Why study Jing Fang Classical Herbalism

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What is Jing Fang?

Jing Fang means formula pattern. It is a name used to describe herbal medicine practice that uses the formula patterns in Zhang Zhong Jing’s Han Dynasty Classical texts; the Shang Han Lun (Treatise on Cold Damage) and the Jin Gui Yao Lue (Prescriptions from the Golden Cabinet).

Manageable and systematic

Jing Fang allows us to reduce the number of herbs and formulas needed to be effective in practice. It enables our learning to become manageable, and our study becomes rewarding and not overwhelming.

Jing Fang Six Syndrome Differentiation System

We teach the Jing Fang Six Syndrome differentiation system. This is the system of understanding of the Classics taught by Dr Feng Shi-Lun in the lineage of Dr Hu Xi-Shu. It is extraordinary how much of the information written in classical texts over 2000 year old is still relevant today.

The differentiation system includes an understanding of herbs, formulas, treatment protocols and treatment processes. The system gives us clear guidelines about treatment strategy; namely how do we deal with the results of our formulas? What do these results mean? And what should we do next?

Six Syndromes and Eight Principles

Jing Fang is much more than just using classical formulas. Indeed, it is a complete approach to diagnosis and treatment, based on the six syndromes (variously translated as the six divisions, six conformations or six warps) and the eight guiding principles.

We are familiar with the eight principles from our work with TCM but the six syndromes are less widely taught in the UK. Teaching of Six Syndrome Theory is a fundamental part of the Jing Fang Apprenticeship, providing a theoretical basis for clinically effective herbal treatment.

In China, the Classical Jing Fang approach of treating the person, not the disease, has been criticized as unscientific. In answer to this accusation, Professor Hu Xi-Shu would often say:

“Etiology, pathology and disease location constitute the three elements of disease classification. Western medicine can clearly tell people the name of their disease, even if cannot cure it, therefore it is scientific. Chinese medicine can cure diseases, but cannot clearly name them, so it is unscientific”.

The famous 19th Century doctor Jiang Taiyin said:

“Chinese medicine stems from experience and is based on clinical evidence, which is scientific in nature. It comes from experiments on people, that are more reliable than experiments on animals!”

Dr Feng

Dr Feng is an experienced doctor with immense practical experience, and to have his support and teaching as part of our clinic and Jing Fang Apprenticeship is an honour.

We are fortunate that Suzanne Robidoux has facilitated the translation of his work into English, helping him to spread the Jing Fang Six Syndrome Differentiation System to the West. Dr Feng’s approach to Jing Fang can be further explored on the Chinese Medicine Traveller website.

Testimonials from patients, students and graduates.

Jing fang has given me a way of understanding herbal medicine that is both profound and effective. For that I am eternally grateful!
Andrew Nuttall, JFA Graduate 2021

I have been very lucky to meet Frances Turner and study the Jing Fang tradition you have shared all over the world. It’s a truly wonderful medicine, which I absolutely love to continue learning and practicing. So many have benefited from these teachings.

Naoko Taoka to Dr Feng Shi-Lun, JFA Graduate 2019
Dr Feng, you have turned my world upside-down with this wonderful Jing Fang system… reading your case histories is inspirational.
Gail Newton, Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine Practitioner

It has been the most remarkable and fulfilling educational experience I have ever had, because the learning is done through observing real patients and seeing how Frances diagnoses and treats them. Every week I’m there, I learn something new whether it is about herbs or formulas or syndromes. And being at the clinic is always hugely interesting. Doing Frances’s course and learning the Jing Fang pattern diagnosis has changed the way I treat my own patients as an acupuncturist.

Suzanne Mounter, JFA Graduate 2020

It has been the single most helpful thing I’ve done for my health – it’s been life changing.

Simone Irmscher, JFA Patient 2022
Thank you for bringing Jing Fang into my life, it has done miracles for my health…I feel so privileged to have discovered this lineage.
Anna van der Vlies, Acupuncturist and Chinese Herbal Medicine Practitioner

It has been the most remarkable and fulfilling educational experience I have ever had.

Suzanne Mounter, JFA Graduate 2020
Frances does a wonderful job of teaching Jing Fang to us in England, online and in person. It has transformed my herbal practice into being more effective, with quicker results, and being more curative.
Vasanthy Watt, JFA Supervisor 2022
It has been rewarding and challenging to use this medicine. Every patient is a teacher!
Victoria Conran, JFA Graduate 2019

It is such a privilege to be studying the Jing Fang Apprenticeship with Frances Turner, and I cannot wait to incorporate this incredible system into my practice to help patients.

Cristina Lopez-Pasqual, JFA Apprentice 2020-22
The Jing Fang introductory lectures are extremely useful. The information is explained in a very clear and structured manner, with case studies that illustrate all the different formula patterns. The audio is a bonus. These lectures provide a very solid base that complement the practical side of the apprenticeship and help consolidate your learning.
Cristina Lopez-Pasqual, Apprentice 2020-22
Your depth of knowledge, as well as your warmth and willingness to share it, have made the last two years the most important and enjoyable of my career to date.
Tom Kennedy, JFA Graduate 2021

Interested in becoming a Jing Fang Apprentice?

The Jing Fang Apprenticeship is a practical and clinic-based approach to the study of Chinese herbal medicine.

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