu
    • Tai Yang
    • Yang Ming
    • Shao Yang
    • Tai Yin
    • Shao Yin
    • Jue Yin
  • Digestion Pathology, Diagnosis and Treatment based on Disease

Weekend 4

Spirit in Chinese Medicine

  • Differentiating Spirit from Emotions
  • The key to diagnosing the emotional expression of pathology: The Elemental Physical.
  • EmotionalPathology, Diagnosis and Treatment based on the 6 Conformations/Zang Fu
    • Tai Yang
    • Yang Ming
    • Shao Yang
    • Tai Yin
    • Shao Yin
    • Jue Yin

Introduction to the Treatment of Women in Chinese Medicine

  • The Relevance of Understanding Classical Women’s Physiology:
  • The Relevance of the Energetics of Women’s Cycles:

Weekend 5

Women’s Issues in Chinese Medicine

  • Dysmenorrhea, Excessive or Deficient Bleeding Disorders, Fibroids, Infertility, Vaginal Discharge, PMS etc.  Pathology, Diagnosis and Treatment based on the 6 Conformations/Zang Fu
    • Tai Yang
    • Yang Ming
    • Shao Yang
    • Tai Yin
    • Shao Yin
    • Jue Yin

Weekend 6

Women during Pregnancy, Birthing and Postpartum

  • A comprehensive program looking at many pathologies of pregnancy such habitual and threatened miscarriage, pre-eclampsia, edema, mal-presentation, postpartum depression and much more.
  • Pathology, Diagnosis and Treatment based on the 6 Conformations/Zang Fu
    • Tai Yang
    • Yang Ming
    • Shao Yang
    • Tai Yin
    • Shao Yin
    • Jue Yin

Weekend 7

Respiration and Skin in Chinese Medicine

Very Effective Treatment of Colds and Flus (Including Lyme’s) using the 6 conformations as our guide

  • Cough, Allergies and Asthma: Pathology, Diagnosis and Treatment based on the 6 Conformations/Zang Fu
    • Tai Yang
    • Yang Ming
    • Shao Yang
    • Tai Yin
    • Shao Yin
    • Jue Yin
  • Skin: Pathology, Diagnosis and Treatment based on the 6 Conformations/Zang Fu
    • Tai Yang
    • Yang Ming
    • Shao Yang
    • Tai Yin
    • Shao Yin
    • Jue Yin

Weekend 8

Understanding Pathology, Diagnosis and Treatment of Modern Illness using the 6 conformations:

  • How to clearly comprehend and address the following issue through clarity in understanding traditional classic physiology and treatment.
    • Obesity: (Including a comprehensive discussion of diet and food)
    • Diabetes: (Including peripheral neuropathy, insulin resistance)
    • Hypertension
    • Hyperlipidemia
    • Heart Disease

Understanding Pathology, Diagnosis and Treatment of Cancer using the 6 conformations/Zang Fu:

Understanding Pathology, Diagnosis and Treatment Illnesses often associated with Aging using the 6 conformations:

  • What is Aging according to Chinese medicine?  What are the special characteristics of aging that are key to our success?
    • Pain (A very comprehensive course on the diagnosis and treatment of pain issues)
    • Menopausal Issues




How many weekends are there and what are the dates?

Altogether there are Eight, 3-day weekends.  The schedule is here.

Can I receive CEUs for this course?

Yes, each 3-day weekend is approved for 18 CEUs by the NCCAOM as well as in Florida, California and Texas.

What if I live far away or have to miss some or all of the weekends?

No problem!  All of the weekends are streamed live and recorded.  You will have access to video recordings of each class for the entire program and beyond.  Audio of each class is downloaded.

I hate technology and sometimes streaming is crappy and frustrating.

This program has been being streamed for about 4 years now.  We have it down.  We also have a great tech team.  If you have a decent computer and a good internet connection, you will very likely not have a problem.  In case of an earthquake or tornado that takes out the electricity, we will still film the class with battery-operated cameras so you won’t miss a moment.

