Chinese Herbal Medicine
Acupuncture treatment at Empirical Point Acupuncture may be assisted and supplemented with a Chinese herbal medicine prescription. Chinese herbal prescriptions work on balancing the yin and yang forces in the body. This customized formulation will most likely blend 2-20 herbs that support the healing momentum between acupuncture appointments.
In Chinese herbal medicine, disease conditions possess qualities such as hot or cold, expansive or contractive, yin or yang. Chinese herbs also possess such energetic qualities and are indicated either to counteract or to facilitate certain physiological conditions in order to provide balance and comfort.
Empirical Point founder Sharon Sherman will select one or two herbs to target your primary complaint. She will then use additional herbs to support your healing based on her diagnosis during intake and evaluation. There is no ‘one size fits all’ solution. Your therapeutic combination is yours alone, based on your current symptoms and overall constitutional health.
The traditional Chinese pharmacopoeia includes at least 6,000 species from the plant, animal and mineral kingdoms*, roughly 600 of which are commonly used today. Herbs are classified according to various properties with the two main categories being temperature (hot, warm, cool, cold, and neutral) and taste (bitter, sweet, salty, spicy and sour). The properties of individual herbs address specific organ systems and internal processes, while the synergy of a Chinese herbal formula allows for holistic treatment of the entire organism and supports longer-lasting relief and deeper healing.
Herbs may be administered as a ready-to-use decoction or in raw form, to be prepared at home in the traditional method. A decoction is essentially a strong tea. Chinese herbal medicinals are also dispensed in the form of pills or capsules, even salves and syrups. Herbs have a balancing effect and are usually more gentle than synthetic drugs. You may experience minor side effects from taking herbs, such as gastrointestinal upset or bloating as your body processes the herbal material. Let your practitioner know if you experience any side effects; in most cases, an adjustment to the formula is all that is needed to resolve digestive difficulty. While adverse herb-drug interactions are rare, it’s a good idea to let your acupuncturist/herbalist know about any pharmaceutical drugs you are taking, and to keep your physician informed of your Chinese herbal medicine prescription.
Sharon Sherman is a NCCAOM-certified herbalist and an advocate of the safe use of herbal formulas to support treatment outcomes. She can recommend individually-tailored herbal remedies that complement and enhance acupuncture treatments. Sharon is also available to perform stand-alone herbal consultations and maintains a pharmacy of Chinese herbal medicinals in both offices.
*All herbal products dispensed through Empirical Point Acupuncture come from reputable professional suppliers and undergo strict quality testing similar to that of pharmaceutical remedies. Empirical Point Acupuncture does not dispense any remedies containing endangered plant or animal species.