Applied Clinical Gynecology

“What I really liked about your course was that is was very thoroughly done. You covered a lot of new material for us, especially explaining the four-phase cycle theory and how to treat the patient according to this theory, but you also explained the history of the theory. I was very happy with the way you explained the menstrual cycle really well and kept going over it and reexplaining it. The notes are well set out and easy to follow. Your course has given me confidence in myself that I have a better understanding of gynecology and how to treat my patients. Thanks Markov! – J. B., Macleod, Australia”

” I would like to thank you for a most informative course in gynecology, even though we covered it in some detail, your presentation made the subject completely clinically relevant and as I was fortunate enough to be in the Gynae ward the following week I was able to take full advantage of your info and to be completely involved. The micro management of the cycle with different formulae was the most interesting part for me. You have given me an interest in gynecology I didn’t expect to acquire. My patients are all going to get BBT charts to do! – S.A., Victoria, Australia

What is this workshop about?

For those who have already worked on gynecology patients at the student clinic, you will understand how broad the scope of Chinese medicine gynecology is. You will need to know and understand the Western medicines the patients are on, the imaging and lab tests they have done. You will need to employ both the use of acupuncture and herbs to treat the pattern you have diagnosed. You will need to understand the woman’s cycle, both in terms of the complex hormonal changes as well as these changes as understood in terms of Yin and Yang, Five Elements or the Zang-fu Method of Diagnosis/Treatment.

This workshop is about equipping soon-to-be practitioners with skills specific to treating diseases of gynecology using an integrative approach as practised in Nanjing. We will be covering only theory that is useful to clinical practice. For sure, we will not waste time running you through yet another wholesale repetition of a disease and its various patterns; many of you have already gone through enough of this in great detail during your recent years of training.

Who is Eligible?

This is a workshop specifically designed for students who are about to graduate and start working as Chinese medicine practitioners. It will cater to the following groups of students:

  • Recent graduates from the Oregon College of Oriental Medicine (OCOM)
  • Final year students of the RMIT degree program in Chinese Medicine and Human Biology.

You will already be doing observation rounds in the Hospitals of Nanjing. By attending this workshop, your understanding of herbal formulation as well as treatment strategies will be further enhanced. This workshop is invaluable to those interested in really applying Chinese medicine to diseases of gynecology in your future practice.

This workshop has a huge slant toward the use of herbs, so participants are expected to already know their herbs well. We will also be using quite a bit of medical terminology, so some level of familiarity with Western gynecology would be appreciated too.

What content will be covered?

  1. The woman’s cycle, effective use of BBTs in diagnostics
  2. The use of Chinese herbs to regulate the cycle; textbook theories and clinical practice
  3. Ovulation and strategies for promoting ovulation
  4. Understanding how to use the hormone panel and other lab tests
  5. Common gynecological diseases that you will see in the clinic and treatment strategies
  6. Patient intake, not focusing just on the yin and yang, but zooming in on relevant questions.
  7. Understanding where Chinese medicine and acupuncture can be useful in diagnosis, and where Western medicine diagnostics are crucial.
  8. Treating the disease vs treating the pattern, and how to do both in this day and age.

When is it?

The next one will be conducted in late September 2014. It will comprise 3 sessions over 3 days, each session lasting 90 minutes.

Who will be teaching?

Mark Chern will be teaching this workshop. Mark Chern (Singapore) is a practitioner of Gynecology and Reproductive Medicine. He also teaches at the annual American Board of Oriental Reproductive Medicine Fellowship in China. He will be making many theoretical concepts relevant to clinical practice.

What else will I get from this workshop?

Apart from the invaluable practical knowledge you will receive, you will also get a certificate for having taken this course. More than that, you will get a signed letter elaborating on the topics covered and what you have learned.

What is the investment?

This adds up to a total of A$400 for the three evenings.

Those who are really interested in practising TCM Gynecology are going to understand how valuable this investment is. Those who sign up will be given 2 assignments to do even before the workshop begins. You WILL leave the course feeling more confident in handling gynecological conditions, especially as it relates to fertility and reproductive disorders.

I am interested, what do I do next?

Please fill up the APPLICATION FORM and hit SUBMIT at the bottom of the page. Upon receiving your application, we will proceed to give you detailed instructions on how to pay.

Application is limited to 4 people only. Any more will make the workshop too crowded. Once we get 4 applications, we will close subscriptions.

Mark Chern

Mark Chern practices Chinese Medicine in Singapore – see Before this, he was maintaining a busy TCM Fertility & Women’s Health practice in Indonesia. He is conversant with using Chinese medicine alone or in combination with modern drugs/technology. He also assists women in pregnancy as well as post-partum using Chinese medicine. For client testimonials, please look here.

