The art of prescribing Chinese herbal medicine represents the cumulative clinical experience and time-tested theories of 5,000 years of continuous practice by traditional Chinese physicians. It remains the world’s oldest, safest, and most comprehensive system of medical care, developing as dynamically today as throughout its long history.
Western medicine is good at understanding disease but offers no clear-cut description of health because it has no standard to go by. In contrast, Chinese medicine has an understanding of health that goes back centuries to the world’s oldest medical textbook still in existence. These ideas have never become outdated despite the technological advances of Western medicine because the Chinese observed the minute changes that occurred in the human body in relation to season, weather, climate, diet, exercise, and emotional shifts. From these observations was born a system of medicine that perceived the fundamental holism of the human organism and its interconnectedness with the surrounding environment. Thus, Chinese medicine offers a unique perspective on maintaining a state of harmonious balance in the human body.
It is within the body that healing occurs. All medical treatments interact with the systems in the body to influence the body to heal itself. While the body may not be able to mend a complete ACL tear, it is the body which heals itself after a successful surgical repair of the ACL. Drugs and herbs cause various chemical changes in the body, influencing the activity of enzymes, hormones, and other chemical factors. It is not the drugs or the herbs which change the body per se, they merely tell the body which switches to flip in order to cause the healing changes.
Chinese herbal medicine is complex. Chinese herbal medicine uses thousands of different substances. Flowers, roots, barks, as well as various animal and mineral substances are used for their medicinal properties. Unlike tabloid health advice such as “take turmeric for inflammation,” Chinese medicine combines multiple herbs into a complex and balanced formula; if one herb has a side effect, another herb will be included to counter it. Because of this balancing of effects, herbal medicine is usually free from the sorts of side effects commonly associated with Western drugs.