Herbal medicine is rooted in the history of medicine…
Medicinal properties were discovered in nature and knowledge about the benefits of specific plants became widely known. Throughout human history, we have identified ways to prevent and alleviate health issues, improve our mental alertness, and calm our emotional state using herbs and plants. Today, we can still implement herbal treatments in our lives to improve our overall well being.
Medicinally, a herb is any plant or plant part used for its therapeutic value including the plant essence and aroma. Vitamin and mineral substances are often included in herbal traditions throughout the world.
The use of individual components derived from plants is the basis for pharmaceutical drugs and have become the primary approach to plant-derived medicine in North America for the past 100 years. When using herbal remedies, medicines are prepared from living or dried plants that contain interrelated compounds which work in unison with the body. Furthermore, scientific studies are demonstrating the safety and effectiveness of herbs is often related to the synergy of its many constituents, not just their individual components.
When using herbal medicine, a herbalist will focus on the individual and not the condition to stimulate the body’s innate healing properties with the use of herbs, diet, and lifestyle recommendations. This approach allows for a beautiful interplay between art and science to identify the needs of the individual holistically. Some herbal techniques may include:
♦ Herbal Teas
♦ Herbal Tinctures
The goal of herbal medicine is to determine the root cause of an individual’s health concerns and assist the body in restoring balance to his/her system to support the self-healing process. By taking a holistic approach, a herbalist can address discomfort and disease of the body, mind, and spirit using allopathic and non-traditional (e.g., aromatherapy and herbal aids) methods.
With the rise in public interest of holistic and non-traditional medicine in western society, it is important to remain open to all methods of healing so herbal practitioners can deliver professional services at the highest level of care. An additional layer of scientific understanding is provided to herbal practitioners through the integration of current pharmaceutical and phytotherapeutic research into their existing cultural and traditional knowledge.
No one modality can be credited for healing alone.
Therefore, the benefits of including allopathic techniques with the application of herbal remedies, aromatherapy, nutrition, and mindfulness practices cannot be overlooked. It is an exciting time for complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) as interest in these areas of practice continues to gain traction. As proponents of holistic health, herbalists benefit from integrating allopathic diagnostic and medical treatments so to provide the highest opportunity for healing and growth within all levels of the body, mind, and spirit of a client.
There are many ways to get started using herbs into your everyday life. One way is to seek a consultation from a Registered or Clinical Herbalist. Registered and/or Clinical Herbalists go through a vetting process within their Province, State, and Country to ensure their credentials are sufficient to begin seeing clients and patients.
While exact methods may vary for each Registered or Clinical Herbalist, I work within a clinical setting to integrate allopathic diagnostic and medical treatments when possible. I recognize that a holistic approach also includes the acknowledgment that we live in a modern society with amazing technology and opportunities. The aim is to provide the highest level of care by working together to develop a realistic and achievable herbal program that is unique to your goals and lifestyle. More importantly I never compromise LUXURY!
During an initial assessment, a series of techniques may be used to understand your state of health:
♦ Iridology – This technique helps determine strengths and weaknesses in the body. This method can identify inflammation in the body, nutritional deficiencies, circulation, tension, and acidity levels.
♦ Pulse Assessment – Understanding the pulse’s rhythm can quickly assess the potential stress levels in the body and is commonly used in Traditional Chinese Medicine.
♦ Tongue Assessment – The tongue is a gateway to the body’s gastrointestinal organs as well as the assimilative, metabolic, and circulatory systems. Tongue analysis is also a Traditional Chinese Medicine method.
♦ Reflex Contact – Testing the reflexes is a way to identify energy patterns through the use of pressure points on the body which corresponds to internal systems, organs, or functions. This method is commonly used in acupuncture and chiropractic practices for the same purposes.
♦ Reflexology – The application of pressure by the practitioner’s hand, thumb, and/or fingers to specific areas of the feet and hands that correspond to glands, organs, and systems of the body. The treatment promotes relaxation and rebalances different areas of the body.
The combination of these techniques to assess an individual provides a powerful understanding of the state of the body and mind.