Consultations available in clinic or remotely – either online or by phone
- Initial consultation – £50 (plus herbs)
- Follow up consultation – £30 (plus herbs)
- Herbal prescriptions individually priced (on average £40 for a month)
- Acupuncture with herbs initial appointment – £60
- Acupuncture with herbs follow up – £50
What is Chinese Herbal Medicine?
Chinese Herbal Medicine (CHM) has a long history, dating back 3000 years. It has continuously evolved over this time, though still draws on the wisdom of the great Chinese medicine doctors of the past. In China, and much of South East Asia, CHM is used alongside modern biomedicine as part of primary healthcare. As well as drawing on the rich history of Chinese Medicine, modern herbalists are also informed by modern clinical research and evidence-based practice.
Practitioners of CHM prescribe formulas of herbs which may contain a number of different herbs. These formulas often draw upon the classic formulas but will usually be modified to suit each individual patient. Herbs are provided in granule form for ease of use – you simply add hot water and stir to combine, then drink. We do not use any restricted ingredients such as animal products, herbs with toxicology concerns or endangered species and all herbs are sourced from high-quality sustainable suppliers. We only prescribe plant-based materials. In CHM we do not simply use the herbs growing in our gardens – there is a rich tradition and evidence-based practice of using herbs with the right Dao Di which means that it has grown in the best possible location, under the best possible conditions, and harvested at the best possible time for maximum therapeutic benefit.
Where CHM differs from modern biomedicine is that it is focused on the individual, and seeks to treat the underlying condition rather than merely the symptoms. Chinese medicine practitioners do not believe that one medicine fits all – each individual prescription is tailored to the patient and how they present at that time. By such careful consideration of the make-up of the prescription, this makes the herbal prescription easier for the body to digest and more efficient in treatment. This is a highly sophisticated and nuanced medicine.
What can Chinese herbal medicine treat?
Herbal medicines are potent and it is extremely important to choose a practitioner with appropriate training. The required training for membership with the RCHM (Register of Chinese Herbal Medicine) is a minimum of 2 years full-time post-graduate level learning and clinical practice. This training is very thorough to ensure that practitioners can offer safe and effective treatment. It is very important that you inform your CHM practitioner of any medications or supplements that you are taking to avoid any potentially harmful herb-drug interactions. As long as we are informed, we can be certain to prescribe safely.
All herbs are sourced from RCHM approved suppliers which is a guarantee of quality and safety. Like all medicines, there is a possibility for adverse reactions, but in the case of herbal medicine these are rare. If you experience any adverse reaction, contact me to discuss (it may be a normal healing response) and stop taking your herbs in the meantime.
Is it safe?
Like acupuncture, herbal medicine is able to treat a variety of issues, both acute and chronic. Where it differs from acupuncture is in its increased ability to treat more complex and chronic complaints which can be difficult with acupuncture alone. There is also the benefit of requiring fewer appointments in clinic and being able to maintain treatment on a daily basis between appointments or other treatments. At each appointment we evaluate changes and response to the medicine and make appropriate changes to the prescription. As a condition improves it also often changes in nature, and sometimes other issues that had previously been masked come to light. One of the many strengths of this form of medicine is that we can change treatment at each step to ensure maximum therapeutic benefit, and stay in synch with the body’s needs.
In deciding on the right course of treatment for each patient, we use the tools of Traditional Chinese Medicine – this is detailed consultation where we discuss all aspects of the patient’s health, pulse taking and tongue diagnosis. This allows us to make a detailed diagnosis and design a herbal prescription that will be most suitable for the individual. No two headaches are completely the same, so why treat them with the same pill?
For how long will I need treatment?
This is different for everybody, and depends in part on the condition being treated. For example, acute conditions can respond very quickly to treatment, while a chronic problem may take longer. However, most people will require treatment for one to several months. Many people like to take herbs to maintain their health and general wellbeing, so will take them permanently, although short breaks are recommended. In the first instance you will be prescribed enough herbs to last a couple of weeks, then we will check in to see if we need to make any changes to the prescription. Then, depending on the nature, changeability and progress of your condition we may prescribe for longer periods of time, say 4-6 weeks between follow-ups.