Chinese Herbal Medicine
Stretching back over 2,500 years, Chinese herbalism is the oldest continually practiced medical profession in the world. Traditional Chinese herbal formulas are time-tested remedies that address a wide range of needs, from a plethora of tonics to remedies for a variety of health complaints. They can be prescribed as either a boost to your acupuncture sessions or as a stand-alone treatment for those who do not wish to have acupuncture.
Chinese medicine takes a systematic approach and it has for centuries had an enormous influence on the theory and practice of medicine in the East as a whole. More recently, it has grown in popularity at a rapid pace in the West. It still forms a major part of healthcare provision in China, and is provided in state hospitals alongside western medicine.
Based on the same diagnostic method as acupuncture, Chinese herbalism works by re-establishing the natural balance and harmony within the body. A herbal prescription normally includes several herbs working together in synergy to treat each patient in a holistic manner. It is this personalised designing of prescriptions that increases the effectiveness of the treatment. Chinese herbal medicine is particularly effective in areas such as women’s health, skin conditions and acute illness such as colds and flu.
Traditionally, Chinese herbal remedies are taken as a drink by boiling dried herbs in water (a ‘decoction’) and can include various parts of plants including roots, seeds and flowers. In my own practice, I provide the same treatment in powder or capsule form, which is a more convenient method of taking herbs, requires no preparation time and is also effective. I will prescribe a custom formula for you and make frequent adjustments to ensure it meets your needs, and as your health improves and you begin to heal, your formula may change too.
As with Acupuncture, Chinese Herbal Medicine is based on the philosophical concepts of Yin and Yang. It aims to understand and treat the many ways in which the fundamental balance and harmony between the two may be undermined and the ways in which a person's ‘Qi’ or vitality may be depleted or blocked. Clinical strategies are based upon diagnosis of patterns of signs and symptoms that reflect an imbalance.
However, the tradition as a whole places great emphasis on lifestyle management in order to prevent disease before it occurs. Chinese medicine recognises that health is more than just the absence of disease and it has a unique capacity to maintain and enhance our capacity for well being and happiness.
What can Chinese herbs treat?
Chinese herbal medicine has a role to play in the treatment of the following conditions and these have been verified by the World Health Organisation:
Chinese Herbal Medicine has a great deal to offer in regard to many of these conditions, which, in their chronic forms, create great difficulty for conventional medicine. The results that can be expected and how long a patient will have to take the herbs for will depend on the severity of the condition, its duration, and the general health of the patient.