July 2, 2007
Yes, we know. There are many of us out there. We want to believe in the power of nature to cure our ailments. But we just don’t. Or we’re scared. Or we’re impatient. Well, maybe this will cure ya…
At some point, we’ve all had to contend with a variety of health conditions that send us running for a quick fix that won’t derail our busy lifestyles. Our need for instant gratification and results directs us to over-the-counter pills, prescription drugs, and whatever concoction the experts tout as the latest, most convenient solution to our problems. Western medical advances are quite adept at relieving our symptoms and patching us up, but are we overlooking the root cause of our ailments? Well, that’s where Chinese medicine
and the importance of leading a balanced life come into play.
With the recent introduction of our specially formulated jou herbal supplements
, we have decided to hone in on the countless ways herbs can benefit your health for years to come. We also interviewed Stephanie Kimber, Manager of Oriental Medicine for Steiner Transocean, to share her perspective and personal experiences of treating patients effectively with herbs. SD: Why Chinese Herbs? Can they really heal?
SK: There are many reasons why Chinese herbs
can improve your overall well-being. First, let’s start by understanding the fundamentals. The Chinese believe that proper nutrition, exercise, meditation and the prescription of herbs can prevent illnesses, restore the body's harmony and balance, and assist in maintaining optimum health. Chinese herbology
subscribes to the ancient view that the basis of good health is the harmonious balance of qi (chi), the vital life force that empowers the body. When the qi can flow freely, health abounds. However, when this energy becomes stagnant or blocked, the effects include loss of energy and the deterioration of well-being. We use herbs to help release blocked energy and restore balance, resulting in an enhanced state of well-being.
So, in response to whether or not they really heal, I believe the results speak for themselves. For instance, the Chinese have had remarkable success with herbal curative formulas; they've been developing and perfecting them for thousands of years, so as we allow natural remedies to coexist with traditional medicine, we attend to one of our most basic needs, which is good health. In fact, many of today's most effective drugs are derived from herbs. Additionally, herbs are time-tested, they treat a multitude of symptoms, they are natural, they have virtually no side effects when taken properly, and, when used long-term, they have the potential to heal. SD: How do herbs work?
SK: Chinese medicine
, or herbology, views the individual as an integrated whole. Every physical aspect, thought and emotion within the individual is considered in terms of its contribution to the healthy functioning of the whole person. Disorders are seen not as isolated events but as manifestations of the entire person being imbalanced. When the body is healthy and functioning properly, the immune system is capable of warding off the viruses that it comes in contact with and can resist and destroy bacteria before they cause illness. An unhealthy body, therefore, requires herbal and dietary treatments
to restore and maintain this essential balance. SD: Can anyone take herbs?
SK: Yes, they are food products and are completely natural. However, I always recommend that you consult with your physician first. Also, herbs are not intended for people under the age of 18.SD: Do herbs have side effects?
SK: No, when properly prescribed, herbs have virtually no side effects.SD: Can you take herbs in conjunction with other medications?
SK: It’s always best to err on the side of caution. If you are taking medication, you should consult with your physician before taking herbal supplements
. SD: How long until you get results?
SK: Most herbal supplements are low-dose, all-natural whole foods that take time to build up in the body and achieve the desired effect. Everybody is different, and of course some conditions are more serious than others, but generally speaking, when the herbs are taken as prescribed, results can be witnessed in 4-6 weeks. It’s important to note that taking herbs is not a quick fix or a cure-all; it requires dedication and a lifestyle commitment that will ultimately result in an enhanced state of wellness. SD: In your experience, what are the most common conditions treated with herbs?
SK: Among the patients I see and treat with acupuncture
, the most common conditions are usually back and joint pain
, weight issues
, high cholesterol
, menopause symptoms
, and digestive disorders
such as constipation. For the most part, these conditions are curable, even preventable, especially when taking herbs as recommended. When I treat patients with acupuncture, I always prescribe herbs. In addition, I provide lifestyle counseling to complement the acupuncture results and to further promote healing. Quite simply, living a healthier lifestyle with diet, exercise and the right supplements can make a world of difference to your overall well-being.