PRACTITIONER PRESCRIBED: HERBAL FORMULAS USING 8 TRADITIONAL CHINESE MEDICINE (TCM) STRATEGIES
Healthy Living Blog by Dr. Tetreault DAOM, L,Ac
Whether via an office visit or telehealth visit, restoring balance and healing to one’s body can be obtained by utilizing more than needles. The wisdom of Traditional Chinese Medicine goes way beyond just acupuncture. In telehealth visits, patients are instructed with lifestyle changes to help ensure their own maintenance of health as well as assistance in the selection of healthy behaviors. This may include the instruction of breathing exercises, the art of tai chi, quality customized herbal prescriptions, to instructed self -applied acupressure points. Perhaps the most important is the full assessment from a Board-Certified Practitioner that utilizes the ancient wisdom of herbal prescription based off of the eight strategies of TCM.
One of the most popular of the eight strategies of TCM is the ability of tonification or supplementation. This is utilized when there is deficiency of one’s energy, blood, yin, or yang. When weakness or deficiency exists, this strategy is much needed. It is used in cases of simply physical overexertion to chronic illnesses. Diseases are caused by the chronic toll taken on the body and can be prevented with proper supplementing the body following a full assessment to determine what organs, meridians, and energy of each individual is affected. Both herbal formulas and acupuncture points play a role to help tonify these deficiencies.
Another strategy for TCM is reducing. This pertains to excess in the body that causes stagnation. This occurs with food, phlegm, blood, or abscesses to name a few. Even with injury creating pain in the body, the essential cause is blood stagnation in the body which disrupts the natural flow of the body. Acupuncture is best known for removing obstruction from the channels of the body which alleviates pain thereby removing stagnation and bringing balance to the body and alleviating pain.
Clearing heat is a strategy that is used for heat in any of our organs or interior heat that affects our health. There are different types of heat that are found upon assessment. These include not only organ heat but toxic heat, deficient heat, damp heat, and summer heat. They are treated with herbal prescriptions and acupuncture based on aetiology, location and nature of presentation, and constitution of individual patient.
Harmonizing is a strategy used to balance various levels of the body and affected organs. This can not only help expel pathogenic factors but also tonify areas of need. This is used often for liver and spleen disharmony or intestines and stomach issues. Other applications are anxiety, dysmenorrhea, and epigastric focal distention.
Warming is performed in cases of weakness, coldness, and even inflammation. Both lower back pain and impotence are benefited with warming herbals. Basic spices which help naturally warm the body include cinnamon, black pepper, cumin, star anise, and cloves. Cooking herbals to choose would be fennel, dill, chives, or basil. In Eastern diagnosis, warming is best for patients affected with cold in the channels, cold with devastated yang, or cold attacking the middle jiao (spleen or stomach). These are found via assessment of individual by practitioner as well.
The strategy of downward draining relates more to the assisting with unblocking bowels or moistening the intestines. This is often utilized with appendicitis, intestinal abscesses, lower abdominal distention with pain, and even hemorrhoids. Other cases may include severe urinary tract infections or pelvic inflammatory disease. The herbal rhubarb is one of the main herbs used for these purposes.
Next to last, the induction of sweating can be used to help release pathogens from the body. This can be used in colds or viruses. By causing perspiration, lung energy is regulated. The utilization of pungent warm formulas are specifically for releasing the exterior pathogens versus pungent cold formulas are used to release pathogens in wind-heat scenarios. Specific acupuncture points are also incorporated to regulate the immune system and expel pathogens. We know that sweat glands help filter toxins and this in turn regulates the immune system, cools the body, and therefore assists to maintain proper body temperature.
Lastly, vomiting can be useful in the right scenario such as poisoning or toxins. This strategy is least used but is important if needing to quickly purge contaminated substances in emergency cases. The body naturally will result in spontaneous vomiting in certain cases of toxin overload such as hangovers, certain parasite infestations, or even motion sickness.
Utilizing these strategies helps establish health therefore balance in the body. This is often done with combining strategies if needed based on patient need and constitution. It is truly an honor to play a part in helping the body find its balance and obtain optimal health. Please call today to prioritize your health! 772-626-6419