Elisabeth Rochat de la Vallee Water and Fire Seminar

The Dance of Water & Fire: Study of the Mingmen & the Triple Heater
with Elisabeth Rochat de la Vallée
Saturday and Sunday July 18th & 19th 2015

Delve more deeply into the true universe of Chinese medicine with classical Chinese medicine scholar Elisabeth Rochat de la Vallée. Elisabeth's profound understanding of the Neijing, Nanjing and other classics distilled over 40 years of study makes her ideally suited to teach the breadth of Chinese medical theory. Take advantage of this exceptional opportunity to gain greater clarity about the complexities and deeper connections underlying the ideal healthy functioning of the body; to more easily understand the potential progression of disease and refine diagnostic skills.

Register Now

Elisabeth Rochat de la Vallee

Elisabeth Rochat de la Vallée

From the early 1970s, Elisabeth Rochat de la Vallée has dedicated her life to the study, analysis and teaching of classical Chinese medicine. She has an immense passion for studying classic texts and conveying her findings on the roots of Chinese medicine. She continuously expands her understanding of the intricate workings of the body via the quality and movement of Qi, and of the greater context of human life between heaven and earth.
Read More

Born in Paris in 1949, Elisabeth Rochat de la Vallée completed Master’s degrees in Classics and Philosophy at Paris University in the late 1960's. Mentored by Father Claude Larre, a famous scholar of ancient Chinese texts who was studying the Huainanzi and translating the Laozi, Elisabeth began to study Chinese, working on classical texts at University and spending a year in Taiwan studying the modern language with a native speaker.
In the early 1970’s, Father Larre and Elisabeth met Dr. Jean Schatz, a western physician and acupuncturist with a special interest in the classical medical texts. Together, this trio of scholars did groundbreaking work, forming the first study group of the classical Chinese medical texts in Paris, co-authoring the classic A Survey of Chinese Medicine (1979) and many booklets on the seminal texts of Chinese medicine and philosophy, as well as lecturing on Chinese classical thought throughout Europe and the United States under the auspices of the Ricci Institute.
In the mid 1980's, Elisabeth began to accompany Father Larre on his teaching engagements in both the UK and the US. Father Larre’s subtle understanding of the background culture and philosophy and Elisabeth Rochat de la Vallée’s knowledge of the medical texts combined to produce a unique teaching team for almost twenty years until Father Larre’s death in 2001.

Since the passing of her mentor, Elisabeth has continued to devote herself to studying and teaching worldwide, working with both medical and philosophical classical Chinese texts.

“More than 40 years ago I started out on an incredible journey across ancient languages and civilizations, striving to penetrate the root of life and the essence of existence. Quite early on, I was drawn in particular to the Chinese tradition, the wealth and beauty of which I was able to grasp thanks to my guides and mentors Claude Larre and Jean Schatz." – Elisabeth Rochat de la Vallée
Read More

"Ever since, I have continued to study the medical, Confucian and Taoist classics, drawing from them essential and vital understandings which I try to communicate in turn as widely as possible to all those who share this passion.

My experience with study groups all over the world has shown that when a genuine exploration of traditional Chinese texts is constantly rooted in clinical practice and confronted with personal experience, it allows the practitioner to develop his art, invigorate his thought and raise his vision and conduct.

By means of this rigorous research into the movements of the qi and in a constantly open exchange of knowledge and experience, I have relentlessly worked to cultivate a loving relationship to the other and to help the people I met improve their living experience. And I have been able to always maintain trust in the source without ever forgetting to smile.” – Elisabeth Rochat de la Vallée

Study of the Mingmen; Water and Fire in the Abdomen
Saturday July 18th, 2015

The Mingmen, or “Gate of Life” is an essential part of traditional Chinese physiology. The Kidneys contain the Mingmen and reign supreme over the interaction of water and fire; the foundation that supports the function and vitality of the whole organism. The abdomen is the thoroughfare for transformation; the center of the intricate balance and exchange of water and fire to create and maintain life.

Water and fire are the origin of life; representing the complementary opposites Yin and Yang, Jing-essence and Qi. When we speak of Mingmen fire, in effect we are speaking of the power of a person’s constitutional Yang, of the Qi of life. Equally important is the cooling and calming water of the true Yin and the Jing-essence.

