If your acupuncturist is suggesting that you take herbs to improve your health, you may be wondering what makes them different from any other kind of herbs. Herbs are a big part of the theory of Traditional Chinese medicine, and can really help to give your acupuncture treatments a boost in efficacy. This guide will explain how Chinese herbs differ from medicine and western herbs, as well as what you can expect from them.
Treating The Whole, Rather Than a Single Ailment
In many cases, modern medicine and western herbs are prescribed to help treat a specific ailment, like reducing arthritic pain or diminishing headaches. While Chinese herbs are prescribed with the intention of improving your health, they don't quite work the same way. Rather than improving a specific ailment, Chinese medicine looks at your entire body state as a whole and attempts to bring that into balance.
Traditional Chinese medicine believes that herbs are a potent source of specific types of qi that can be applied when your qi is imbalanced. For example, if your acupuncturist tells you that you have too much heat, they may prescribe an herb to you that will increase the amount of damp qi, which can help to balance out the heat.
Generally speaking, acupuncture and Chinese herbs are both used to bring balance to your qi, but Chinese herbs can put new qi in your body, whereas acupuncture stimulates and organizes the qi you already have. In essence, if you're deficient in qi, herbs can fix this, whereas acupuncture can only work with what you already have.
How They're Taken
There are many ways to take Chinese herbs, and the type your acupuncturist suggests for you depends on what your body needs. However, most herbal formulas can be taken in a pill or tablet form. In some cases, your acupuncturist may want to create a specific blend of herbs just for you, which may require going to an herbalist shop with a prescription. The herbalist will follow the directions and create the requested blend for you in a powder form. In some cases, they may give you raw herbs, which you can take home and simmer in water to create a beverage to drink for the same effect.
Not every acupuncture patient will need herbs to improve their health, but many can benefit from them. Talk to your acupuncturist or an herbalist like the master herbalist at The Greentree Wellness Centres Inc about the possibility of taking Chinese herbs for your health.