How does Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine Work?

The Healing Flavors of Herbs

By Paul J.O'Brien
B.A., N.C.E.H.S., Dip. Acu., Dip. OBB, Cert Clin. Med.M.A.F.P.A., M.C.Th.A.

How does Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine Work? In the previous article I provided and introduction to the benefits of Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine and in this article I’ll explain a little more about how Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine Works and what it can do for you.

Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine can be used for a wide range of physical complaints and conditions including:

  • Chronic pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • PMS
  • Menstrual cramps
  • Weak immunity
  • Asthma
  • Headaches
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Infertility

Of course, Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine is equally proficient and effective in treating the mental emotional component of our health. It has long been recognized in both Eastern and Western Medicine that numerous herbs offer direct benefits for our emotional and psychological health. This is all well and good but how does Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine Work?

How does Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine Work?

In the system of Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine every substance we ingest be it food or medicine affects us in one way or another both physically and mentally. Oftentimes this can be too subtle to detect. However, when taken in concentrated doses and with enough regularity and sufficiency herbs can tangibly and remarkable effect one’s consciousness. Many Chinese herbal formulas work on our mental emotional capacity and can:

  • Make you feel psychologically lighter
  • Relax and calm your thoughts
  • Open your perspective on yourself and life
  • Engender patience and calmness
  • Boost confidence levels
  • Induce more peaceful sleep

Each food or herb, is classified according to the properties it has in terms of effect of the body’s temperature, does it make you warmer or colder? The affect it has in regards to taste, is it bitter, sour, sweet pungent etc? (Taste refers less to the flavor and more to the action, for instance sour tastes causes the body to gather in and hold things – think of what happens if you bite into a lemon, your mouth sucks itself in and shrivels), which part of the body does it affect, and how fast does it take action.

Once you have this understanding of herbs and their properties you can quickly see the sense in many of the prescriptions a herbalist may make. For instance, if you are suffering from a cold condition, take a herb that creates warmth. If you’re too warm, take a cooling herb. If you blood is moving too fast, you take a herb to slow it, if it’s moving too slowly you take one to move it faster. This explains a little in regard to the question, "How does Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine Work?"

Widely regarded as a wonderful complement to acupuncture, Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine provides continual therapeutic input into the body between acupuncture treatments. In so doing it maintains and builds upon the positive momentum created by acupuncture and can further enhance the treatment results.

How does Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine Work with my Western Medications?

This is a common question that arises in my clinic, and for the most part the answer is yes. Of course any good and responsible practitioner will take a full medical history off you prior to beginning treatment and they will ask you about current medications you may be on. It is important to be completely forthright and honest with your acupuncturist or herbalist about both the prescribed medications you are taking and those you are taking for recreational purposes. With this knowledge in mind your practitioner can adjust any herbs prescribed.

There are some rare instances where Chinese herbs may antagonize Western medications, so it’s important to have full disclosure, but in most cases herbs are safe to use with medications as long as they are prescribed by a skilled herbalist. So How does Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine Work with Western Medication - pretty well actually.

It’s important to note that despite the profound and powerful effect Chinese Herbs can have when properly administered, they are only one part of the holistic view. And it’s vital to understand that Chinese medicine asserts that dietary therapy, exercise, and the healing of our environment also play crucial roles in our overall health and quality of health. In order to full enjoy an energetic and abundant life we must complete need every aspect of our health to be acknowledged and working for us.

Many acupuncturists will be able to help you develop a nutritional plan that reflects your unique constitutional needs. In my clinic we even provide a dedicated nutritional program, combing both the best of Chinese dietary therapy and Western science to produce a perfectly tailored diet satisfying all physical and mental emotional needs.

A good practitioner will also show you various breathing exercises or Qi gong (a meditative form of movement) exercises that will enhance your treatment experience. Again in the Meridian Clinic, we offer detailed physical exercise and training, derived from my experience as a martial artist and top personal trainer and fitness author (7 Seconds to A Perfect Body, 2005) as featured on the Top 1% ranked website – www.isometric-training.com

If you are suffering from any medical condition, be it pain, digestive disorders, chronic illness, fatigue, or simply a sense of unease, then I strongly encourage you to consider Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine to relieve any pain and discomfort and to release any blockages in your body.

If you have any questions like, "How does Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine Work" for your condition or health concern or wish to start a course of treatment then please feel free to contact me or make an appointment where we can discuss any specific concerns or questions you may have.

Ready to get started? Great. Call my clinic at 087 901 9627 so we can discuss your needs and set up the first appointment.

You have been reading How Does Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine Work?. It may interest you to read my next article - Chinese Dietary Therapy Here.

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