Since 1998, Mark has trained in complementary modalities that include Shiatsu, Myofascial Release, Visceral Manipulation and Craniosacral Therapy. He started giving acupuncture in 2004, after learning and practising in a traditional setting at Lee Zheng Yu Medical Clinic (Taiwan). He had further training in China regarding the integration of Western medicine and herbal therapies at the Nanjing University of Traditional Chinese Medicine as well as several hospitals of integrated medicine like the Jiangsu State Hospital of Chinese Medicine, Qin Huai Hospital of Chinese Medicine and People’s Hospital of Chinese Medicine. Even now, he continues conducting advanced seminars in China: the Practical Course in Chinese Herb Recognition for the Oregon College of Chinese Medicine ( and the Advanced Fellowship on Oriental Reproductive Medicine for the American Board of Oriental Reproductive Medicine (, as well as short elective workshops for students from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Australia.

In addition to running the programs hosted at tcm-nanjing, Mark has produced a language CD for the TCM English textbook used nationwide by students in China. He is also a proponent of the integrated East-West approach, and has trained in this aspect in China. This approach entails understanding both modalities and using one or a combination of both in a sensible manner.

While in China, Mark has developed several Clinical Observation programs to assist practitioners and students of Chinese Medicine in enhancing the value of their China experience. Areas covered include:

  • Gastroenterology
  • Pulmonology
  • Oncology
  • Rheumatology and Autoimmune Diseases
  • Reproductive Medicine – both Women’s Health and Male Factor Infertility

Mark is a strong believer in using traditional medicines in a responsible way. As practitioners of traditional medicine, we have a responsibility to understand the advantages and limits of using the mainstream approach of today. Only then can we fulfil our role and provide the ‘integrated holism’ that can benefit the patient’s overall health.

Juliana Hoyos

Juliana practices in Bogota, Colombia. In addition to working in the areas of Gynecology and Fertility, Juliana treats patients during pregnancy and postpartum using her unique combination of bodywork, acupuncture and herbal medicine. Juliana returns regularly to China to conduct TCM educational seminars.

In addition to a five-year double degree in Chinese Medicine and Human Biology from Australia’s prestigious RMIT University, she has also spent almost three years learning from numerous fertility experts at various hospitals/clinics in China.

Juliana uses her style of Chinese medicine, together with psychology and education, to help women go back to their roots and understand their natural processes. Juliana has a passion for contributing in developing countries where women are disenfranchised and lack education/opportunity. So far, she has contributed in places like India, Nepal and Indonesia. Her vision is to organize and empower these women, so they become independent and have better life opportunities.

For more on Juliana Hoyos, please look up

Comparative Take on Bao He Wan

“保和丸,治一切食积。” (Bao He Wan, to treat all food stagnation.)

Bao He Wan is an herbal formula created by Zhu Dan Xi (朱丹溪). It is documented in his book 《丹溪心法》as treatment for what is termed food stagnation (食积). Especially useful if one feels a bloating sensation in the stomach after a meal, a sign of possible indigestion. We already have the TCM explanation for this formula make-up. It would hence be more useful for readers if we compare the ingredient of Bao He Wan with their biopharmaceutical peers.

The original formula is made up of three broad categories of herbs. The first are the digestives, akin to the enzymes e.g. protease, lipase, amylase that we use to aid digestion. Shan Zha (山楂), also known for helping weight loss and treating high blood lipids, is known traditionally to digest meats. Lai Fu Zi (莱菔子) is the seed of radish, and is known for breaking down wheat – remember, this is usually wheat in bread and noodles. Last of all, we have Shen Qu (神曲) which if simplified is a cocktail of enzymes.

In today’s formulations of Bao He Wan, we also see other herbs being included, most common of which is maiya (麦芽). Zhishi (枳实)and baishu (白术) are also wont to be thrown into the mix.

“人有食积,必生痰湿。” (He who is wrought with food stagnation, will produce phelgm and damp.)

In TCM, there is a saying that when there is food stagnation, phlegm-stagnation will appear. Which is why the second group of is erchen tang (二陈汤) but without licorice.

“食积日久则易生热。” (Food stagnation over time will generate heat.)

There is also another idea that the long-term result of food stagnation is heat generation. This is understandable, as in the case of chronic gastritis, where there is slight inflammation of the stomach lining. The original formula uses lian qiao (连翘) in response. These days, the solution would be the use of antacids like aluminium hydroxide and magnesium hydroxide.

That said, there is an obvious difference between the use of lian qiao as an anti-inflammatory and the use of antacids to neutralize excess acid production. One can read up on content by alternative medicine practitioners who believe that the problem is not excess acid production in the stomach; instead they believe it is the lack of acid production.

