Who can benefit from herbal medicine?
Everyone – from the very young to the very old. Most people suffering from either short-term complaints or long-term illness can be helped by a qualified herbalist. Herbal medicine can be a valuable first line of action with most ailments, especially where the patient prefers to avoid strong-acting synthetic drugs and their toxic side effects. Also, it can often successfully treat a wide range of more serious and chronic conditions. Here, herbal remedies may not be so fast-acting, but they can be expected to leave long-lasting effects. Even in severe and incurable diseases, where recovery is unlikely according to current medical knowledge, it is very often possible to use herbal remedies to relieve the patient’s physical and mental distress caused by the illness. On the other hand, the trained herbalist recognises the limitations of herbal therapies, and where the patient’s condition is currently beyond the scope of herbal treatment, he or she will not hesitate to refer the patient to another specialist or to a GP for more vigorous medical intervention.
Prescribed by properly qualified medical herbalists and taken under their supervision, they are very safe indeed. There are few, if any, side effects. But it is a mistake to assume that all herbs are safe and gentle-acting because they are ‘natural’. Many contain highly potent plant chemicals and could be toxic in inappropriate doses or combinations. It is always best to ask a trained medical herbalist’s advice before taking any commercial or home-made herbal remedy.
A comparatively small number of diseases must by law receive modern medical therapy in a hospital or under the supervision of a qualified physician. This does not mean, however, that complementary herbal treatment may not be given in addition. It can ease the symptoms and general effects of the disease, support the body in its effort to recover, and even give relief from some side effects of the main therapy.
Herbal medical treatment: What to expect
- A full clinical consultation, including physical examination
- Diagnosis and patient-oriented treatment plan
- A course of treatment using safe, effective, plant-based natural remedies, tailored to each patient’s individual needs
- Advice on diet, exercise and lifestyle
- Follow-up visits for progress assessment and adjustment of medication
- Preventive herbal treatment to help patients resist illness and maintain good health and wellbeing
- Regular blood pressure checks
A first consultation will normally take between one and one-and-a-half hours. Follow-up visits – usually at three or four weeks’ intervals – should last about half an hour. The duration of treatment will depend on the type and severity of the problem. In some non-chronic and uncomplicated cases, one initial consultation, with a single follow-up visit, may be sufficient. Most of the medication is in the form of tinctures. These are alcohol-based extracts of medicinal plants, to be taken in small doses in water. You may also be prescribed non-alcoholic herbal extracts, syrups, juices, ointments, tablets and dried herbs for teas. Normally, the first beneficial effects of treatment can be expected at about three weeks, but sometimes they may be observed much sooner.
Acupuncture – Bowen Technique – Shiatsu – Tuina Massage
Sue Church started her career as a nurse. She has been treating patients with complementary therapies since 1985. As well as working privately, Sue has been treating patients with chronic and acute conditions within the NHS. Some of the areas she has specialised in are addiction, HIV, fertility, IVF support, menopause, pregnancy, pain control in childbirth, and patients with Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis.
Sue treats patients using Acupuncture, Shiatsu, Bowen Technique and Tuina massage. These are effective in treating numerous conditions. Below is an example of some of the conditions, which she has treated
- Allergies, hayfever, and asthma, sinusitis, allergic rhinitis
- Anxiety, stress, depression and nail biting
- Chronic fatigue, adrenal exhaustion
- Digestive, intestinal, IBS, acid reflux, constipation
- Overweight, sweet cravings and type 2 diabetes
- Headache and migraine, cerebral fatigue, post whiplash headache
- Immune system imbalances, Flu and bronchitis
- Inflammation of the gums, tongue and mouth sores
- Insomnia, sleep apnea, poor memory
- Pain anywhere in the body including the shoulder, hip, knees, neck, elbow, wrists, hands including carpal tunnel syndrome, repetitive strain injuries, plantar fascitis, heel spurs, tendonitis, gout pain.
- Prostatitis and urinary problems
- Systemic Detoxification; liver problems (fatty liver)
- RSD, Bell’s palsy, trigeminal neuralgia, restless leg syndrome
- Tinnitus, dizziness
- Women’s problems, menstrual problems, menopause, fertility
Acupuncture is part of the traditional medicine of China and has been practiced for over 2,000 years. Although acupuncture can be effective with specific conditions, the treatment focuses on the person rather than the illness and works towards a restoration of health and well-being.
The initial consultation takes 11/2 hours, involves listening to your history, asking a range of questions and carrying out a physical examination including a treatment. Subsequent treatments last an hour. Very fine needles are inserted into the body. They are removed immediately or left in for up to 20 minutes. Only sterilized, disposable needles are used.
Acupuncture helps to reinstate our own innate healing capabilities, which often become exhausted. In addition, acupuncture is used as preventative medicine to promote good health, which is seen as more than just an absence of disease.
Shiatsu is a form of natural healing based on helping the client re-balance his/her internal energy. Touch is the essence of Shiatsu. Physically, Shiatsu stimulates the circulation of blood, the flow of lymphatic fluid and the activity of the nervous system. This can release toxins and deep-seated emotions and tensions from the muscles and encourages the hormone system into more balanced activity.
At a more subtle, level Shiatsu enables the receiver to relax deeply, to get in touch with his/her own bodies healing ability and gain a greater sense of calmness and well-being.
Carefully applied pressure with the fingers and hands on acupuncture points and meridians, gentle rocking and manipulation of the body are used to release, redistribute, move and enhance energy flow to the whole body. congested.
A session lasts 60 minutes and is given with the client fully dressed wearing loose fitting clothes of natural fibres. The client is asked to lie on a comfortable mat on the floor. It is best not to eat for 2 hours prior to the treatment.
BOWEN (Neurostructural Integration Technique)
Bowen therapeutic technique is a fast and effective body treatment, which operates within a holistic framework. The gentle moves on soft tissue stimulate energy flow, empowering the body’s own resources to heal itself and achieve balance and harmony.
It is safe to use on anyone, from the newly born to the aged and immobile, and produces lasting relief from pain and discomfort. A treatment involves a series of specialised moves on the body, carried out in a very specific and systematic manner. There is no forceful manipulation, rather a cross-fibre manoeuvring of muscle, tendon, ligament or nerve, using varying pressure and incorporating resting periods to allow the body to respond. Treatment can be done either through clothing or directly on the skin.
The Bowen Technique stimulates circulation, encourages lymphatic and venous drainage, promotes assimilation of nutrients and elimination of toxins, increases joint mobility and improves posture.
Tuina massage not only works on the muscles and joints, but also at a deeper level, affecting the flow of vital life energy in the body. Many physical and emotional factors impede the flow of Qi (energy) in the body. Pressure is applied on the energetic channels of the body affecting the flow of ‘Qi’.