Courses in the Via Physica

 _Alchemical Acupuncture: Acupuncture is usually thought of as a major component of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). In its current form, TCM has departed from many of the essential practices of its Taoist origins. This course restores the Taoist, alchemical basis to the practice of acupuncture and introduces students to such topics as the Five Spirits, the elements and their functions in healing, Chinese theories of disease causation, and the concept of wu wei, action through non-action.

_The Art of Living and Dying Well: People in the Middle Ages gave great care to the “ars boni moriendi,” the art of dying well, which, they recognized, entailed thinking about and planning for the experience of death. In this course students learn a variety of skills to equip them to live and die well, along with a series of experiential exercises that help them plan for death.

_Awareness through Chakras and Yoga: This experiential workshop provides participants with the tools and techniques to achieve awareness of the body‟s chakras and then applies these techniques in basic yoga postures designed specifically for this course. Students are introduced to the concept of the chakras and their relationship to parts of the body, and how yoga can address chakra conditions.

_Ayurveda: The ancient Hindu “science of life” (ayur, life; veda, science), ayurveda is “medicine in the broadest sense,” combining the use of herbs, meditation, psycho-physiological techniques and primordial sound (mantras), in a holistic approach to the treatment of disease. Readings and hands-on experience give students exposure to both the philosophy and practice of this ancient Indian form of healing.

_Body Work I: An introduction to the principles and practices common to the various schools of healing that focus on manipulation of the body skeleton (chiropractic, osteopathy, naprapathy); massage (Swedish, amma, Alexander Technique, rolfing); and acupressure (acu-yoga, do-in, shiatsu and jin shin jyutsu). In additional to readings in each of the areas of body work, students experience several of the practices “on the table.” Specific emphasis is determined by the instructor.

_Body Work II: This course offers intermediate/advanced levels of instruction in one or more of the schools of body work, with stress on students‟ hands-on practice. Students work on each other under the close supervision of the instructor. Pre-requisite: Body Work I, or the equivalent.

_Energetic Anatomy—A Blueprint for How We Live and Die: An experiential introduction to shamanic healing designed to assist participants on their soul journey as they learn about their energetic architecture. Students will experience their energy system via a series of experiences. The relevance of the body‟s energy stems to health, default patterns of behavior and personal response to people and events will be discussed. The student will be given a first-hand demonstration of how a shamanic journey can accelerate spiritual growth.

_Energy Work I: Introduction to the basic principles and techniques for working with the Universal Energy Field. Topics include the aura, the 7 levels of the human field, the 4 forms of energetic manipulation, and the chelation technique developed by Rosalyn Bruyere. Readings and an experiential practicum are required.

_Energy Work II: This second-level course focuses on the chakras and their psycho-spiritual meaning, and the characteriological types developed in the bioenergetics and core energetics schools of Alexander Lowen and John Pierrakos, respectively. Students develop their own characteriological profile, based on their reading and practicum experience. Pre-requisite: Energy Work I, or the equivalent.

_Energy Work III: This intermediate course applies field theory to physiological and psychological imbalances and diseases. Biophysics and its principles are discussed along with advanced techniques in the manipulation of the Universal Energy Field. Readings are supplemented with hands-on practice working with the energy field. Pre-requisite: Energy Work II, or the equivalent.

_Energy Work IV: An advanced course focused on healing through field coherence. Students will learn how to achieve coherence in their own field and how, from this state, to heal others. Readings and practicum. Pre- requisites: Energy Work III or its equivalent; Field Theory or its equivalent; adeptness in meditation; thorough grounding in spiritual science.

_Herbalism: An introduction to the role of herbs in restoring and maintaining health. This course draws on both the Chinese and Western herbal pharmacopia, and on the wisdom of ancient herbologists and such modern scientists as William Thompson, Joseph Kadans and Michael Tierra. Students learn to identify a variety of the major healing herbs, as well as how to grow and process herbs, and their application to specific ailments.

_Homeopathy I: An introduction to the homeopathic system of medical treatment, its history and key principles, including the central theory of “like cures like,” and the controversial practice of potentization. Students learn about the 15 constitutional types and how these react to different homeopathic remedies. Also included are explanations of how cures are made and how homeopathic practitioners work with patients.

_Homeopathy II: This course presents an in-depth study of the homeopathic armamentarium and gives students hands-on experience of homeopathic practice: they identify a physical or psychological condition in their own body/life and apply homeopathic remedies to themselves, under the supervision of the instructor. Pre-requisite: Homeopathy I, or its equivalent.

_Naturopathy I: An introduction to one of the most integrative of the various healing modalities, this course offers students exposure to the basic principles of healing via natural means. The goal of this basic course is to deepen students‟ awareness of the vix mediatrix naturae, the healing force of Nature.

