Chinese Herbal Therapy

What is Chinese herbal therapy?

Chinese herbal therapy is a major part of Traditional Chinese Medicine. It has been used for centuries in China, where herbs are considered fundamental therapy for many acute and chronic conditions. Herbalists in our Chinese Herbal Therapy Clinic draw from “Materia Medica”, a traditional Chinese medicine text, that covers thousands of herbs, minerals and other extracts.

What conditions are best treated with Chinese herbal therapy?

Like acupuncture, Chinese herbs can address unhealthy body patterns that manifest in a variety of Chinese Herbssymptoms and complaints. Chinese herbal therapy aims to help you regain homeostasis, or balance, in your body and to strengthen your body’s resistance to disease.

Why herbal therapy?

Herbal therapy allows the practitioner to continue treatment beyond the treatment room. Herbal formulas are put together in much the same way an acupuncture treatment would be. Each herb is chosen for it’s particular properties just as each acupoint is chosen for for it’s particular benefit along with other points   One might say that an herbal formula is actually bolstering or continuing treatment every day.

Chinese herbs may be used to:

  • Decrease cold/flu symptoms
  • Increase your energy
  • Improve your breathing
  • Improve digestion
  • Improve your sleep
  • Decrease pain
  • Improve menopausal symptoms
  • Help regulate menstrual cycles if infertility is an issue

Chinese herbal therapy can also be a valuable additional therapy following cancer treatment to aid the body’s recovery from the after-effects of chemotherapy and/or radiation. Chinese herbs are useful in rehabilitation for other chronic diseases too.

We may recommend Chinese herbal therapy when:

  • You have multiple symptoms or they are hard to pinpoint
  • You’ve exhausted traditional medical options and nothing seems to help
  • You need therapy to counteract side effects of prescribed medication
  • You are interested in preventive treatment

 

Oriental Medicine and Reproduction

Whether you have just started to plan the family of your future, or you have been trying to conceive for some time, Traditional Chinese Medicine can help support reproduction and nurture your body to promote fertility and a healthy pregnancy.

 

Fertility

Traditional Chinese Medicine has enhanced fertility for thousands of years. Because acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine can strongly influence the reproductive and endocrine systems, it can help address a wide variety of women’s health concerns that may hinder fertility.

Infertility is defined as the biological inability of a man or a woman to contribute to conception, but very few women are truly infertile. Most women who have been given a diagnosis of “infertility” are merely out of balance.

Some of these imbalances are caused by improper lifestyle, constitutional tendencies, diet, and stress and all can result in decreased fertility.

Utilizing  acupuncture, herbs, and diet therapy, fertility is improved by promoting a healthier and more responsive uterus and ovaries. By incorporating all aspects of Chinese Medicine, women can strengthen and rebalance their body to promote and maintain a healthy pregnancy.

Acupuncture is able to increase the chances of pregnancy through natural conception, IVF, IUI, and other ARTs because it has been clinically shown to:

  • Help produce more follicles
  • Regulate and stabilize hormone levels
  • Increase blood flow to the uterus and ovaries
  • Thicken the endometrial lining
  • Reduce the chance of miscarriage
  • Strengthen the immune system and promote overall health of the body
  • Reduce stress
  • Improve the absorption of nutrients and maintain ideal weight
  • Facilitate relaxation
  • Improve the quality of sleep
  • Have NO side effects – does not introduce toxicity to you and your baby

Oriental Medicine can significantly increase your chances of conception if your infertility is due to:

  • Amenorrhea
  • Elevated FSH
  • Endometriosis
  • Irregular menstrual cycles
  • Anovulation
  • Luteal phase defect (LPD)
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
  • Premature ovarian failure (POF)
  • Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)
  • Stress
  • Poor egg quality
  • Advanced maternal age
  • Thin uterine lining
  • Secondary Infertility

Research:

Pregnancy

  • Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture can ease a woman through the many physical and emotional changes that occur during each trimester of her pregnancy and can help to ensure a comfortable and healthy pregnancy.
  • Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture can ease a woman through the many physical and emotional changes that occur during each trimester of her pregnancy and can help to ensure a comfortable and healthy pregnancy.

Common conditions treated with Traditional Chinese Medicine include:

1st Trimester

  • Morning sickness
  • Colds/flus
  • Threatened miscarriage
  • Anxiety
  • Digestive irregularities
  • Sinus congestion
  • Anemia
  • Fatigue/low energy
  • Recurrent miscarriage

2nd Trimester

  • Heartburn
  • Carpal Tunnel
  • Leg Cramps
  • Sciatica
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Muscle aches & pains
  • Preterm labor

3rd Trimester

  • High blood pressure
  • Pelvic pain
  • Incontinence
  • Back pain
  • Breech presentation
  • Edema
  • Insomnia
  • Labor Preparation
  • Labor induction

 

Labor Preparation

Acupuncture can be a vital support both before and during childbirth to insure your health, the health of your baby, and to insure the progression of labor without unwanted interventions. For centuries, acupuncture has been used to assist women naturally during childbirth.

Its many benefits for labor and delivery include:

  • Cervical ripening
  • Optimal positioning of baby
  • Relaxing the muscles, tendons and ligaments in order to allow baby to easily descend further into the pelvis
  • Alleviating anxiety, fear, and frustration
  • Easing any discomforts the mother-to-be may be experiencing (i.e. heartburn, back pain/sciatica, headache, restless legs, etc.)
  • Maintaining healthy blood pressure
  • Boosting energy level for onset of labor.

 

Receiving acupuncture in the weeks leading up to your delivery helps to ensure your comfort and health, and frees you to focus on the most joyful part of childbirth—the moment you meet your baby for the first time.

Postpartum

 

Oriental Medicine provides supportive treatments for fatigue, lactation issues, mastitis, C-section recovery, depression and anxiety.

Traditional Chinese Medicine recommends women stay home in bed with their newborn for 100 days following the birth. While this may seem impossible today, women still need rest, proper care, and nourishment after 9 months of pregnancy and childbirth. This is not a time for absolute bed rest, but rather a time where physical and mental rest is important, gentle exercise is beneficial, and attention on a nourishing diet is imperative.

Postpartum conditions include:

  • Insufficient lactation
  • Blocked milk ducts
  • Mastitis
  • Night sweats
  • Low energy
  • Postpartum aches and pains
  • Incontinence
  • Peritoneal healing
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • C-section recovery

Incision and scar healing treatments are especially beneficial to receive as soon after labor as is possible, to ensure minimal discomfort for mom. Pain and numbness from previous surgeries can also be addressed and alleviated.

Ideally, acupuncture treatments begin from two weeks postpartum, for a minimum of one to two months to promote stamina and efficient recovery.