What if I have questions about the material during the program?

When you are registered for the program, you can then login to The Graduate Mentorship Program website.  Once you do, you will see a link to our class forum.  You can post your questions here.

Is there work to do in between classes?

Students in the program receive periodic assignments, usually about once each week or two.  These assignments are optional.  They serve to keep you connected to the material in between classes, deepen your understanding of the material and sometimes to prepare you for upcoming classes.

What are the requirements for taking this program?

The only requirement is that you have a firm grasp of the basic Chinese herbal materia medica and formulary.  People have successfully taken the programs who are still in school or who have done a lot of their foundational work through individual study or apprenticeship.

What makes this a “Mentorship” program?

There are a couple of features to the program that make this a mentorship program.  1. The forum gives you access to Sharon for your questions

2. Students can submit cases to be reviewed and discussed

3. A new feature with the 2014 program is small group online meetings to review cases and issues.

What will my time commitment have to be for this program?

The primary place to put time into the material is in your practice.  The principles have to be applied in order to work and in order for them to be learned.  Most of the learning will take place outside of class as you work with the material in real life situations.  Practitioners are encouraged to take time working up complex or confusing cases using the methods taught.  At first this can be time consuming but it gets much faster as the method becomes obvious and natural.  As with anything, the more time you put in, the more you get out of it.

So as not to avoid the question though….You should be prepared to put in at least 2 hours of study/week in addition to attending, viewing or listening to the lectures.

What are the costs and are there payment plans?

There is a long-term payment plan.  The fee and payment information is here.

When I come for a weekend, where should I fly into and where should I stay?

You will fly into Hartford Bradley Airport.  We have an accommodations page here.  We very much recommend finding housing through

Are there any other perks?

Yes!  Students receive an automatic membership in the student library.  This library has institutional memberships to most of our field’s best journals and magazines.  In addition the library includes institutional membership to other paid sites that house many resources such as articles, audio and video.  The complete course on the 10-Key Formula Families with Dr. Huang Huang is included in the course and is in the student library.

Can I get a discount if I have taken any of Sharon’s courses live or on ProD?

Yes!  1/4 of what ever you paid for a program either live or on ProD can be applied to the Graduate Mentorship Program.  In addition, students who have attended the program before can retake it for 20% of the total cost.  ($950)

Great! How can I register?

You can register at this link!

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5 Responses to Questions Answered!

  1. Reece Yeo says:

    Hi Sharon,

    I am in Sydney, Australia. Will it be difficult to learn from you by doing this program entirely by distance online learning?


  2. Topics in Chinese Medicine says:

    Hi Reece,

    We have had students from around the world. About 1/3 of the students do the program completely through distance learning. It has been very successful as each weekend is filmed and the video is posted within a week of the 3-day weekend and there are other ways of feeling connected (forum, weekly assignments etc.)



  3. Ron Bleier says:

    Hi Sharon
    I am interested in your mentorship programme
    I have done a few classes with Huang Huang and hope your programme could help
    me improve my Jing Fang skills
    I do have a problem with time so I wondered how long I would have to view the recorded weekends
    Ron Bleier
    Port Douglas

  4. Topics in Chinese Medicine says:

    Hi Ron,

    The audio and video are posted right after each weekend and stay up for the entire program. After the last class, the video of the entire program will remain for at least 3 months. Sometimes students have requested more time which has always been fine.

    Let us know if you have any other questions.


  5. When I took this course several years ago I really appreciated the audio downloads. I have a 30 minute commute to my clinic and was able to review each class over and over on my way to work. Sometimes I would even take a few notes on ideas to help a current patient. It was a great way to review and absorb the information. Now after a few years I’ll be returning to take the GMP again (at 20% of cost). I’m glad to hear that the audios will be available and I’m ready to learn more.

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