The Tian Lineage® is a family lineage of herbal practitioners from China. Traditionally these family secrets have only been passed down to a few select disciples who would spend many years working with their teacher to gain insight into their knowledge and style of practice. used
Arnaud Versluys is one of the few senior lineage holders remaining, having learnt from Dr Zeng Rongxiu – a direct disciple of Dr Tian Heming. Arnaud is the current head of the Tian-Zeng lineage, working to preserve this style of practice through his training offered through the Institute of Classical East Asian Medicine (ICEAM).
This style of canonical Chinese medicine practice is rooted in a classical, Han dynasty approach to Chinese medicine. The practice of this style is based on the classical manuscripts of the Han Dynasty, in particular through the schools of practice as outlined in the Shen Nong Ben Cao Jing and the Huang Di Nei Jing. The primary source of the herbal formulas used in this style of practice is the Shang Han Za Bing Lun by Zhang Zhong Jing. This is one of the oldest clinical manuals of formulas, describing their use in treating a multitude of conditions.
Arnaud has spent many years studying and contemplating the classics, in particular, the Shang Han Za Bing Lun, to understand the classical approach to herbal practice. He has an in-depth understanding not only of the formulas and their usage but the underlying theories which underpin the classical approach to Chinese medicine.
He shares this understanding through his in-depth post-graduate training programs for Chinese herbalists, which span many years in the introductory stages and a lifetime in the mastery stages. Graduates of this program are recognised as Diplomates of Canonical Chinese Medicine. These practitioners are passionate not only about the quality of the Chinese herbs they prescribe, but also the accuracy of their prescriptions.
This program is resemblant of the classical method of learning. Studying would be with a single master, allowing a more in-depth grasp of a particular school of thought. During this course, in-depth theory is explored and students are encouraged to attend clinical days to observe real-life case studies and calibrate their pulse-taking skills.
The key focus is on understanding and identifying the functional imbalances in the body which are preventing healing, and seeking to address these root causes to disease. In contrast to the more modern and material focus of medicine which seeks to identify pathogens and then to eliminate them, this approach is about creating the ideal environment for the body to manage these pathogens itself.
The unique aspect to the Tian Lineage® approach is an in-depth knowledge of pulse diagnosis and how this can be used to identify not only the stage of the disease, but more importantly the precise herbal formulas required to treat the body as it presents in the clinic. Each herbal formula will present with a specific pulse presentation, which when combined with the symptoms presenting allow for an accurate prescription as well as insight into the response of the body and necessary adjustments to be made to the herbal prescription through the course of treatment. This knowledge is the key transmission of the Tian Lineage® that Arnaud imparts to his disciples.
There are very few who can call themselves masters of Tian Lineage® herbalism, as this requires a lifetime of study and practice. However, there are many committed students to this style of practice around the world, who make the teachings of Arnaud Versluys and the knowledge of the Tian Lineage® central to their individual practice.
At Dantian Health I practice primarily this lineage of Chinese Herbal Medicine in Melbourne.
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