The power and effectiveness of Chinese Herbal Medicine cannot be overstated. With a history going back well over 3,000 years, this medical system has a long and empirically proven record of restoring and improving the health of many millions of people.
Chinese Herbal Medicine employs the energetic properties of substances from the natural world, mostly plants and minerals, to affect a therapeutic change in the bodies of those who are sick or stressed. Chinese herbs may be thought of as gentle, energetic reminders that help the body do what it needs to do to restore and maintain health. Herbal remedies safely heal the body from the inside out.
Early Chinese physicians knew that the substances they needed to help them them live long and healthy lives were all around them in nature. Through long processes of trial and error, and using great insight, sensitivity, and rigorous devotion, they perfected the practice of utilizing a vast array of mostly plant substances to influence the way energy flows in the body. Traditional Chinese Medicine theory holds that all illness and pain is caused by a disturbance or blockage in the way that energy, or what the Chinese call “Qi”, flows through one’s body. Chinese herbal medicine balances and restores the movement of Qi so that an ideal state of health may be achieved.
The majority of Chinese herbal materials are comprised of plants; flowers, shrubs, trees, vines, etc., and their respective roots, stems, bark, leaves, and flowering parts.
The various parts are usually cooked down so that their unique energetic properties may be extracted and concentrated, then ingested in pills or powders. Some patients like to cook their own herbs at home; though time-consuming, this can yield a stronger and more effective herbal remedy.
I am frequently asked if Chinese herbs are safe, and if they can be taken along with Western pharmaceutical drugs. The answer to both questions, happily, is yes. The herbal formulas that I prescribe are grown, harvested, manufactured, and tested with rigorous quality-control practices to ensure safety and efficacy, with no adulterants or impurities. Herb-drug interactions are unlikely in the vast majority of cases, and are easily avoided. (Remember, herbs are natural substances, not synthetic pharmaceuticals). I have been trained by a Western pharmacist who is also a Chinese herbalist to recognize the instances when herbs and drugs may cause an adverse reaction; please let me know which drugs you are taking, and we can manage your intake to stay away from any unwanted interactions.
Traditional Chinese Medicine has a very long history of providing just the right herbal therapy to help people of all ages overcome their particular health challenges. There are herbs for anxiety, stress, insomnia, pain, digestion problems, just about every condition one can imagine has an appropriate herbal formula to offer relief. Acupuncture and Chinese herbs work particularly well together, with the herbal formulas working from the inside, and acupuncture working from the outside. Please call me if you have any questions regarding Chinese herbal medicine in Boulder, acupuncture, and your particular health issue, I look forward to hearing from you.
Christopher Brown, MSOM, LAc.