We all know the saying, April Showers Bring May Flowers, but this month our Acupuncture team is putting a Traditional Chinese Medicine spin on it!
Aside from the procedure of acupuncture itself, acupuncture treatment often includes the use of herbs; whether it be during the treatment with Moxabustion, or for personalized use, as prescribed by our team.
Herbs and medicinal medicine have been used across the globe to effectively treat common ailments and to address disease prevention. We are increasingly seeing herbs used in primary health care as well.
Chances are, you have dabbled in herbal medicine without necessarily knowing it. If you’ve ever had an herbal tea like Chamomile, then you yourself have benefited from herbs as a medicine.
Within the scope of acupuncture, we use in-depth knowledge of herbal medicine as an adjunct to acupuncture treatment that can speed healing and treatment trajectory. Working synergistically and symbiotically, herbs can be used to improve outcomes during treatment for many different circumstances including anything from musculoskeletal inflammation, to nasal & lung congestion, allergies, GI complaints, gynecological problems, urinary issues, and depression/anxiety and pain.
Moxabustion is a common tool many of our acupuncturists utilize during treatment. Moxa is a compressed herb which is burned and use to heat acupoints and other areas of the body. It has thermal and near infrared effects on the tissues and points you use it over. It is used to enhance circulation and further stimulate the points over which it is used. Moxa works in so many ways. It adds what we call yang energy to the different meridians by stimulating specific points. It can be focused near areas of injury to stimulate a healthy inflammatory response sending healing blood and nutrients to the area. It will help loosen chronically contracted muscles. Think of them like you how your body tightens and contracts when it is cold out. The moxa’s warmth will “melt” that cold contracted muscle.
Herbs for Mental Health
May is also Mental Health Awareness Month. Acupuncture combined with herbal treatment can help a wide array of mental health concerns such as depression and anxiety. In Chinese medicine, your shen, or spirit, is stored in your blood. Due to diet, stress, and other environmental factors, many people have weak or deficient blood. Couple that with anxiety and or depression in your genes, symptoms could be dramatically exacerbated. Herbs can help to build a stronger foundation to help calm your spirit and bring your mental state back to balance. Some of the herbs that we use can even be sweet and tasty (unlike the bitter reputation that’s been going around).
Implementing Herbs in Your Healthcare Routine
Herbal medicines can help your body naturally heal itself with minimal side effects. If you are considering using herbs to improve your health or further treatment goals, it’s important to consult with an acupuncturist or healthcare provider to learn what herbs are right for your body and how they may interact with any other supplements or medication you may be taking.
Acupuncturists are trained for thousands of hours on the safe use of herbs, in addition to formal education in western science medicine, and Chinese medicine diagnostics. They can custom-make formulas best suited to your individual constitutional type. We also recognize that the body is dynamic and ever changing, so the same herbs we recommended for you last year may no longer be useful for you. If you’re feeling like you’re on an endless array of supplements that you’re not sure are helping you, come see us! Click here to schedule a consultation with any of our licensed acupuncturists.