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Typical Course of Treatment

Herbs can be taken for as little as one day and as long as an entire lifetime. Your condition will likely require something in between. For an acute condition like a cold or flu, bronchitis, or an injury, an herbal formula may be taken for several days to several weeks. For a chronic condition like asthma, uterine fibroids, or irritable bowel syndrome, a three-month course is typical.

What do herbs treat?

In general, herbal therapy is indicated for internal conditions (as opposed to musculoskeletal issues) and has broad applications. To see if your condition will benefit from herbal therapy, please contact us.

Here are some examples of how herbs have benefited other patients:

Case Illustration #1: Head cold (Acute):

Julie had recently been exposed to a cold from her husband and began sneezing yesterday morning. initially thinking it was just her allergies, Julie ignored it. Today, she began sneezing repeatedly, had a very runny nose, and chills. Julie was given a short acupuncture treatment and 3-day course of herbs to relieve her cold symptoms and support her body’s immune system. She noted that her colds “usually go into her chest”, but this time that didn’t happen.

Key point: Herbs not only shorten the course of a cold or flu, they also prevent it from going deeper into the body.

Case Illustration #2: Tension headaches (Moderate):

Mike worked as an attorney at a large law firm in Silicon Valley. He worked long hours on his goal towards making partner. He considered himself active, playing basketball during the week and riding his bike on weekends. Recently, however, the work hours were long and he found little time for exercise. His diet was also suffering due to poor diet choices.

About three months ago, he started getting headaches in the back of his neck that traveled over the top to his forehead. They were manageable with Advil, but were becoming more frequent. At the time of his visit he was getting daily headaches, which he rated at an 8/10. They were preventing him from working and he often went home early.

Mike was given three courses of herbs (3-1/2 weeks each). He was also encouraged to resume exercise, pay attention to his diet, and limit alcohol during the week. He also came for acupuncture once per week for six weeks to relieve neck and shoulder pain. After six weeks, he was only getting 1-2 headaches per week that he rated at 3/10. After nine weeks, he had no headaches, was much less “stressed”, and significantly more optimistic about his overall health.

Key point: You have the ability to heal yourself. Acupuncture and herbs can be used as catalyst to get you back on track.

Case Illustration #3: Irritable Bowel Syndrome (Chronic):

Jennifer was suffering from a flare-up of a long-standing condition that was originally diagnosed as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) in college. Her present complaints included diarrhea (up to six times per day), gas pain, and flatulence. The condition was both uncomfortable and inconvenient and she was desperate for relief. Now 36 years old, it had been almost a decade since she last dealt with these symptoms. She noted that she was just promoted to director at the high-tech company she worked for and was also planning for her wedding next summer.

As is often the case with IBS, it surfaces during times of stress and is difficult to manage with over-the-counter medications. Jennifer was given 3-month course of herbs that were modified several times to accommodate changes in her symptoms. The herbs addressed her digestive symptoms, but also regulated and strengthened her digestive function. The formula also included “calm spirit” herbs to address the added stress in her life.

After three months, Jennifer’s symptoms were completely resolved. In the event that her symptoms recur, it is likely that she will only need herbs for 3-4 weeks.

Key point: Chronic conditions usually appear with acute episodes that may be difficult to manage. Thoroughly addressing the problem when it presents itself can help prevent future episodes and minimize the discomfort of a chronic condition.
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