Herbs are a central part of Traditional Chinese Medicine practice, and an important modality used in TCM treatment. There are anywhere from about 100 to 400 different herbs that the practitioner has available when creating a formula. First, the practitioner goes through a detailed intake with the patient. Next, the practitioner feels the quality of the pulses and looks at the patient’s tongue. After carefully taking into consideration all factors, the practitioner comes up with a TCM diagnosis that fits the patient’s complaints, as well as their unique constitution. At this stage, the practitioner decides which formula and herbs are best suited for the patient. No two formulas are the same. Each one is made specifically for the individual, making TCM a very unique type of medicine. To ensure herb quality and safety, we use herbs that have been processed into extract granules. They are easily consumed by dissolving them in hot water and drinking them as a tea. For more information on Chinese Herbal Medicine, please visit here.
Another modality of TCM practice is Acupuncture. Just like herbal medicine, it is based on TCM theory. Needles are inserted into certain anatomical points (acupuncture points) around the body. These points are chosen based on the TCM diagnosis, as well as the person’s symptoms. The needles are left in anywhere from about 15 minutes to 45 minutes, depending on the desired effect. The needles are believed to stimulate the body’s natural healing processes. Although acupuncture is an invasive procedure by nature as needles are inserted under the skin, the effects of acupuncture are very beneficial and have shown minimal side effects with treatment.
Sleep and Diet
We are often asked if there is anything that a patient can do to help the treatment. The most important factors a patient can work on outside of the treatment are sleep, diet and stress management. To make improvements, it’s important you get adequate sleep, good nutrition and are able to manage stress. We can most definitely work with the current symptoms a patient is having, but it is difficult to make long term improvements without the addition of these factors. Sleep is a very important part of the equation for us when trying to help you. Even if your complaints are not related to sleep issues, we will continuously be assessing your quality of sleep throughout your treatments. Another aspect we discuss in your treatment is diet. From a TCM point of view, there may be certain foods we’ll recommend or discourage. This is dependent on your constitution and specific complaints. Because we don’t want to waste our patient’s time and resources, it’s important they are involved in the factors they control outside of the treatment room.