From a Western perspective, medicine is used because it’s known to produce certain effects. For example, a cough would be prescribed with a cough suppressant. From a Chinese medicine perspective, a cough would be prescribed with a combination of herbs (not just a cough suppressant) because the goal is to determine the origins of the cough (why is it happening, where is it coming from?) and treat the root of the issue.
The study of herbal ‘energetics’ is the exploration of spectrums and properties associated with herbs based on the observation of their effect on your body. Herbs can be relaxing or stimulating (and a variety of other things), and so we need to examine the person as a whole to treat illnesses or symptoms effectively. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine philosophy, optimal health is experienced when there is a balance between mind, body and spirit. Therefore, it’s very important that we look at the person from a holistic perspective and as they truly are: one of a kind.
When it comes to diagnostics, herbs possess many different energetics so we need to look at the energetics of the person in the same detail that we look at the herbal energetics within the plant. Utilizing the profound insight and wisdom of nature, we have thousands of years of learning to draw from. There is nothing ‘new’ about Chinese herbal therapy except for it’s becoming more mainstream in western society. So much so, that it’s being prescribed for the treatment of animals.
To put it simply, Traditional Chinese Medicine examines the body like one might look at a map before taking a road trip. Are there any bridges that have closed down? Where do the streets connect? Are there any roadblocks or accidents creating traffic jams that we need to be aware of? There’s a lot of information and discovery when we plan our travels this way and the same is true for herbal therapy: individualized therapy allows us to treat more effectively because we gain much more insight on the person. We like to think of it as taking in all of the scenery and not just speeding by.
Tapping into the roots of a system deeply connected to the earth and ancient history, only now is Chinese therapy widely recognized in the West. With a lineage that goes back thousands of years, the prescription of herbs in their pure form has been successfully treating a myriad of illnesses such as mental illnesses (depression and anxiety), skin diseases, fertility, menopause and more. If you’re considering Chinese herbal therapy, always go with a licensed Chinese Medicine Practitioner and ensure that the herbs prescribed are of the highest quality and tested for heavy metal. Although herbs can often facilitate healing much quicker, it’s important to understand how they work and to be taking them properly. Never be afraid to ask questions when it comes to your health and wellbeing.