Chinese Herbal Medicine
Herbs are prescribed according to 'patterns of disharmony', usually a result of stress, poor diet and environmental factors. The balance of yin and yang is essential: these are opposites that create the whole. When balanced, the system functions harmoniously and one is well. Qi (the body's life force) is the element which binds yin and yang, and it is vital that this flows freely. When blocked, or stagnant, illness can occur. Herbs are prescribed to work on specific meridians, along which qi flows.
A branch of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Chinese herbal medicine is an ancient diagnostic technique which takes a holistic view of a client's symptoms, instead of looking for a specific disease. Chinese herbalism uses herbs for both treatment and prevention of a wide range of physical, mental and emotional conditions. Practitioners often use herbs in conjunction with acupuncture, which complement each other.
What to Expect
Consultation with a Chinese herbal practitioner is one of the most detailed and unusual compared to western methods. It is the diagnosis which is the most skilled element and, in order to detect the patterns of disharmony, it is important that the herbalist sees, hears, smells or touches a patient's full range of symptoms. Herbs are then prescribed for you, not your illness. This holistic treatment is said to help everything from arthritis, to hay fever, bronchitis, eczema, PMS, insomnia, depression. It is important that you tell the practitioner of any past conditions, such as liver disease or hepatitis, as this could affect the efficacy of any treatment.