Chinese herbal medicine has been used by millions of people for over 5,000 years.
What is Chinese Herbal Medicine?
Originating in China over 5000 years ago, Chinese herbal medicine is one of the oldest health care systems in the world. In more recent times modern research has explored some of the active ingredients and provided scientific evidence behind some of the mechanisms by which some of them work. An experienced registered Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practitioner will use the principles of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) to determine where and how your body is out of balance, causing illness, weakness or pain. Chinese herbs are then selected to address the underlying patterns of imbalance as well as the symptoms, helping your body to improve and normalise proper function, and maintain well-being.
How it works
Chinese medicine assesses and addresses the unique underlying patterns of imbalance in each individual case, as well as the symptoms. This means that several people with the same illness as diagnosed by Western medicine could each have a different diagnosis according TCM diagnosis, and each person may need a different individualized treatment and herb combination to treat their condition most effectively. Chinese herbs are combined together by an experienced registered practitioner to enhance and balance the effects of their active ingredients in order to maximize the therapeutic actions for each individual’s condition. The herbal formulation will usually be adjusted as the condition improves.
Most commonly treated conditions
Chinese herbal medicine is used for a wide range of chronic and acute conditions, and can also be used to maintain well being and optimal function. Here are some of the conditions that people have used Chinese herbal medicine for:
- Gastrointestinal disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, diarrhoea, bloating, ulcers, indigestion and acid reflux
- Chronic liver and gall-bladder problems such as chronic hepatitis, fatty liver, and cholecystitis
- Women’s health issues such as premenstrual syndrome, painful, irregular or heavy periods, and menopausal symptoms
- Fertility issues
- Headaches, migraines, high blood pressure, dizziness.
- Insomnia, some symptoms of stress, anxiety and depression.
- Hayfever, sinusitis, coughs, colds and flus.
- Skin problems
Safety and Ethics
All herbal ingredients used at the Wholistic Medical Centre are approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) in consultation with the Endangered Species Certification Scheme. No endangered animal or herbal products are ever used in any prescription from this clinic and we only use herbs from suppliers who regularly batch test and monitor heavy metal and pesticide residues for quality control.
It is important that you let your Chinese medicine practitioner know if you are taking any medications (pharmaceutical or otherwise) so that, if necessary, your herbal formula can be modified to provide better results with fewer risks or complications.
What to expect at your first appointment
Your TCM practitioner will thoroughly assess your condition and make a diagnosis according to TCM principles. Your medical history, family medical history, lifestyle, diet and any medications or supplements you are taking are all taken into account.
Your practitioner will examine your tongue and take a series of pulses. They will then make a diagnosis, and prescribe and prepare a combination of herbs to treat your condition. Mostly, these are available in a powdered form, but may also be provided as pills, or you may be given a prescription for raw herbs that will need to be prepared by cooking at home. The powdered herbs can be dissolved in water or put into capsules and swallowed. You may also be given dietary and/or lifestyle advice.
How long does it take to treat a condition?
The amount of treatment you need will depend on your condition and the length of time for which you have had the disease. Your TCM practitioner will estimate how long you will need to take the herbs after a few consultations, once they have seen how your body responds. As your condition improves, your herbal formula will be adjusted to reflect your progress and continue to help your body heal.
Generally, acute conditions are resolved faster than chronic conditions. In some cases, acupuncture may be combined with Chinese herbal medicine for better or faster results.
TCM treats both the symptoms of your illness and the underlying imbalances causing it. Best results are obtained when treatment is continued until the underlying pattern of imbalance is resolved.
Our Chinese Herbal Medicine Practitioners
Tanya Newton (Majzoub) – Traditional Chinese Medicine - M.TCM, Cert.TCM (China)
Tanya uses the holistic philosophy of traditional Chinese medicine to restore health, balance and vitality.
Suzi Wigge – Integrative GP including Traditional Chinese Medicine - M.B., B.S., FRACGP, Dip. TCM (Sydney), Cert. TCM (China), DRM.
Suzi is an integrative medicine practitioner who combines orthodox medicine with a range of natural therapies targeting root causes of health problems.