The Deep Perspective - Herbal Wisdom in Constitutional Assessment

About This Course

Two 3-day weekends constituting a complete course on holistic evaluation skills for herbalists developed and taught by the foremost people in the field, including the best of what Matthew Wood has to offer on Constitutional Assessment including:

  • Pulse Assessment
  • Facial Assessment 
  • other herbal evaluation skills
  • assessment of over 30 volunteer clients
  • herb walks

First Weekend
Matthew Wood comments: Francis Bonaldo is one of the most competent practitioners that I have ever met in the herbal world and is a beloved practitioner both in his native Montreal and the Twin Cities. He is a licensed acupuncturist and a very experienced herbalist. He was taught by both myself and Lise Wolff, of Minneapolis, and often exceeds his teachers.” 

This class emphasizes the pulse since Francis was a major contributor to the Pulse Evaluation book (required for this class). With the pulse, we emphasize the skin, its heat or lack, oiliness or dampness, and the overall condition of the thermoregulatory system, which shows forth through the skin. "Both Francis and I try to ‘follow the blood,’ understanding from the pulse where the blood is going, i.e., the circulation. We will be introducing evaluation from the circulation.”

Matthew introduces the doctrine of animal medicines and the reason for their importance in developing our vital, animal, energy, etheric, or light body - however phrased. This also introduces us to our animal self, the basis of accurate dreaming. Francis contributes his own insights on herbal remedies. Both teachers give specific pulse and tongue indications for specific remedies. 

Francis describes his own areas of expertise: "My two areas of study in recent years have been Culpeper's English Herbal (the classic of Western herbalism) and the Yellow Emperor's Classic of Medicine (the Bible of Chinese Medicine, 2000 years old). In addition to pulses, the old doctors knew how to just "look at a person" to diagnose (this includes observation of the face, neck, forearms, lower leg, and more to assess the overall quality of blood flow), so I want to share some insights regarding observational diagnosis in old Chinese Medicine which are essentially absent from the modern practice."

Second Weekend
This second weekend focuses on facial assessment. We also practice and hone Pulse and Tongue Assessment skills taught in previous classes with fellow students and volunteer clients with Dawn Gates

Matthew Wood says: "I have known Dawn Gates for over twenty years.  Her insights always surprise me because of their uniqueness against the great canopy of herbalism.  She does not come from the circle of teaching that I come from – William LeSassier (dec’d), Margi Flint, and myself – but largely from her own experience. As a nurse, she had been looking at people inside the medical world, and as an herbalist, she is experienced with holistic evaluation and treatment. She brings to us more than 30 years of experience. Thank you, Dawn, for accepting our invitation.  I look forward to learning along with our students. When the teachers learn, the students learn even more." 

How do you convey pulse over video? Our instructors are experienced at teaching this content and incorporate multiple teaching methods to convey the pulses. We also use extra cameras and sound equipment to catch extra footage for students. Learning the pulses does take time, practice, and patience. Teachers are available online to help answer your questions. As with learning any new skill: practice, practice, practice! 

We encourage students to study the following to get the most out of this course:

  • The 2017 Tongue and Pulse Evaluation course is a preliminary version of this epic course being offered in 2019. It offers 10 hours of content with brave volunteers who offer close-ups of their tongues and helpful feedback.
  • Shamanic Herbalism is a fascinating topic. Gain a solid understanding from one of our earliest courses recorded for the Institute.

All of these courses are in The Library!


Traditional Western Herbalism and Pulse Evaluation: A Conversation by Matthew Wood, Francis Bonaldo L.Ac. and Phyllis D. Light M.A. is required reading.

Free Intro Video

Have More Success with Herbal Remedies!

In this FREE 1-hour class Intro to Pulse, Tongue, and Facial Assessment, Matthew shares:

  • Why understanding Pulse and Facial Assessment will set you apart as an herbalist 
  • The origins of Pulse and Facial Assessment 
  • What will be covered in the 6 days of teaching in this course 
  • How to get started with this fascinating and helpful topic 
  • And more!


  • 1 year access to materials and Q&A

    1 year to view and review content, ask questions, and discuss with fellow students and teachers.

  • Approximately 20 hours of video

    Each course has approximately 20 hours of video

  • And MORE...

    Herb Walks, Examples from multiple volunteer clients



Documents are not downloadable. Please note that Matthew often adds manuscripts of upcoming books and is allowing students early access to these works-in-progress; therefore, they are available as 'view-only' documents and are not downloadable.

Pulse Assessment

1-year access to this course

Facial Assessment

1-year access to this course

The Library Bundle

Access to these courses and many more.
(Full list can be found on The Library page.)

Start at any time! Complete the lessons at your own pace.

Certificates designed and signed by Matthew Wood are available for purchase to those who successfully complete all tests with a passing grade of 70% or better. More details regarding herbal course certificates are here.

Tests are multiple-choice, and multiple attempts are permitted.

For those of you seeking clinical hours, we have a list of all classes/courses with corresponding accreditation hours.

5 star rating

excellent course

edward coughlin



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5 star rating

This course literally changed my perspective!

Rachel Cooley

Getting hands-on experience was wonderful, as well as being able to review the material with the excellent recordings that captured everything in great detai...

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Getting hands-on experience was wonderful, as well as being able to review the material with the excellent recordings that captured everything in great detail. I especially enjoyed the different teaching styles and vast knowledge shared in a genuinely fun way :)

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4 star rating

Excellent course

Luana M

The course was truly awesome with tons of great information. The quality of the videos was excellent, except where there was a lot of feedback (mainly while ...

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The course was truly awesome with tons of great information. The quality of the videos was excellent, except where there was a lot of feedback (mainly while diagnosing the students), which made it a little difficult to hear everything. It also made it a little confusing at times to know exactly what they were talking about, when you couldn't catch everything being said. Perhaps adding a small summary (either in video or written format) after the videos of what was actually discussed and done with each client as well as the remedies they came up with and the reasons for these remedies, could help for those taking the class online. The Pulse portion was the hardest because you couldn't feel the pulses that the students in class were feeling. I wonder if you could maybe add some audio to the class of a drumbeat, to reflect each of the pulses being discussed to the class. This would give the online students a little more idea of the differences they are looking for. Other than that, the class is highly recommended. Hello Luana, Thank you for taking the time to leave such a thoughtful review. Those are great suggestions too. Please know that you can discuss with teachers and fellow students in the Discussion section (upper right corner of each video) to ask for clarification on cases and herb choices :) Tara

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These Courses are in The Library

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