Chinese Herbal Medicine
What is Chinese Herbal Medicine?
Chinese Herbal Medicine is one of the great herbal systems of the world, with an unbroken tradition going back to the 3rd century BC. Yet throughout its history it has continually developed in response to changing clinical conditions, and has been sustained by research into every aspect of its use. This process continues today with the development of modern medical diagnostic techniques and knowledge.
Because of its systematic approach and clinical effectiveness it has for centuries had a very great influence on the theory and practice of medicine in the East, and more recently has grown rapidly in popularity in the West. It still forms a major part of healthcare provision in China, and is provided in state hospitals alongside western medicine. Chinese medicine includes all oriental traditions emerging from Southeast Asia that have their origins in China.
Chinese Herbal Medicine, along with the other components of Chinese medicine, is based upon the concepts of Yin and Yang. It aims to understand and treat the many ways in which the fundamental balance and harmony between the two may be undermined and the ways in which a person’s Qi or vitality may be depleted or blocked. Clinical strategies are based upon diagnosis of patterns of signs and symptoms that reflect an imbalance.
However, the tradition as a whole places great emphasis on lifestyle management in order to prevent disease before it occurs. Chinese medicine recognises that health is more than just the absence of disease and it has a unique capacity to maintain and enhance our capacity for well being and happiness.
What can Chinese Herbal Medicine treat?
Chinese Herbal Medicine can be used for a wide variety of conditions including skin disorders. Please note however, that under the new Advertising Standards Agency Rules regarding the promotion of complementary therapies, including Chinese Medicine, we are no longer allowed to make any claims as to the benefits of Chinese Medicine, and we must advise you that treatment with Laura Jones Acupuncture is not and should not be considered a substitute for Western Medical Treatment.
Laura will complete a full medical history with you and discuss all you concerns with you during the consultation before you commit to taking Chinese Herbs.
Who can take Chinese herbal medicine?
Chinese medicine can be used by people of any age or constitution. Laura will take any previous or current illness or medication into account before prescribing herbs to you. With suitable adjustments for dosage and with some provisos which will be determined by Laura, children and pregnant women can very well be treated by Chinese medicine.
What are the herbs like?
Herbs are now available in a number of formats, both traditional and modern. The traditional method is to boil a mixture of dried herbs to make a tea or external application. The herbs are also now commonly prescribed as freeze dried powders or tinctures. The herbs will at first taste unusual and often bitter to anyone who has not tried them before, but the vast majority of people get used to the taste very quickly.
Are Chinese herbs safe?
Chinese herbs are very safe when prescribed correctly by a properly trained practitioner. Over the centuries doctors have compiled detailed information about the pharmacopoiea and placed great emphasis on the protection of the patient. Adverse reactions can occur with any form of medicine. In the case of Chinese herbal medicine these are rare.
Laura is a highly experienced and educated practitioner having achieved a Distinction at Masters level (the highest grade achievable), for her MSc in Chinese Herbal Medicine from the prestigious University of Westminster; A center of excellence for East Asian Medicine research and education. Laura is fully insured by the British Acupuncture Council and adheres to their strict standards of practice. Laura has also completed training with the Bristol Chinese Herb Garden and with the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew as part of her Master of Science degree. Laura provides full guidance to all her patients on taking Chinese herbs including correct dosage and administration.
Animal Products and Endangered Species.
As a strict Vegetarian and Animal rights campaigner Laura abhors any practice that involves the use of animal parts. The use of Animals in Herbal medicine is currently banned in the UK and EU and so does not form part of Laura’s Chinese Herbal Medicine prescriptions. Laura is greatly concerned about the threat to wild animals and plants that have come as a result of the growth in demand for traditional medicines, and strongly condemns the illegal trade in endangered species.
Laura uses information supplied by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), the Wildlife Liaison Office of the Metropolitan Police and the Department of the Environment, all of whom work to stop the trade in illegal substances wherever it is found.
NB: Some herbs are toasted in Wine or Honey as part of their preparation and so if you wish to avoid the use of these products please let Laura know at your consultation.