How are Herbs Used?

Herbal medicine is by itself a powerful method of healing. Western drugs are usually used to control symptoms but do not alter the disease process. For example: antibiotics kill bacteria but do not improve a person’s resistance to infection; diuretics drain excess fluid from the body but do not improve the kidney function. Chinese herbs can also rid the body of disease but they also nourish and balance the body in very specific ways, thereby improving the specific medical concern and at the same time improving overall health.

Many people are concerned about the safety of herbs but when administered by a licensed practitioner, herbal remedies are extremely safe and effective. First, whole herbs administered in their natural form often times have built-in safeguards against potential side-effects. Next, herbs are usually administered as a multi-herb formula created to function as a therapeutic unit created expressly for particular pattern of imbalance as well as to counteract any potential single herb side-effects. Unlike pharmaceuticals, which are concentrated and can be hard for the body to manage, herbs are seen by the body as a food and work with rather than for the body which makes them much easier to process. Most importantly, a qualified herbalist will know if any of the herbs or herbal formulas prescribed to you have potential harmful interactions with medications given to you by your physician or other health care provider and will educate on you on how to avoid such problems. As your health care provider, I will personally contact your physician(s) should any concerns about your health arise.

What is Cupping and how does it Work?

Cupping is another treatment modality within the practice of traditional Chinese medicine. Cupping creates a vacuum on the patient’s skin to treat various conditions by dispelling stagnant blood flow or lymph. The cups can be plastic or glass and are typically used in two ways, either fixed or moving. Fixed cups are usually placed over areas treating musculoskeletal or connective tissue problems and left for 5-15 minutes. With moving cupping, massage oil or other creams are placed in the area of treatment so the cups can slide up and down. Moving cupping is often times used to treat respiratory issues such as the common cold, pneumonia and bronchitis. This treatment usually leaves the skin red, blue or purple depending on the severity of the issue. This discoloration can take a few days to weeks to disappear.