_Naturopathy II: This intermediate course covers in greater depth the role of several of the disciplines that naturopaths use to effect healing, including: nutrition and diet, massage, reflexology, osteopathy, aromatherapy, herbs, hydrotherapy, energy work, chromotherapy, iridology, and psychospiritual techniques. The specific emphasis of the course depends on instructor interest and preference. Pre-requisite: Naturopathy I, or its equivalent.

_New Modalities of Healing: This course offers a basic overview of the wide range of alternative approaches to healing. Its orientation is holistic as it covers the key themes in alternative medicine, e.g. the “body/mind” holism, personal responsibility, the patient as person, the transformative potential in disease, the innate healing force, and attunement to the universal life force. Students consider the potential in “blended” or “integrative” medicine, as well as how new approaches differ from the conventional, allopathic medical model. For its inclusive overview of the field of alternative healing, this course is recommended as an introduction to all other courses in the Via Physica.

_Nutrition: A study of the essentials of adequate nutrition, including such topics as energy, protein, mineral and vitamin requirements; the use of nutrients in the body; application of nutrition principles to the student‟s personal diet, to diets for various income levels and for varying caloric needs. The close relationship between nutrition and disease prevention will be a major focus of the course.

_Psychodrama: An introduction to the type of psychotherapy developed by Jacob L. Moreno, using an experiential approach in which students learn by involvement in their own and fellow students‟ acting out of a problem. Topics considered include : Moreno‟s theory of personality, sociometry, the value of spontaneity and creativity, role-playing, role reversal, and the practice of mirroring. Students are encouraged to grow and see themselves in different ways through their experience of the course.

_Psychodrama and Archetypes: Exploring Your Personal Connections in Action: Using the spontaneous role-playing methods of Psychodrama, this workshop offers participants an opportunity to explore the meaning and significance of a variety of archetypal figures. Archetypes from various cultural, spiritual and psychological traditions are examined. Participants begin to discover their personal connections to both known and unknown archetypes.

_Psychoneuroimmunology: This advanced course has as its focus one of the new “compound” sciences blending discoveries in the medical sciences with psychology to posit a “bodymind” that transcends disciplinary boundaries. Readings include articles on the cutting edge of this new science, and students should come to the course with prior familiarity with biology, anatomy, physiology, biochemistry and psychology.

_Spiritual Dowsing: This workshop offers us a way to access information in our daily lives that cannot be accessed by our intellect alone. Dowsing can form a bridge between our physical and spiritual reality—a bridge that provides us with the means to live a balanced and integrated life, by using equally our creative, intuitive power, and our logical, analytical mind. The workshop offers a transformative, thought-provoking and illuminating process in which participants discover and develop a life-long tool for holistic problem-solving that can be useful in a variety of circumstances. Some of the topics include : sacred geometry/sacred numbers; tangible vs. intangible dowsing; aura/chakra dowsing; map dowsing; gnowing; labyrinths; geomancy/earth acupuncture; tools of the trade; dowsing and healing; deviceless dowsing; seven levels of dowsing; energy leys/primary water. A slide show of ancient and contemporary sacred sites in Vermont, and a field trip to a contemporary Stone Circle are other elements of the workshop.

_Supporting the Body Temple: An interdisciplinary course to foster holistic health by developing the posture and movement of the body through the practice of a variety of body awareness techniques, supplemented by readings and lectures in diet, nutrition, the mind/body connection, psychoneuroimmunology and “blended medicine.” Emphasis is put on the importance of proper alignment, energy flow, flexibility and strength, body/ breath coordination, tension-relief exercises, stress management techniques, and healthful food preparation. During the course students are required to have at least one experience of: some form of body work, yoga, or energy healing.

_Transition—Leaving the Physical Plane: How do we die? How does our society respond to death and the process of dying? What is death as a physical, psychological and spiritual experience, and how does it figure in a curriculum focused on spiritual science? In addition to considering these questions, the course examines the various aspects of impending death and the grieving process through study of the work of thanatologists like Kübler- Ross.

_Yoga I-IV: These courses offer students the opportunity to learn, practice and deepen their understanding of the philosophical teachings of the great Hindu sage, Patanjali, and their expression in the physical disciplines of the various schools of hatha, ashtanga, bhakti, kundalini, raja, karma, and tantric yoga. One or more of these schools are stressed in each course, depending on instructor interest and training. While each course has some readings, the focus in each is on the practice of asanas and personal application. Students should understand that successful completion of any of these courses requires daily practice of the disciplines taught in class. Any physical condition that might restrict or prohibit such practice should be reported to the instructor.