Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine for Good Health
Like acupuncture in China, herbal medicine has been alive and well as a form of medicine from the smallest rural villages to the largest cities for thousands of years. Today, herbs in China are still harvested at specific times of the year, dried and sliced according to tradition. Herbal medicine encompasses everything from roots, leaves, and vines to minerals, mushrooms, seashells, and fruits.
At Middle Path Acupuncture, I understand that in our modern society, we need natural medicine now more than ever. Modern processing of herbal medicine into concentrated tablets and powders has undergone its own stages of refinement. We can now get the benefits of potent herbal medicine with the convenience of being able to carry a bottle of herbal pills with us or keep them on the shelf with our vitamins.
Unlike pharmaceutical drugs, side effects from properly prescribed herbal medicine are very rare.
Treatment with Chinese medicine does not seek to just cover up symptoms, but rather identify the root cause of the imbalance in a patient’s body that is driving the symptoms and treat it.
At Middle Path Acupuncture, I only carry herbal concentrate powders and pills that have undergone thorough third-party testing for guaranteed safety, purity, and potency.
Chinese Medicine Perspective on Dietary Habits
The basis for a healthy diet for any patient is simple: variety. The broader the range of foods a person eats the better. Research has shown that our ancestors ate a plant-based diet with amounts of meat at intervals, not as the largest component of every meal. Interestingly "The China Study" by T. Coin Campbell revealed that eating excessive amounts of animal protein is a sizable risk factor for developing cancer. Today a massive amount of research continues to be focused on the human microbiota. And what do the trillions of beneficial microbes in our guts feed on? Fiber. We need to feed our probiotic colony fiber in order for it to thrive and support our optimal digestion and immune function. For the vegetarian diet, variety is especially important to make sure an individual is getting all the amino acids necessary to maintain good health.
Beyond TCM dietary counseling, I also prescribe a range of supplements whenever necessary to get the results for patients where herbal medicine is not the best fit. For example, a broad-spectrum probiotic supplement is the best way to rebuild a patient’s vital gut flora after a course of antibiotics. And for patients with chronic pain, high-quality fish oil and turmeric are helpful to help decrease inflammation in the body so acupuncture can work faster to heal the affected tissue.