As mentioned above, qi regulators like houpu (厚朴) and zhishi (枳实) are thrown in to regulate qi and take away any bloating. While there is not clear connection, we can liken this to the use of anti-flatulent medications like simethicone (西甲硅油) or to gastroprokinetics like mosapride (莫沙必利) or cisapride (西沙必利).

Why Platycodon (桔梗) is a ship that carries the other herbs upward


As a tradition, platycodon is used in many illnesses that are located at the chest and upward. For example: cough with alot of phlegm, a sore throat, or even lung abscesses. In many formulae, its role is as a carrier, to bring the other herbs to the chest area.

One modern explanation for this: Platycodon contains many saponins, which put simply are soap-like compounds. These saponins come in contact with a big part of the respiratory tract as well as the digestive tract (of course). And assuming (I don’t know yet) the action of saponins ends at the stomach area, then it is restricted to the chest and upward.

One example of its use at chest level: One particular type of saponin, platycodin (桔梗皂苷), can stimulate the mouth, throat and stomach lining upon contact, and this stimulus is passed on as a reflex, increasing bronchial mucus membrane secretions. This thins phlegm, explaning platycodon’s use as an expectorant.

Platycodon is also a natural aspirin: It is an anti-inflammatory pain-killer that also brings down your temperature. Small wonder its use in A Treatise on Warm Diseases (《温病条辨》). Go look at xing su san (杏苏散) and sang ju yin (桑菊饮) and the host of other cold, cough and flu formulas. It is seldom that platycodon is left out of the equation when treating pulmonary conditions.

Advanced Oriental Reproductive Medicine Fellowship – Training Program in China.


The Advanced Oriental Reproductive Medicine Fellowship will be an intensive one week of observations, lectures and discussions. This Fellowship is the only advanced education course offered by us. It is created for Chinese Medicine Reproductive Specialists who already possess all the basics in reproductive medicine and are experienced practitioners. As such, it is exclusive to members of the American Board of Oriental Reproductive Medicine ( and members of Clinical Excellence in Fertility Professionals ( The 4th Fellowship Training Program will be in May 2015. Read on and write in if you are interested.

“The Fellowship in Nanjing is an intensive submersion into how Chinese Medicine, with a specific focus on reproductive health & fertility, as practiced in its home country. In daily clinic sessions it is not unheard of to see 60 or more patients per shift.”

Participants will observe the combined use of Western and Chinese medicine to treat both male and female infertility. The aim of the course is not only for participants to have the clinical experience of observing famous Chinese medicine doctors from the best gynecology hospitals in Nanjing, but also be part of a select group to learn more and discuss about how these doctors run their practice.

“There is nothing to replace the experience of being there-the sights, sounds, smells, the information! It will take your practice to a whole new level. There are things I saw and hear that I could only have seen and heard because I was in China.”

“The lecture and case discussion sessions were a valuable addition to the clinic observation. These sessions truly made it possible to decoct and extract the most valuable information from the observation sessions.”

“The doctors that were selected are some of the best in the field of Reproductive Medicine/Gynecology so it was very focused on what we see in our daily practices. Clinically, it was incredible to see the way the different doctors created herbal formulas and their theories on how to treat infertility were much more diverse than what we learn here in the States. TCM doctors in China are able to prescribe Western medications as well as herbs so it was invaluable to see how the two were used hand in hand. I learned a lot that I have already started applying in my practice.”

To find out more, or to register, follow the arrows below.

Practical Course on Chinese Herb Recognition

We just completed the 6th Practical Course on Chinese Herb Recognition with student-practitioners from the Oregon College of Oriental Medicine. We covered 20 hours of CEUs over the span of 4 days.

“I really appreciated the breadth of the experience – seeing everything from field, to processing, to market and then final industrial scale processing and packaging. It’s a big missing piece in a college-based TCM education.”

Click to watch short clip #1!

“Great learning experience that is hands-on, making it easy to familiarize ourselves with the herbs. I appreciated the ability to compare the herbs and see the difference in quality from one supplier to another.”

Click to watch short clip #2!


The aim of this tour is to deepen your familiarity with Chinese herbal medicine. Many students of Chinese medicine learn the names of herbs and how these herbs work, but have not seen it before. Others might have seen the herb, but are not sure whether it is a root, stem, bark or how it has been processed.

“This is a great experience that i will never forget. The whole trip opened my eyes to the herbal manufacturing, selling and packing process. It is amazing how much effort goes into the whole herbal process from planting and harvesting to selling and packaging. Thank you for this one-in-a-lifetime experience!”

