What Is Qi
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, we will often speak about Qi. Qi (sometimes known as ki or ch’i) refers to ‘life-force energy’, a vitality that flows through all living beings. A balanced flow of Qi is essential for your wellness, be it physical, mental or spiritual.
According to TCM, Qi is thought to flow through the body along pathways known as meridians, and disruptions or imbalances in the flow of Qi can lead to health problems. Traditional medicines will then focus on treating the person’s life-energy, instead of the symptoms that appear because of the blockage.
One method of restoring a balanced Qi is Acupuncture; a process of inserting needles along points in a person’s meridians to repair the flow of energy in their body. Once the flow is unblocked, the body can begin to heal.
Why herbal medicine?
In herbal medicine, plants or plant extracts are used to treat or prevent illness. The use of herbal medicines dates back thousands of years, and is still a very common practice worldwide.
But why choose herbal medicines above Western treatments? There are several reasons why it may be a better fit for you, or why using it in conjunction with your current medicines could be very beneficial for your health.
Herbal medicines may be more affordable and accessible than other medicines, especially for illnesses such as colds, headaches and upset stomachs.
Medicinal plants as opposed to chemical medicines may be more appealing to some, because the former treats your ailments naturally instead of synthetically.
Herbal medicines may pose fewer risks and side effects than Western medicines.
Natural treatment options have shown to be very effective in treating illnesses, especially ones such as anxiety, inflammation and depression.
Some herbal medicines may be effective in reducing side effects of chemical medicines, without producing side effects of their own.
It is important to consult a medical professional before taking herbal supplements, especially in tandem with other treatments. Dosage is different for every herbal medicine and I recommend you speak to a practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine before administering any natural treatments yourself.
What does the treatment include?
A consultation, to gather information about the patient. This includes their medical history, symptoms and health goals, and may be done via video call, phone call or an online questionnaire.
An assessment to ascertain the patient’s overall health and to determine a possible treatment plan.
A custom herbal prescription will be administered by the practitioner based on the assessment, in the form of a tincture, capsules, dried herbs or other form. Dosage and directions for use will be included in the assessment.
A follow-up appointment, to monitor the patient’s progress and to make any necessary adjustments to the treatment plan.
How long does it take to see results ?
The amount of time it takes to see results will vary based on a number of factors, including the condition(s) being treated, the herb(s) prescribed, and factors pertaining to the patient’s overall health and lifestyle.
Herbs that are used to treat acute conditions, such as colds or flu, may produce results within a matter of days. Alternatively, herbs used to treat chronic illnesses may take longer to produce noticeable results.
It is important to note that herbal supplements are not always a ‘quick fix’, and may require consistent use over a certain period of time to show a significant change in a patient’s health.
It is also important to follow the recommended dosage and duration of treatment as prescribed by a healthcare professional or herbalist.