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At Boca Raton Acupuncture we often times use Chinese herbs as a powerful healing adjunct to acupuncture treatment. The Chinese herbs we use are safe, effective and of the highest quality. Chinese herbs often speed up healing times of our patients so we rely on their use as integral parts of most treatment plans. Read on to learn more about these healing treasures of China…

History

Herbal medicine took birth in ancient China about 5000 years ago, as part of the science termed the “education of life” which includes various methods of psycho-physiological practices (Wushu, Qigong, Tao-yin), nutrition and others. This is a philosophical system that considers man as part of nature, closely related to it and exposed to its influence.

In China, herbal medicines are a “national treasure” and are widely used for both preventive and curative purposes. Pharmacopoeia is only one of five practices of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) to maintain or restore health – the other 4 being acupuncture, Chinese diet, Tui Na massage and energy exercises (Qigong and Tai chi).

Diagnosis

Traditional Chinese herbal medicine is a comprehensive patient monitoring system. Its essence lies in the fact that it is not only trying to treat stomach, kidneys, depression or menstrual pain, but seeks to understand the context and the emergence of such diseases. The study of traditional Chinese herbal medicine depends on close contact between doctors and patients. Diagnostic methods include tongue and pulse diagnosis, patient monitoring, evaluating facial expressions, heart rate, condition and freshness of the skin that show the body’s internal reserves, the pace and clarity of voice and the speed and accuracy of responses to assess vitality and mental state of the patient.

Herbs are specifically chosen depending on the person to be treated. Herbs to be selected differ from person to person. In fact, this is the most important key to success of this type of therapy. To prescribe a plant or a preparation, the practitioner must not only understand the underlying causes of the symptoms, but the dynamics of the patient – what is called the “ground”.

Ingredients and Mechanism

With over 5000 years in existence, Chinese herbal medicine makes use of a few thousand substances, of which about 300 are common. Much of the knowledge is derived from a popular traditional practice – with variations from one region to the other.

Note that Western pharmacology is generally carried on an active ingredient to solve a problem. The traditional herbalism, in turn, relies on the combined effect of the various components of the plant. In addition, the standard is to use several plants at the same time – this takes advantage of the synergy of several ingredients with similar properties and minimizes side effects. Although some plants or preparations can be purchased commercially and consumed in self-medication, in most cases, they are prescribed by acupuncturists and practitioners of Chinese medicine.

According to Chinese medicine, the therapeutic potential of a plant depends on all of its features:

  • The color
  • nature: hot, cold, neutral
  • flavor: sour, bitter, sweet, spicy, salty
  • configuration: shape, texture, moisture content
  • its properties: disperse, consolidate, bleed and tone

With respect to the properties, consider the example of a type of arthritis that is aggravated by humidity or rain: in the Chinese perspective, this is due to the humidity and Cold in the meridians . Now the plant Hai Tong Pi, which grows by the sea, has, according to Chinese logic (and the experience of years of practice), the property of dispersing Dampness and Cold. We should also mention that the toning property is fundamental to this approach and the basis for any therapeutic business. Here, “tone” means increasing the competence, adaptability and the body’s resistance to adverse factors.

Safety and standards

There are 2 aspects to be taken into account for the safety of herbal medication: the appropriateness of medication and quality of plants as such. With a few exceptions (some products for minor and common ailments), plants and Chinese preparations are not recommended for self-medication. They must be prescribed and dispensed by a doctor of Chinese herbal medicine, acupuncturist or a qualified herbalist.

As for the quality of imported herbs, Chinese regulations for the cultivation of plants for export would have been considerably strengthened in recent years. Moreover, many import companies now impose their standards. And competent practitioners know about how suppliers should be meeting standards to ensure that their products are not adulterated or contaminated.

At Boca Raton Acupuncture we use Chinese herbal products of the highest quality. Dr. Landon Agoado and Dr. Matthew Enright are both licensed acupuncturists and Chinese herbalists in the state of Florida. They are both highly trained and skilled in prescribing Chinese herbal preparations. Call us to schedule a free consultation to learn how Chinese herbs can work for you!

 
 

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