Alternative therapies are gaining wider acceptance in the U.S., and top hospitals are now beginning to embrace Chinese herbalism. The Cleveland Clinic introduced their herbal therapy program in 2014, and other Western medical practices around the country have followed.
For Chinese medicine practitioners, acupuncture and herbs go well together. Many states require certification in herbal medicine for licensure in acupuncture. Some states do not. But for all acupuncturists, herbal medicine is a powerful tool in your practice.
As an herbalist, you will:
- Boost your understanding of the body and how it heals
- Put the power of plant medicine into action
- Customize formulas to address your clients’ specific needs
- Understand proper dosage and safety
- Adjust classical formulas for even better results
Some students choose to study herbal medicine during their acupuncture education, and others return to study after they are licensed, having learned how much herbal medicine can add to their current practice.
Many acupuncturists think of the herbs as their allies. There are so many wonderful herbs in the Chinese dispensary, and each one has something special to offer. Herbalists get to know these different herbs, and learn to recognize which formulas will be most helpful for each patient.
During an office visit, practitioners prescribe herbs which their patients can take on a daily basis. In this way, patients are receiving treatment in between office visits.
For practitioners, the herbs help patients achieve results more quickly, sometimes much more quickly than with acupuncture only treatment. This means that your patients are feeling better sooner, while actively participating in their own treatment.
Herbs are also a practical business choice. They provide extra income, and attract patients who are looking for both acupuncture and herbs.
Patients are increasingly aware of the benefits of Chinese herbs and more routinely request them as part of their treatment. You will be able to serve patients eager for all that Chinese medicine has to offer. They will be happy and so will you!