The Top 3 Reasons To Take Chinese Herbs
When I started acupuncture school, I asked admissions if I could opt out of the Chinese Herbal Medicine portion of the curriculum. They said no.
I loved acupuncture, and only wanted to use needles! No dice. If I wanted to be licensed and practice acupuncture in California, I had to learn Chinese Herbs. At the time, I was not too thrilled. I was told I would have to learn hundreds of single herbs and formula names in Chinese and Latin, along with all their physical and energetic properties and functions. Sounded daunting. However, after I experienced them first-hand, I knew I would always prescribe and take herbs in my practice and in life.
I had no idea that people used Chinese herbs for things like hormonal imbalance, high cholesterol, fertility, acne, and pain. Unlike Western medicine, Chinese herbs are usually combined in formulas to enhance their properties by working together to produce a desired effect. Chinese herbs have been around just as long as acupuncture, literally thousands of years of clinical study of treating certain conditions.
I had insomnia. I’d push through my days feeling like a zombie and always being tired. Being a student trying to learn and study all day was taking its toll. Sleeping pills were not an option for me. Acupuncture was helping, but not consistently enough. That’s when I decided to try Chinese herbs.
My acupuncturist at the time came up with a custom formula for me that would supposedly help not only my insomnia, but also my dry skin, energy, and menstrual cycle. I was in. It took a few months of diligently taking those dirt-tasting herbs every day, but I started to notice a difference. My sleep improved dramatically and I felt more balanced overall. Success! It’s been years since I’ve taken that specific formula because my sleep is consistently good. I’ve recently moved on to a formula to help my bones and ligaments, because I am still recovering from a stress fracture in my foot. A symptom is your body’s way of telling you there is an imbalance.
The Top 3 Reasons To take Chinese herbs:
1) Get a treatment every day!
All day I hear people say they would love a treatment every day if they had the time and money. Here you go; you have struck gold 🙂 Acupuncture is amazing and my favorite aspect of Chinese Medicine. But it’s not realistic in this country to come in for a treatment every day. This is where Chinese herbs step in. You are helping your body heal every day by taking herbs. You are also supporting your acupuncture treatments by getting treated in between treatments, which calls for faster healing. There are also some conditions that I find work better in combination with one another; for example fertility, PMS, acne, digestive issues, colds.
2) No side effects.
Who wants to be on prescription meds their whole life? Not me. I definitely think western meds have their place and are extremely useful for many conditions. However, if you can treat something naturally, why not try that first? Also, many Western meds give you side effects like digestive upset, weight gain, constipation, dry mouth, dizziness, insomnia, anxiety, among many others. The side effect often leads you to having to take another medication to combat the first one! Chinese herbs are gentle, yet incredibly effective.
3) I’m feeding 2 birds with one seed.
Chinese herbs support your body’s constitution, or natural state of functioning. When something is imbalanced it often affects other organ systems and produces multiple symptoms. When you treat the underlying imbalance, those symptoms clear up on their own. Chinese herbs look at the organ systems and how they interact and communicate with one another as well how well they function alone. That first formula I took not only helped with my sleep, but my skin improved, I had more energy, and it also regulated my menstrual cycle. It was magic!
My philosophy in treating my patient’s or myself is that it is usually the culmination of different modalities that really promotes healing. Diet, stretching, herbs, acupuncture, physical therapy, chiropractic, massage, supplements etc. – all are fantastic options that assist in that process. Your body is the most amazing creation that can repair and maintain itself. Be good to it, and it will be good to you.
Best in Health,