In the practical functioning of the human body, it is the interaction of water and fire that ensures the correct processing of ingested liquids and food, the correct metabolism of fluids and wastes, and the creation of all vital substances – Qi, Blood, post-natal Jing-essence, fluids. Many zang fu organs are involved; we will investigate their specific tasks as well as their inter-relationships.

The Renmai points on the abdomen offer a good example of the connection and double presence of the Pre-Heaven and the Post-Heaven Qi. An overview of their names and functions will be presented with examples of symptoms and treatment.

Register Now

Elucidation of the Triple Heater/San Jiao
Sunday July 19th, 2015

What better way to study the intricacies of Chinese medical theory than to examine the nature of an organ that only exists in its functionality? What better way to refine diagnostic skills than by understanding the quality, movement and interactions of Qi? Chinese medicine is based upon the idea that the macrocosm is reflected in the microcosm, and by studying the Triple Heater we gain a greater understanding of the cosmic vision and the creation of life.

The Triple Heater, or San Jiao is considered a strange organ in Chinese medicine. The theoretic model of the Triple Heater is complex and multifaceted, each explaining aspects of its many functions. Thus, the Triple Heater is often a difficult concept to comprehend, perhaps particularly so for westerners. Elisabeth’s scholarly and masterful lecture will help the practitioner grasp the theory of Triple Heater in a comprehensive and practical way, as well as revealing its symbolic meaning in the classical Chinese vision of Heaven and Earth.

Through classical medical texts, Elisabeth will follow the developing concept of the Triple Heater as seen in the Nei jing, the Nan jing and later commentaries. We will study the important relationships of the Triple Heater in its fire-water polarity: connections to the Fire element (Ministerial Fire) with its links to the Heart, the Heart protector/Pericardium (Xin Bao), and the Mingmen, and with the Water element through its links with the Kidneys and Bladder.

We will examine the Triple Heater‘s connection with the pre-Heaven and post-Heaven Qi (Yuan-original Qi, Wei-defensive Qi, Ying-nutritive Qi, Zong-ancestral/gathering Qi), and its role in the metabolism and circulation of the fluids (liquids) in the body. The upper, middle and lower heaters will be analyzed as to their specific functions, with particular reference to Lingshu chapter 18, which presents them as responsible for respiration, digestion and elimination respectively.

Register Now

Some of Elisabeth Rochat de la Vallée’s published books in English by Monkey Press:

(from transcripts of lectures given in London)

Heart Master, Triple Heater
The Secret Treatise of the Spriritual Orchid (Suwen, ch.8)
Essence, Spirit, Blood and Qi

Some of Elisabeth Rochat de la Vallée’s YouTube Videos:

8 Extraordinary Vessels – Yin Wei Mai - Day 1, Part 1
8 Extraordinary Vessels – Chong Mai - Day 1, Part 2
8 Extraordinary Vessels – Dai Mai - Day 1, Part 9


Register online, or call Mayway at 1-800-262-9929. E-mail us with any questions: seminars@mayway.com

Date & Time:

Saturday and Sunday July 18th & 19th from 10:00 A.M. to 6:00 P.M.
Approved for 14 CA CEUs and 13 NCCAOM PDA points.


Seminar will be held at the Mayway Conference Space located at 1338 Mandela Parkway, Oakland, CA 94607.


Category Single Day Seminar
Full Seminar Weekend
Licensed Acupuncturist/practitioner $175 until June 25th, $200 thereafter
$300 until June 25th, $350 thereafter
Student $150

* Paid attendees of the full weekend will receive a $50 product discount coupon towards a $100 purchase of Plum Flower®, Bamboo Pharmacy®, and Min Shan® brand products.

Cancellation Policy:

80% refund if the cancellation is at least two weeks before the seminar, and none thereafter.


Off-street free parking is available in the guarded lot in front of Auto-Chlor, across the street from Mayway located at 1350 14th Street in Oakland, CA. To prevent theft, please do not leave belongings visible in your car.


Please enter and exit our building using the front door at 1338 Mandela Parkway. Seminar will be held in the 2nd floor Conference room. Mayway Staff will be available to assist you.

Directions to Mayway:

Local Restaurant Information:

download here

Local Hotel Information:

download here

* Discount Coupon presented with paid registration on the first day of class. May be used for a $50 discount off of a $100 purchase of Plum Flower®, Min Shan®, or Bamboo Pharmacy® brand products. Limit one use per person per class.

To Top