Chinese Herbal Medicine is the most widely practiced herbal tradition in the world. It has a rich and sophisticated system of diagnosis to address a variety of conditions. According to the oldest text, herbal medicine can be used for three reasons: to alleviate specific symptoms (the lowest level of treatment), to rectify imbalances in the body (the middle level), and to promote longevity (the highest level). This ancient perspective is still with us in the Natural Care Center as we create herbal formulations to address the complexities of the whole person.
What types of herbs are used and how are they administered?
The Chinese pharmacopeia is not limited to botanicals. It actually employs plants, trees, minerals, and even animal products in its formulations. Tai Sophia maintains an extensive on-site herbal dispensary.
Chinese herbal medicine is almost always prescribed in formulas, not as individual herbs. Each formula is specifically tailored to assist an individual’s movement toward improved health. As with people, the relationships between individual medicinals potentiate various qualities within them. Combinations work synergistically to balance the complex dysfunctions of the client. Prescribing herbs in this way not only makes certain qualities more powerful, it also reduces side effects and aids digestion.
Tai Sophia’s Chinese herb dispensary primarily uses “raw herb,” which means that the dried and often prepared medicinals are given to the patient to cook at home. The cooking process is extremely simple and easy and your practitioner will provide you with detailed instructions on how this is done. Many patients report they enjoy cooking their formulas. Being able to see, touch, and cook the herbs makes many people feel more connected to the healing process. The herbs may also be administered as granulated powders, tea, encapsulations, or tinctures.
What happens during a consultation?
During the initial consultation, the practitioner will discuss with you all of your reasons for seeking herbal treatment. The discussion will include a summary of your body’s systems, your medical and social history, and your diet and lifestyle. A nuanced pulse and tongue diagnosis are an essential part of the consultation, as well. There also may be palpation of your abdomen and limbs.
Following the consultation, the practitioner will prescribe an herbal formula that will be filled in our herbal dispensary. You can choose to wait for the prescription to be filled or arrange with your practitioner to pick up the formula at a later time.
The Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture programs are integrated at Tai Sophia. All of the Chinese herbal student interns are also acupuncture interns or licensed acupuncturists. Many patients also choose to combine their herbal consultation with acupuncture treatment.
So that the practitioner may have the clearest picture of your health, please refrain from applying strong fragrances, drinking caffeine, or eating foods that may discolor your tongue, such as blueberries or chewing gum, for at least two hours before your appointment.
About the Natural Care Center
At Tai Sophia Institute’s Natural Care Center our practitioners partner with you to bring forth the extraordinary wisdom and vitality of the human body to help you heal and be well, live fully, grow stronger, and be all that you can be. We've been bringing out the best in our clients for over 35 years.