Not Just Needles: Herbal Remedies and Medicines Are an Important Part of Acupuncture Treatment
Would you like to treat your condition or disease without using prescription medications? The herbal remedies and medicines your acupuncture practitioner recommends provide a natural way to improve many painful and unpleasant symptoms.
Acupuncture Offers a Multi-Pronged Approach to Pain and Disease
Acupuncture is based on the premise that your good health is governed by Qi, a vital life force runs throughout your entire body. If Qi is blocked at any point, you will begin to experience several symptoms. Symptoms vary depending on the location, but blockages can cause a variety of problems, including pain, high cholesterol, diabetes, insomnia or gastrointestinal issues.
Thousands of years ago, the first practitioners of Qi discovered that inserting thin needles into corresponding meridians in the body relieved blockages. These early practitioners did not limit themselves to just one form of treatment, but also embraced herbal remedies as a way to support the results of acupuncture treatments, promote good health and restore balance and harmony to the body. Today, herbal remedies and medicines remain an important part of every acupuncture treatment plan.
Finding the Right Balance
At your first visit, your acupuncture practitioner will perform an examination and ask you many questions about your symptoms and your lifestyle. Unlike traditional medicine, acupuncture treatment is not based solely on a set of symptoms. Practitioners understand that the cause of pain and illnesses may not be obvious and evaluate the entire body and person when deciding upon appropriate treatments. Maintaining the proper balance of yin and yang, opposite forces present in your body, is the most important part of acupuncture.
Balancing yin and yang is a delicate process that requires in-depth knowledge of the effects of various Chinese herbs. Although one type of herb may be helpful in reducing symptoms in some cases, practitioners usually create herbal remedies that may contain up to 15 different herbs. For example, if you have high blood pressure, your practitioner might offer you a medication that contains multiple herbs known to lower pressure, such as ren shen, du zhong, dong quai and di huang.
The Hierarchy of Herbal Medications
When preparing herbal medications, your practitioner chooses one primary ingredient, called the "Chief" or "Emperor," that treats the primary pathology of the disease or condition. The "Prime Minister," an herbal ingredient that supports the action of the Emperor, is an important part of the medication. A "Minister" herb moderates the effects of the Emperor, while an “Envoy” helps the medication work on a specific pathway in the body. Smaller amounts of other herbs will also be added to enhance the effects of the medication.
Because herbal remedies are specifically created for every patient, it's not a good idea to use medications that were prepared for a friend or family member. As your condition improves, your practitioner may tweak your medication to reflect the changes in your body.
Acupuncture offers an effective, non-invasive way to manage pain and many diseases and condition. If you are looking for a natural solution to your problems, call us to find out how we can help you become healthier.
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine: Your Life
AOMA Graduate School of Integrative Medicine
American Diabetes Association Diabetes Spectrum: Traditional Chinese Medicine in the Treatment of Diabetes, 8/01
Acupuncture.com: How a Traditional Chinese Doctor Prescribes Herbal Formulas
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine: How Does Acupuncture for Fertility Work, 4/17/15
BMJ: Effects of Acupuncture on Rates of Pregnancy and Live birth Among Women Undergoing In Vitro Fertilisation, 3/6/08