During your time at MCA your acupuncturist might have brought up adding Chinese Herbs to your treatments. Why? The simplest answer is, sometimes acupuncture isn’t the only or best way to address various health concerns.
Chinese herbs are the medicine that makes Traditional Chinese Medicine (or TCM as it is commonly referred to) a complete system of healthcare. It is the yin to the yang of acupuncture. There are thousands of traditional formulas of herbs, all of them based on a system of understanding that combines taste (sour, bitter, sweet, pungent, & bland) and temperature (cold, warm, hot) of a plant material (leaves, twigs, bark, roots) to create a desired effect on the chemistry of the body. An easy analogy for Chinese herbs is food. We eat certain foods to have certain effects inside the body. For example, lemons are bitter and sour and create the pucker that helps to create saliva, while bone broths would be considered sweet and bland and help to repair tissue after illness. Chinese herbs are used to help the body to repair itself over time instead of masking the symptoms like an over the counter medication would.
Chinese herbs can be used to address a variety of symptoms and conditions. They are not recommended for everyone, especially those on certain medications like blood thinners, but in the right circumstance herbs can help improve conditions faster than acupuncture alone. At MCA we like to use acupuncture first and then add herbs as needed (or desired) on a patient by patient basis. All of our acupuncturists are board certified in Chinese Herbology, and during their training spent many hours studying Chinese herbs and formulas. All of the Chinese herbs at MCA are tested for safety and efficacy, and come as a pill similar to a supplement. We carry a wide array of formulas that address everything from constipation and menstrual issues to the common cold and sinus congestion. Chinese herbs range in price, and can cost anywhere from $10-15 for a two week supply.
So the next time you see your acupuncturist, ask how Chinese herbs could benefit you!