Chinese Herbal Medicine
Chinese herbal medicine is a major aspect of Traditional East Asian Medicine (TEAM), which like acupuncture, focuses on restoring a balance of mind, body, and spirit to support health rather than treating a particular disease or medical condition. A skilled practitioner will utilize both acupuncture and herbal medicine together as both complement and mutually accentuate the other.
Herbs are used with the goal of restoring balance by nourishing the body. Traditionally Chinese herbs are boiled into a tea, which extracts the healing properties of the herbs, but today most herbs are administered in pill or tincture form. For those of you who have been lucky enough to experience a traditional Chinese herbal tea before, the prospect of having to take a pill may sound mighty fine. Traditional herbal teas in China are known for their strong taste, which in many cases, are down right disgusting.
What makes Chinese herbal medicine unique to us in the West is that each formula is uniquely tailored for each patient. For many of us, a symptom like a headache is universally treated with aspirin or Tylenol. To the trained Chinese medical herbalist, your headache may be treated with a different formula than another patient depending on where your head hurts or other symptoms you may have at the time.
Originating in China about 5000 years ago, acupuncture is the oldest continuously practiced medical system in the world. All told, acupuncture is used by nearly one-third of the world as a primary health care system and many more as adjunctive therapy. The fundamental principles of acupuncture are to treat the person as an integrated whole in body, mind and spirit, and to remedy the root cause of illness and disease, not only the symptoms.