Chinese Herbal Medicine

Most people associate Chinese medicine with acupuncture, but herbal medicine is a big part of this ancient tradition. The herbal tradition in Chinese medicine is one of the most highly developed, and long standing traditions in the world. In this system, we combine herbs to make a balanced formula that treats each patient as an individual. Seemingly different categories of herbs, with quite different effects are used together to maximize results and minimize any possible side effects of the whole formula. Herbs are also amazing because they vary from extremely strong substances that are closer in effect to pharmaceutical drugs, to more mild substances that are eaten as foods. This gives us a wide spectrum to draw from to best address each person. Herbs can include leaves, berries, roots, minerals, flowers and sparing use of a few humanely-collected animals and insects. Western practitioners don’t use substances that are endangered or non-ethically sourced.

I sometimes think of using Western medication as hunting squirrels with a bazooka. Western medicine is prone to overdoing it. If something isn’t behaving, it is removed or battered into submission. Of course, sometimes this is the best option. If you are in a terrible car accident or have a burst appendix it is best to go to the ER. But you may not want to become a lifetime statin user if you haven’t tried working with your diet, exercise and some gentle herbs and supplements first. Part of being a healer is knowing the appropriate medicine for the situation. Sometimes just a slight nudge is needed to create balance. Chinese herbalism is amazing in that we can treat situations with very small dosages, almost like a homeopathic approach that “suggests” to the body what it needs to rebalance. Or we can use a higher dosage of stronger herbs if that is what is needed. It depends on the person and the situation. At Middleway Medicine, we have an extensive dispensary of Chinese herbs and Western supplements, along with the knowledge to choose the right medicine for each situation. We also often modify a prescription over time to get the best results for the moment. It is a very engaged and present approach. We encourage you to come and see what this remarkable medicine can do for you. If you mention this article, we will give you 50% off a herbal formula.

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