Herbal Medicine and Supplements

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Acupuncture alone can be very effective for pain relief, but for most conditions, your treatment outcome will improve greatly if you take nutritional supplements and herbal medicines at the same time. We have access to a full range of professional-grade supplements, and western and Chinese herbal medicines.

Chinese herbal medicines are actually not all herbs, but are all natural medicines, and a wide variety of plant, mineral and animal products are used. The plant-derived products may be fruits, flowers, roots, bark, grains or even stems and twigs. Typically, herbal medicines are prescribed in a formula, which is a mixture of herbs. Chinese medicine rarely uses herbs individually, because it was found over many hundreds of years of practice that mixtures of herbs produce better results. Sometimes two ingredients will cooperate together to produce a stronger effect, or sometimes one herb can modify any side effects that another herb might have if taken on its own. Chinese formulas may have 8-10 or even more herbs in a single formula, whereas western herbs tend to be provided singly or mixed with 1-3 other herbs.

Traditionally in China, a patient would be given raw herbs to take home and boil up together to make a decoction to drink. However, this is done less and less these days in China, and has fallen out of practice in places like Taiwan, Japan and the West, as easier and more modern ways of taking medicines have been developed.

We can provide herbs in capsule form, where the herbal extract is dried and formed into a powder and then compressed into a capsule. As herbs are a natural form of medicine, you may be surprised at the dosage, which is higher than with pharmaceuticals. Often, 3 capsules will be taken 3 times a day to get the maximum benefit, although the exact dosage varies by manufacturer and based on your constitution. Alternatives to capsules include liquid tinctures, and powdered granules. These powders can be dissolved easily in hot water to form a tea, that is typically drunk twice a day. The taste of the granulated powders varies with the type of herb that is used, but most often they are somewhat bitter, so we recommend making only a small cup of tea by using ½ cup or so of water, so that you can drink it quickly.

We also provide nutritional supplements and medical foods such as powdered shake mixes. We use brands that are available via licensed healthcare providers, to ensure that you have access to the highest quality supplements. We find that many people need some basic nutritional support to assist them in their healing process. Our stressful lifestyles and interactions with pollution, in addition to the poor quality of much of the food available today, means that it can be beneficial to undergo a period of detoxification, or to try some experimentation with food to see if there are any food sensitivities interfering with your health.  Foundational nutritional support, such as a good multivitamin, fish oil, and probiotics, among others, can then assist your body as it begins to heal.