Many herbs arrive to our clinic pharmacy already cut or powdered and packed so we wouldn’t recognize the herb in its whole form. We would never distinguish a good quality herb from an inferior one, and certain will not recognize the herb if it is growing in our backyard!

The Practical Course on Chinese Herb Recognition will enrich your understanding of herbs:

  • We will visit the biggest Chinese herb market in China and learn from first-hand experience (see, touch, smell) about herbs.
  • We will visit a herb farm and see how farmer here in China live and how they manage their crops.
  • We will go to a local factory to learn how herbs are processed here.
  • We will learn how to differentiate herbs that look different. In fact, every participant will receive a booklet (usual price $50) for compliments of our team.
  • The overall experience will aid all participants in understanding the possible origin of herbs in their countries, from planting in the farm to its sale in the markets to processing in the factory to its final packed form.

We hope that after this course, you will have a much better understanding of Chinese herbal medicine.

“Great trip! Seeing the herb rush was great and very educational. Markov was an excellent guide and very fun. This 4-day trip was highly educational and a wonderful time! i learned a ton!”

“I don’t think I would have ENJOYED my Bozhou experience without MARKOV as our guide, and all his connections/friends. Really enjoyed & recommend this trip with Markov.” 

“Markov did an excellent job organizing a smooth and fun trip. He attended to the needs of the group and each individual with care and grace. I had a wonderful time and I learned a lot!” 

“Thank you for sharing your knowledge, I feel like this enriching experience has made me a better herbalist.”

“This experience was invaluable to deepening my understanding of herbs in China.”

“This is a wonderful way to learn about herbs from seed to patient! Markov is an excellent host and a natural bridge between  people and places of all kinds!” 

Mastering Herbal Formulation

How does one put together a herbal formula?

Many of you who read this will already have gone through much material regarding the expansive pharmacopoeia utilized in Chinese Medicine. Many would also find familiar the core set of formulas laid out in TCM textbooks.

“markov, thanx a lot for the great lectures you gave if us last term, they totally gave a new approach to herbs and formulas, also to think out of the box when it gets to deal with individual herbs in/out a formula.. please let me know when you’ll be back in town to have other sessions
kind regards and loads of gratitude.”

Click  to watch our snippet from “FOCUS ON TCM GASTROENTEROLOGY”

And if you are interested, check out (click) our FOCUS ON TCM GASTROENTEROLOGY course.

In our opinion, the more you see, the more flexible you become with the use of herbs in a formula. Most people are stuck to the main formulas and find it difficult to move away from it. Our aim is to help you encounter different possibilities using a comparative approach to learning. This will help you to set up a system for learning that is systematic and directed. What you catch will ultimately be yours. Together we will go through various case studies within each disease category, and in the process learn how herbal formulation it is done outside of the classroom.

A systematic means to mastering the art…

It is important that the classics are included in the course material. Classics allow you to understand the historical roots of a modern herbal prescription. That said, we want to give you more. We want to share with you a straightforward approach to creating empirical formulas that have clinical relevance. This hands-on approach can be immediately applied to your practice.

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Short Term Courses in Acupuncture/Tuina


How is Chinese style acupuncture different than how it is done where you are?

Many who come to learn and observe are amazed at how the clinical experience is interpreted here. It is at once efficient and social. Some then decide to bring back and set up such a system back home.

Come and learn how acupuncture is practiced in China. It is recommended you come for at least one month, but some people stay on for a couple of months. Leave us a note telling us what you want to learn and we will put together a suggested schedule for you.


Tuina is the ancient art of Chinese body work. Pediatric massage forms a component of Tuina and is a natural form of treating pediatric illnesses like fever, stomachache, respiratory issues. Much of the focus is on stimulating the body so that its own immune system is better regulated.

We can help you arrange observations with one teacher or with a few. Drop us a note and tell us what you would like to learn!

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Channel Palpation – Dr. Wang Ju-Yi

Those still interested in attending Channel Palpation workshops with Dr. Wang Ju-Yu can contact us on email. We no longer travel to Beijing to conduct that workshop and observations with other doctors. You also contact Richard Blitstein (click on his name) for related info on learning Channel Palpation.

Group Photo with Dr. Wang
Palpating the lower extremities
Working on the Du Channel

Outside of time with Dr. Wang Ju-yi learning from him about his form of Classical Acupuncture as well as the method of Channel Palpation, we also take time to visit Beijing City Hospital to understand how they integrate acupuncture into their treatment of patients.

Conference on modern use of acupuncture, Beijing City Hospital
Dr. Hu explaining the use of their fire needle

We also visit two other places to learn herbal medicine and tuina at the Beijing University of Chinese Medicine Affiliated Clinic.

In front of Dr. Zhang’s local clinic
TMJ manipulation