Herbal Remedy...

How is a Chinese herbal medicine prescription constructed by a practitioner?
A: Based on the overall symptoms a patient has, which includes the state of illness, the patient’s sex, age, and constitution, occurring season of the disease and circumstances, the practitioner begins with the guidelines as delineated in classical texts to form a basic prescription and then adjusts the mixture to the patients needs by adding or deleting various herbs, or manipulating the dosages of the compounds to fit the precise disharmony. Such a prescription usually contains 5-15 substances and the dosages average 3-15 grams per herb.

Why might my prescription change during a course of treatment?
A: Chinese herbal products are prescribed after a theory that follows a patient’s symptoms, with the aim of treating the root cause of a condition. As symptoms change, so might the prescription that follows the theory.

Is there any type of prepared Chinese medicine available?
A: Yes, there are many types of prepared Chinese herbal medicine available in the form of decoction, tablet, ointment, powders, etc… An alternative to raw herbs, in which you need to make tea-like drinks to take, is concentrated herb powders which you can also take without making up a drink.

What are Chinese herbal medicine used to treat?
A: Most conditions apart from those requiring immediate western medicine intervention and serious degenerative disease although it can be used to subsidise and complement Western treatment, enhancing the patient’s quality of life. Acupuncture clinics tend to treat chronic ailments for which there is no conventional cure, such as migraine, chronic muscle and joint pain, asthma & allergies, IBS and other digestive system problems, PMS and menopausal issues and other gynecological problems, but the therapy can also be used to treat acute conditions such as flu and colds and other viral or bacterial infections.

Who can take Chinese medicine?
A: Chinese Herbs can be taken by all age groups from young babies to the elderly, though you must notify your practitioner if you are also taking other medicines, suffer from allergies, other conditions or are pregnant as this may effect your treatment and prescription.

How long and in what form will I take the herbal medicine?
A: Traditionally, Chinese Herbs are made up into teas or decoctions. This involves boiling the herbs in water for half an hour or more. The patient will receive detailed instructions on the method of preparation. Capsules of raw herbal powder, concentrated extracts and pills are also prescribed. A typical course of treatment would involve taking a herbal formula daily for several months, depending on the nature of the case and the strength of the patient. The patient will be monitored regularly to ensure that the formula is effective and modified as improvements occur.

Should I continue with my prescribed medication while undergoing a course of Chinese medicine or acupuncture treatment?
A: Yes. Many people seek the help of Chinese medicine or acupuncturist because of dissatisfaction with drug treatment, mainly because it does not seem to be working or the side effects are too severe. DO NOT stop taking any medication without professional guidance.

I am concerned about the use of endangered species in Chinese herbal medicines.
A: The ATCM has always condemned the illegal trade in endangered plant and animal species, and our members are subject to strict rules which prohibit the use of any such material.

How is Traditional Chinese Medicine (T.C.M.) tested?
A: The origins of T.C.M. are over 5 thousands of years old , most common ancient prescriptions have been in existence for thousands of years and tested on millions of Chinese over countless generations.

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