Chinese Herbal Medicine is one of the great herbal systems of the world, with an unbroken tradition going back to the 3rd century BC. In fact, many modern pharmaceuticals from your G.P are based on ancient plant remedies. Throughout its history it has continually developed in response to changing clinical conditions, and has been sustained by research into every aspect of its use. This process continues today with the development of modern medical diagnostic techniques and knowledge.
Because of its systematic approach and clinical effectiveness it has for centuries had a very great influence on the theory and practice of medicine in the East, and more recently has grown rapidly in popularity in the West. It still forms a major part of healthcare provision in China, and is provided in state hospitals alongside western medicine. Chinese medicine includes all oriental traditions emerging from Southeast Asia that have their origins in China.
Herbal Medicine is capable of treating a very wide range of conditions and may be combined with one or more of the other aspects of Chinese Medicine during the course of treatment. Such as; Tui Na Massage, Acupuncture, Dietary Therapy, and Exercise.
Chinese Herbal Medicine, along with the other components of Chinese medicine, is based on the 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 (vitality energy) 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 recognizes 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.
Chinese Herbal Therapy is successfully used for a very wide range of conditions. Among the more commonly treated disorders are:
- Skin Diseases: Including eczema, psoriasis, acne, rosacea, urticaria, athletes foot and fungal toe nail infections.
- Gastrointestinal Disorders: Including irritable bowel syndrome, chronic constipation and ulcerative colitis.
- Gynecological Conditions: Including pre-menstrual syndrome and dysmenorrhoea, endometriosis, infertility and menopausal problems.
- Chronic Fatigue Syndromes: ME, Post-viral syndrome etc.
- Respiratory Conditions: Including asthma, bronchitis, chronic coughs, allergic and perennial rhinitis, as well as sinusitis etc.
- Rheumatological Conditions: Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
- Urinary Conditions: Including chronic cystitis.
- Psychological Problems: Including depression and anxiety.
- Children’s diseases
Many of these conditions, especially in their chronic forms, create great difficulty for conventional medicine, whilst Chinese Herbal Medicine has a great deal to offer. The results that can be expected and the length of treatment required will depend on the severity of the condition, its duration, and the general health of the patient.
Chinese medicine can be used by people of any age or constitution. Your practitioner will take any previous or current illness or medication into account before providing treatment. With suitable adjustments for dosage and with some provisos which will be determined by your practitioner, children and pregnant women can very well be treated by Chinese medicine.
At your initial appointment, which will last about an hour, you will be asked lots of questions – not only regarding your main complaint, but also about your health in general. We will also look at your tongue and feel your pulse on both of your wrists; this is to aid us in our diagnosis of your particular imbalance. Your follow up appointment will properly be one to two weeks later and you will be prescribed herbs to cover this period.
The length of treatment will vary depending on the severity of the condition and how long you have had it. In some cases you can expect a good result in two weeks, for severe, chronic problems you may need take the decoctions for 8 -12 weeks.
Chinese herbs are very safe when prescribed correctly by a trained practitioner. Over the centuries doctors have compiled detailed information about the pharmacopoeia and placed great emphasis on the protection of the patient.
What are the herbs like and how much will they cost?
Chinese Herbs are now available at our Worcester clinic in a number of formats, both traditional and modern. The traditional method is to boil a mixture of dried herbs to make a tea or to use pills. The herbs are also now commonly prescribed as freeze dried powders or tinctures. The herbs will at first taste unusual and often bitter to anyone who has not tried them before, but the vast majority of people get used to the taste very quickly.
You should inquire about charges when making your appointment in Worcester. Many private health insurance companies are now covering Acupuncture and a few will pay also for Herbal Therapy. You should check your individual policy details.
Do you use any endangered species in your herbal therapy?
We are greatly concerned about the threat to wild animals and plants that have come as a result of the growth in demand for traditional medicines. We condemn the illegal trade in endangered plant and animal species, and are subject to strict rules which prohibit the use of any such material.